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Spa Owner Finds Successful Niche

By: Nicole Urbanowicz
Posted: October 31, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
E. McDowell

E. McDowell

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“I wanted to own my own company,” she explains. “After having the experience, I felt confident enough in myself, and I felt confident enough in the services that I would offer.”

Since then, the ambitious McDowell—who works up to 60 hours a week—continues to innovate while moving full speed ahead. SYKN Lounge has been one of the first spas in her local area to offer specialties, such as dermafiling, and she continues to update her service offerings. She also recently launched her own paraben-free mineral-based makeup line, ZenSYKN, which is formulated for safe use following skin care treatments. “Our spa is created to get clients back out into their routine,” she says, which is why she features a makeup bar area at her Zen-inspired spa and offers free makeup applications after clients get a treatment. This move, among others, has helped McDowell’s spa achieve a 90% treatment-to-retail ratio. In addition, she and her staff of five professionals help clients with a cohesive program in which clients are encouraged to do their skin care homework with products such as Obagi Medical and SkinCeuticals (representing the bulk of the spa’s inventory) as well as PCA Skin, Elements, Bliss Spa and Clarisonic.

For McDowell, who is on the board of the charity-focused Younger Women’s Club of Louisville, the most important service that she offers is encouragement to her clients, staff, hometown business owners and other women who are innovative dreamers like herself.

“Take the experience and the information that you have, and just go for it. Because you never know exactly what the outcome is going to be, or if something is going to work perfectly or not,” she says. “A lot of people are scared, but if you have a dream and you are going to work really hard at something, then I say go for it.”

Nicole Urbanowicz is a contributor to Skin Inc. magazine, and is the associate editor of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine. Her articles have also appeared in various media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and WWD Accessories.

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