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Taking Ownership of a Skin Care Heritage

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: November 24, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Patricia Kaspian's picture

Once climbing the corporate ladder as a purchasing executive for a variety of Silicone Valley electronics companies during the 1980s and 1990s, Patricia Kaspian brought her ascent to a halt when she decided to get back to the basics by seeking a career in skin care, a profession that had been familiar to her throughout her life. Kaspian was raised with a strong skin care influence because her mother, Yvette Colombier, was the founder and owner of Yvette’s Institute of Beauty, which was located in the Los Gatos, California, area for 22 years until it was sold four years ago.

“My mother is a beautiful woman, and she maintains that beauty inside and out. She is 78 and still does facials,” explains Kaspian. “She made it a point to make sure my demeanor was that of someone who cared about her appearance.”

A self-described Southern California girl, Kaspian also enjoyed a household and upbringing rich with French heritage, and, after spending some time as a language major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she moved to France with her family for a year. “I attended business school in France, but I really needed to get back to the United States—that is where I felt at home,” she says.

After her return, Kaspian went to San Jose State University in San Jose, California, where she earned an international business degree. Her first job out of college was in the electronics field, as a buyer at Synertek in Santa Clara, California. “It gave me a good sense of business acumen, which has been helpful in my current career, as well,” says Kaspian regarding the business knowledge she accrued during her years in electronics.

“Anyone who wants to work in the spa industry should be equipped with business skills, such as knowing how to watch their cash flow and how to read a profit-loss statement. A lot of people make the mistake of jumping into this career thinking it is so lovely, but you must have the ability to know how to run a business.”