Interview with Liz Munn
Esthetician Liz Munn is not only a salon owner and skincare pro, providing beauty, cosmetic and personal care. She is also an innovator and the inventor of the The Facial Guardian, a Covid-19 shield to protect clients and beauticians alike.
Tell us about your Covid-19 pivotal moments.
I’ve taken additional steps. I’m really, very cautious. If you publish what you’re doing for people, they find some comfort in the fact that there is an additional level of security or precaution being taken on their behalf. And we try to do an excellent job of communicating that to clients so that they have a good idea of what to expect when they come for a treatment. We started that process, and then for people who are still not ready, we just try to meet them where they are, so for example, a lot of my clients are on a subscription service. I’d say maybe about half of my income every month is on a subscription service. I call them my VIPs or my members; all of my members are in two different text groups that I send them random texts through Pocketsuite. I just kind of touch base with them and say, “Hey, are you ready?” “Are you not ready?” And so then I defer their payment one additional month. And some people want me to collect their payment, which is fine because they’re trying to support me.
Do you have male clients?
The guys who I have come and see me, I can count them on the one hand, but they are loyal, and some of them are forced into it by their wives or significant others. And, they are a little intimidated. They don’t know what to do, “Oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do?” But once I kind of walk it through with them a few times, they are very all about it. I think male clients are easy to talk to. They’re pretty direct in their communication, so they know what they’re after. And they usually are super compliant. Like if you tell them, “Hey, use just these three products, don’t let that product run out and not have another one on the shelf because there’s going to be a whole ruckus!” I think male clients are great.
They don’t teach you how to run your own business whenever you’re in an aesthetic school. But, there are some things that people just can’t teach. You have to have a kind of innate ability where you want to help people, and connect to people.
When did you decide to go out on your own?
I think whenever you’re truly an entrepreneur, and if you don’t have a job, you make a job. I guess if you go back a little way, in my aesthetics career, I was a regional manager for a major cosmetics company, skincare company, and was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery. I’m very healthy, and everything is good now, but then, my focus changed. My kids were grown and I have some grandchildren available to snuggle. I just decided that it was time to come off the road and come home. So I started doing more independent sales and education. And when I started the studio, it originally started because I wanted to do more than rent hotel rooms to train people.
How has the skincare industry changed?
I think as the skincare business has evolved, companies want less and less to pay reps to be on the road? It was like, okay, anybody who buys a device from me or wants a refresher training, they can come to the studio, and I’ll give them those two hours of hands-on training. And I still do that for everybody, all my Pro clients. But what I found was that I craved that monthly relationship with people, that all the time relationship and that part of my business has grown and taken off. So when Covid-19 came, I had been out for a little while. I think you just have to continue to connect with people and, again, meet them where they are and maintain a relationship.
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Tell us about your new invention!
I’m patent pending on that product. I’ve invested a lot of energy and love and everything else on it. Who wants to lean over a client with a face full of extractions, and just like have on some safety glasses?, no one wants to do that. I think the ““facial guardian“” (plastic shield) is here to stay. I don’t know that, but people who have used it really enjoy using it. And so I don’t ever plan on not having that. When it comes to the virtual treatments, one of the things that I want to continue to do is perhaps create a small box that I can provide to local clients who I love. I’m a prior volunteer for the charity “Look good, feel better” and I would like to continue that charity work.
What is something you would say to an up-and-coming Skincare Pro?
They don’t teach you how to run your own business when you’re in an aesthetic school. But, you know, there are some things that people just can’t teach. You have to have a kind of innate thing where you want to help people and connect to people. I do think you have to have an outgoing personality, but it does help. More importantly, I believe you have to be able to just be with people and hold the space with them, even when you don’t agree with them. It’s common for people to tell me, you know, I already paid for the facial, but how much is the therapy session from today? I always tell them it’s all part of the service. If you have some genuine care for people, I think that can throw you out of balance a little bit, you give too much. It’s hard to stay in balance, not give too much, not give too little, I always err, on the side of giving more to somebody than what they expect to receive from me. I think that helps me in every aspect of my life, but definitely with my business.
If you make a mistake, you just kind of learn from it and move on. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back. If you’re always kind of moving forward and if you make a mistake, you learn from it, if you do something wrong, you say, you’re sorry and move forward. This too shall pass, right? Like the tide, the tide goes out, the tide comes in. If you wait 12 hours, you’ll have a different situation.
Do you ever pamper yourself?
When I have an opportunity, there are a few select gals. I will let them work on me. It’s nice to be the person getting worked on instead of doing all the work.