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Skin Care Professional Takes the Bull by the Horns
By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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After several years, Douglas made the decision to start over. She chose the artsy, urban-yet-charming location of Durham, North Carolina, and, in November 2010, began working on the project. “Durham is New York City meets Mayberry. It’s an artsy community ... Duke University and the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill are here. It has eclectic, interesting people,” explains Douglas.
She found a historic building in downtown Durham that features exposed brick, high ceilings and its own kitchen. The home of Beauty and The Bull gave her a place to offer both skin care and nutrition for a more mind-body-spirit menu, although medical spa services are still provided by a contracted plastic surgeon who rents space.
“After many years in the medical spa, something happened to me. I turned 40 and started to have a more mature outlook on aging. It’s mind-body-spirit, and I got more into toxicity and nutrition,” she says. Because of this focus, Douglas carries lines that include natural and high-performance ingredients, including B. Kamins, De La Terre Skincare and Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals. Douglas made a concentrated effort to carry lines that can’t be found elsewhere in her area, and that is one factor in her retail success. Currently, her retail-to-treatment ratio is 30%.
Along with retail, marketing is another aspect of business in which Douglas excels. Recently finishing a successful Groupon campaign, Douglas understands that although she’s discounting her services, it can pay off in the long run. “If we do a good job and clients like the space, they will leave here talking about us. We’ll turn that tiny profit into a win,” she explains. Douglas also advertises in a variety of local publications, sends targeted e-mail blasts to segments of the audience she wants to reach, and also blogs. Beauty and The Bull has rentable event space, which is very popular for a variety of get-togethers, and Douglas uses this space to market her spa by hosting mixers for different members of the business community, such as event and wedding planners, who she believes could take advantage of the space for their events.
With goals of opening multiple locations in cities where the name—which is a play off of Durham’s nickname, The City of the Bull—would make sense, Douglas also would love to write a cookbook, get her master’s degree in nutrition and even host a cooking show teaching people about healthy eating. And it is with this drive that Douglas promises to continue pushing the boundaries and make a name for her spa ... and herself ... in the skin care industry.