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Although she was exposed to the world of massage and alternative therapy in her childhood, for 20 years, Brenda Griffin, owner of Faces Plus in Tucson, Arizona, worked as a legal secretary and paralegal. As a child, she was familiar with the world of holistic healing through her grandparents, who practiced massage and reflexology. “I was exposed to that whole world, and I just loved to receive massage,” she says.
However, after high school, like many, she began following a career path that wasn’t her true calling. “I fell into law when I was in my early 20s and realized it wasn’t a passion for me. It was just a job,” explains Griffin. After making plans to leave her home state of Michigan and move in with a friend in Arizona at the age of 24, Griffin was dealt a huge blow—she unexpectedly contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, a form of French polio, that left her paralyzed in a hospital bed for two months.
After recovering from the disease, Griffin followed through with her plan, and continued her legal career in various branches of law in Arizona. It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she had her change of heart. “One day I realized how unhappy I was. I was always intrigued by massage therapy, but I was 40 and it takes a toll on the body. A friend of mine suggested I check out skin care programs,” explains Griffin. While keeping her full-time job at the law firm, she also attended Tucson’s Allure Career College of Beauty part-time in the evenings. After earning her esthetics license in 2001, Griffin continued working at the firm, and got a part-time job at an area day spa.
Not long after this, weary from working six days a week, she took a big risk and quit her job at the law firm. After working part-time at the day spa for a year, she found another part-time job at a plastic surgeon’s office, which fell through, and soon, so did her job at the day spa, which closed its doors in September 2002. “I’ve learned that when one door closes, another opens. I had no job, so I opened my own business in January of 2003,” explains Griffin.
Armed with her legal background, Griffin wasn’t daunted by the administrative side of opening Faces Plus. “I knew how to file incorporation documents, and I was fortunate that the last attorney I worked for did the marketing and public relations for the law firm, so I knew a little about that,” she says. It was during this time that Griffin had a streak of good fortune and formed a relationship with a business coach.