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FACES by KinaI quit! Literally. With a few strokes on a keyboard and a few clicks of the mouse, I resigned from a comfortable position in Healthcare Administration to open my own skin care studio. Leaving behind a nice salary and subsidized benefits for the uncharted territory of self-employment. A clear gamble, but I have no regrets. You might wonder how I can be so fearless. Well, I didn’t do this without preparation. I made sure that I had saved enough to cover my personal and business expenses for several months. Most importantly to me, however, I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Skin care is my PASSION and entrepreneurship is my DREAM. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I was born for this.

I have never had a job where I was enthusiastic to wake up and go to work every day. You see, I’m a creative person.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve spent the last several years trapped in a professional world of contracts, Excel spreadsheets, and 2-hour long management meetings. For a creative, this is the living world definition of H-E- double hockey sticks. It’s awful.  So, last month I set myself free. At some point in life, you have to do the thing that makes you most happy, the thing that you can see yourself doing for a long time to come. When you do that, the universe will bring you everything else you need. You will survive. If you wait and wait and wait, there will never be a right time. You can always come up with a reason for why you shouldn’t do something, but you have to be brave enough to rip off the Band-Aid.

Exactly two weeks after my last day in Corporate America, I signed the lease on my very first salon suite. The place where FACES by Kina will take its first steps. There’s so much to do now from getting business licenses to furniture to a website. I stay up late most nights, typing up ideas and to-do lists, thinking of marketing and branding ideas, and researching products. However, I have never felt more free and light. I feel empowered, emboldened.


For me, pursuing my passion meant opening my own studio, but that isn’t the only way to steer this ship. Fellow AIA graduate, Leah Reuter, is preparing to transition from a full-time position working as a Registrar and Data Clerk for Decatur City Schools. She will be taking on a full-time Esthetician position at Fabu Face Spa in Decatur, where she has been working part-time for the last 7 months. One of the spa’s full-time estheticians is moving out of the country, leaving a space open, which Leah will fill.

deskHaving been at her current job for the last 11 years, one has to wonder, what would make Leah pursue esthetics?  Leah explained, “I have a really hard time just sitting in front of a computer all day.  My favorite part of the day is interacting with people.”  When looking for a new career, Leah looked up the top 15 careers for the future and tried to match those careers to her interests.  She also considered the flexibility of the field and the ability to move to other states and still be able to find work.  During her search, Leah noticed that esthetics was growing, due to the advances that have been made, the “baby boomer” generation’s skincare needs, and society’s increased interest skincare.  Additionally, having had skin cancer in the past, Leah was also inspired to help and educate others about proper skin care. 

Leah’s decision to leave her current job didn’t come easy and it didn’t come without fear. Leah has two college-aged daughters and she’s concerned about finding affordable healthcare benefits for her daughters, as well as herself.  As with many esthetics jobs, Leah’s position at Fabu does not offer benefits. However, she made financial preparations for the transition and she also has the support of her family, friends, and colleagues. Leah elaborated, “I’m just trying to be introspective and believe in myself.  I work hard and I’ll keep working harder. I’ve learned over time that just waiting for things to happen or hoping they’ll happen doesn’t work. You just have to do it. If there’s something you want, you just have to jump in.” She explained that it seemed as if the universe was talking to her. Things just started to line themselves up in order to create a perfect space for her to make the transition.  Further, she couldn’t learn everything she needed to learn at Fabu, while still working 40 hours a week for Decatur City Schools. She knew that she had to make the leap, “faith above fear”.

Leah isn’t sure of her ultimate goals in esthetics yet. Right now, she just wants to love what she does, make a living, and learn as much as she can.  She isn’t sure yet if she wants to go out on her own at some point, but she does feel that she can go a long time in the field. For other estheticians making the transition, whether newly graduating or transitioning from Corporate America, Leah advises:

  • School gives you enough to pass the state board exam, but the real learning happens in the field, and competition is tough. So, learn everything you can.
  • Always be professional and trustworthy
  • It doesn’t matter what skills and knowledge you have if you have a bad attitude

Leah invited us to check back with her later in the summer to see how she’s doing. She’s eager to give us more insight into the transition after she’s been working full-time as an esthetician for a while.  She’s optimistic about what she will discover about herself, as well as the field in the next three to four months. As for me, I’m hoping that this transition will give me the validation that I’m seeking. There were so many similarities in our stories, from the universe guiding us to our paths, to the need for the faith to “jump”. Now, we’ll see if we can fly. 


FACES By Kina Skincare studio in Alpharetta, Georgia, specializes in custom facials and microblading. Stay tuned to skincare trends and follow Kina on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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