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Educated and Dedicated
By: Abby Penning
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Principale also decided to enroll in the Sylvie Hennessy Academy of Esthetics & Spa Therapies in Clarence, New York, receiving her esthetic license in 1997. Staying at the same spa, she worked as an esthetician for the next three years, building up a dedicated clientele. However, after having spent 18 years at the same location, Principale and two of her friends who also worked there as hairstylists—Teresa Lapi and Christine Piggot—took a bold step and opened Vogue Salon & Day Spa in 2000. “We decided it was time to start building our own business. We wanted to do our own thing,” she says.
The women worked hard to successfully launch the business, but weren’t afraid to ask for help when they needed it. “We were all very confident in our skills with our clients and knew the services we offered were going to turn out wonderfully,” Principale notes. “But for the things we weren’t as familiar with, we always found it best to hire professionals who knew what they were doing to help. We hired a bookkeeper, an accountant and someone to help us with marketing. We knew our shortcomings, and then surrounded ourselves with people to help us overcome them.”
With that strong focus, Vogue’s owners created a sophisticated, modern space offering body treatments, skin care, and nail and hairstyling services, which helped it become a destination for its loyal clientele. Now Principale and the spa’s co-owners work hard to maintain their level of service, customer care and, perhaps most importantly, education. “We like to keep our staff motivated and eager to seek out continuing education,” she says. “One of our main goals is to always have our team members taking advantage of learning opportunities.”
It’s a goal Principale also abides by as she interacts with clients and provides a range of services on a daily basis. “I do facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, waxing, pedicures, manicures and body treatments,” she says, and dedicated to helping her clients see superior results with each treatment, she notes, “I love my clients, and I love the reward of knowing that I’m helping them and that they are seeing an improvement in their skin, and I love seeing their increased self-confidence.”
Principale also translates those feelings of satisfaction into inspiration. “The thirst for education from clients and my fellow estheticians at the spa helps keep us moving forward,” she explains. “I’m learning more about the medical end of esthetics, focusing on understanding the body’s systems, and learning about how the skin responds and replenishes itself.”