CARY — At Andrea Sowter Skin Care, soft lighting and music help create a relaxing atmosphere in the private treatment room.
Andrea Sowter, an esthetician, said she enjoys talking to her clients about their skin-care needs.
I am the most proud when someone comes in with a problem with their skin, with something that really affects their self-esteem, and Im actually able to turn that around for them and make a big difference in how they feel about themselves and how they feel going out into the world every day, Sowter said. Its priceless.
Sowter started working at a day spa while in high school, and she became enamored with the ambiance, the wellness-focused treatments and the way people left happy. There, she experienced firsthand the power of a confidence boost: One of the estheticians at the spa provided her with facial services and taught her how to clear up the acne that Sowter had struggled with for several years.
As a young teenage girl, getting my skin clear had a huge impact on my confidence and self-esteem, and I wanted to be able to provide that same gift to others, Sowter said.
Q: Why did you decide to open your own business five years ago?
I decided to open a private practice due to the fact that I became frustrated with some of the limitations of working in a large, busy day spa. While those facilities certainly have their place, due to the volume of clients that are seen and the number of therapists that are working, there are limits on what can be accomplished.
Ultimately, I found I wanted more creative control over the types of services I could offer, the products I could use and the way I could structure services.
Q: What can your clients expect compared to larger day spas?
I have the ability to customize services for clients. Everyones skin is unique and has different needs, and Im really able to treat each individual skin based on what will benefit it the most during a given treatment. ...
My clients are never rushed in and out the door, and they are never treated like just another number.
Q: Why is client education such an important part of your business?
I really believe that client education is one of the biggest factors in success in a skin-care program. When someone comes in with a specific goal they are after with their skin, its the partnership between what I do in the treatment room and what they do at home every day that will determine the quality of the result that we achieve.
I spend a lot of time educating my clients on the products that they are using, what the active ingredients are and how those things function in the skin. With that knowledge, they are empowered to make better decisions as far as their home care and the lifestyle choices that affect their skin as well.
Q: What are the most popular services?
Definitely the advanced skin care services, such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion and of course, waxing. Facial waxing and bikini waxing are by far the most popular.
Q: So are the summer months filled with waxing appointments?
While the majority of my clients wax year-round, most do wax more regularly during the summer, and of course there are those who wax for special occasions, trips and things of that nature. So it does increase quite a bit.
Lately Ive had 12-hour days full of nothing but waxing appointments.
Q: Whats new with the business?
I have a lot of exciting things Im working on this year. For starters, I plan to have online booking up and running soon, which will be very convenient.
Im in the process of researching a mineral makeup line to bring on and plan to be offering LED and microcurrent treatments by the end of the year.
I have some wonderful new featured facial services available for spring and summer as well.