NYIB: Hello Miss Debra, thank you so much for sitting with me today. I am super excited to be interviewing you. Tell us all a little bit of your background?
Debra: Well, I grew up in England. I came to the United States when I was 21 to be a nanny. Turns out I didn’t really like nannying, so I didn’t do that very long. After I finished with that, I got married and started a family. I have 3 kids, who are growing up fast. A while back, I had to go back out to the workforce again and I had quickly discovered it’s the same 15 years later. I started working at a major bulk store, and it was horrendous haha. But that turned out to be great for me because it forced me to say, “Hey I need more!” and so I decided to go back to school.
NYIB: So, when you made the choice to go back to school, what drew you to esthetics?
Debra: I worked for a dermatologist for 4 years. So, I had a bit of skin background. I have a friend who was working in the same office as me and was going through an esthetics program, going here actually. She really liked the program and recommended it.
NYIB: When you decided to go into esthetics what made you choose this school?
Debra: Well, like I mentioned- I knew someone coming here. She had done her research and has basically done all the work haha and loved this school, so I sort of took my cue from her and came straight here.
NYIB: So, you have been here for a couple of months, you’re in full-time clinic which means graduation is right around the corner. What has been something you have learned about that was really exciting or useful?
Debra: Well one thing I have found so interesting has been learning more about skin cancer. A few weeks ago, we had Dr. Defazio come in and do a bit of a workshop on it. It was a lot of information in a short period of time, it went by so fast, but it was so interesting to me. I found out I really liked learning about it.
NYIB: Well that’s fantastic! Any thoughts to possible getting trained at some point in oncology esthetics?
Debra: I could maybe someday. It definitely is something I want to learn more about it.
NYIB: You are certainly a very driven woman!
Debra: I’d like to think so. Growing up, when I was in England, my mom was a single parent. We lived in a house with no hot water, and the bathroom was down the garden. So, I have gone from that to now opening my own spa which is just mind-blowing.
NYIB: Your own spa! That is amazing. You are getting prepared, you can see the finish line for graduation. Normally I am asking our students about their goals and want they want to maybe achieve, but you have already started! Tell us all about what you have going on.
Debra: Well, I have my own spa I am in the process of finishing up. I am going to be doing a little bit of everything. I am in Smithtown. I want to eventually learn lasers but man, that service isn’t easy.
NYIB: Taking the leap to be your own business owner from the get go!
Debra: Absolutely, I just am throwing myself into it.
NYIB: Envision yourself and your spa in 5- 10 years. What would you love to have happening?
Debra: To be successful, have a steady profit. Right now, I don’t have any desire to open multiple, to have branches. I just want my one space that is mine that is doing really well. I want to be comfortable and enjoy it. I enjoy what I am doing, and I don’t want to overstress myself and begin to dislike it. I want to always love what I am doing.
NYIB: That enjoyment, that is something I tell a lot of our students. There is absolutely no reason in this industry that you should unhappy with what you are doing. There are a hundred different paths that you can go down, you can have a career where you are both successful and happy. It’s just up to you to make that happen.
NYIB: One of the biggest perks of our industry is being able to love what you do.
Debra: Yes! And you see that all the time. You go to a doctor’s office or a store, and the employee is so miserable. And you’re like, why?!?
NYIB: 80% of your success is drive and ambition. There are plenty of seats at the table, you just need to make sure you are sitting in one. It’s why I get so excited when we have students like you with an incredible game plan already in place and going for it from the beginning.
I am a very positive person And I think working at the dermatologist, people appreciate that outlook. You can take something that people aren’t necessarily happy to be doing or to be at, and you turn it into a good experience. Point out the bright side. People love that.
NYIB: Absolutely- I like to say that you can know all the facts in the world, but if your personality is lacking, if clients don’t want to be around you, you will not make it.
Right. And I want to be that person who makes them comfortable. Who gives them a bit of sunshine or positivity. I want them to have a good experience with me, and in turn, they will come back.
NYIB: Debra, you got it! So, tell us a little more about this new spa where you positivity will have clients coming back all the time?
Debra: It’s called The Treatment Room. It’s a lot more than I thought it was going to be. I have 3 treatment rooms, a beautiful reception area. I am even going to have a couple of employees!
NYIB: I am so happy for you. Before we go, can you give me some advice for someone reading this and thinking about going back to school?
Debra: It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s exciting. Every day I wake up and I can’t wait to get here. Every day you learn something for your career and for yourself. That’s what I love about it. It’s not just information that benefits others, it all helps you. Its here to make you better, you more successful.
NYIB: Exactly! When I was in school here I never wanted to miss a day because I knew every hour was designed for my career. You are absent, you could be missing something extremely vital for your future. Especially something useful from your instructors
Debra: Yes, my instructors have been so helpful. Nicole runs her own spa too, so being able to get feedback and information from her had been amazing. Lisa has helped me so much, there have been things I never ever have thought of and having her knowledge as a clinic instructor has opened my eyes.
NYIB: And I am so glad to hear that. That is what we want. We are trying to make sure you guys aren’t just taught to pass the tests, we want to help you truly be successful after.
NYIB: We are so excited to have Debra as a student and soon to be graduate of New York Institute of Beauty! On June 3rd, 2018 she will be at the Smithtown Fair showing off her new spa! Look for her booth featuring The Treatment Room, with an anticipated grand opening in June 2018! We here at NYIB cannot wait to go and celebrate this amazing accomplishment right alongside her! We are so proud.
If you are looking to become your own boss in the beauty industry someday like Miss Debra, give us a call at New York Institute of Beauty today at 631 582 4737. With so many different options and career paths, you can begin to start following your passion right away!
Interviewed and written by Megan Leitch, L.E., NYIB Admissions Representative.