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Stories of Success: Brenda Acosta

Contact Author Maggie Connelly

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If you are looking for a #girlboss mentor who is strong, dedicated and caring, you’ve come to the right place. Brenda Acosta, president and chief executive of Altair Instruments, is not only an award-winning entrepreneur, but she loves the industry, loves the powerful women and leaders that are a part of it and especially loves the caring nature she has seen through the COVID-19 pandemic. Skin Inc. sat down with Acosta to learn more about her experiences in the industry, what trends she is expecting to see and how her biggest mentors are two very powerful women that you may not expect.

Skin Inc. (SI): How did you get started in the industry?

Brenda Acosta (BA): I was already in the medical device industry with my own company. Over 20 years ago, the founder of Altair Instruments asked me to do some consulting with this new device, a crystal free, diamond tip microdermabrasion machine. I facilitated getting feedback from plastic surgeons and dermatologists on the original design.

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SI:What is one of your most memorable moments?

BA: That would be day I acquired the best microdermabrasion company in the world. It was a great feeling to know that we had the opportunity to change the modern day facial and body treatments.

SI: Who are your biggest mentors?

BA: To start, one of my biggest mentors is author J.K. Rowling. I admire her for her perseverance. She was a single mother on welfare writing a book about a magical world. She was rejected by 12 publishers, but she kept at it because she knew she had something special. Another huge mentor to me is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I admire her hard work ethic, intelligence and belief in social justice. She literally changed the path of women in the work force.

SI: What has recently been inspiring you in the industry?

BA: I have really been inspired
by how the spa community has come together during this pandemic. During this time, I have seen so much caring, offering tips and advice and most of all hope in this industry.

SI: What is one of your biggest accomplishments?

BA: I was voted Entrepreneur of the Year [by Los Angeles Business Journal], which was a huge accomplishment to me.

SI: What do you enjoy most about the spa industry?

BA: I love the welcoming environment in this industry. Everyone wants to succeed, and everyone wants you to be the best you can be.

SI: What have you seen change the most in the spa industry?

BA: I have seen a big change in increased education in science and facts. There has also been a big increase on emphasis on client education to help them have the best skin possible.

SI: Where do you see the future of the spa industry?

BA: I see it going from a want or luxury treatment to a need or necessity. The spa industry goes beyond pampering to real wellness. By this, I mean your physical and mental health are addressed and positive changes are incorporated into your lifestyle.

SI: What was one of your biggest challenges and how did you overcome it?

BA: One big challenge that I faced was proving that basic skin care is not a fad or trend. I also had to prove and show that crystal-free microdermabrasion isn’t the newest treatment, but it’s the most effective to start a beautiful skin journey.

SI: What trends do you predict to see come up in the spa industry?

BA: There are a few trends that I believe will come to the spa industry. The top three that I see are earth care, bringing spa treatments home and lifestyle changes that stick.

SI: What advice would you give to someone starting off in the industry?

BA: Some advice that I would pass on would be to keep educating yourself. Along that same vein, I would encourage people starting off in the industry to welcome change and keep an open mind and heart.

SI: What do you like to do in your free time?

BA: I like to knit, work on my farm and volunteer at my local food bank in my free time.