[7 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday everyone and welcome back to our Interview Series! As we -slowly, (very) slowly- start to integrate ourselves back into society, it is crucial to acknowledge a few of the things that we have really missed during this time of lockdown.
One of these things is beauty treatments, specifically facials! While we love a bit of ‘at-home’ self-care on CAROLINA GMX, we cannot help but miss the touch and products of a professional. Sadly, the beauty and treatment industry (among many others) has taken a serious hit with COVID-19 as salons have been forced to shut and people's livelihoods have been put at risk.
That is why this week we wanted to support Maya SkinCare London, the SkinCare company that specialises in providing treatments, skin analysis, lymphatic drainage and even at-home skin advice (perfect for these times!) We chatted with Kate, Maya SkinCare owner and facialist about how she considers sensitive skin through her treatments and why meditating with her daughter is her favourite part of the day. So grab your coffee and let’s jump straight into another chat...
Morning Kate! Could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
I’m incredibly grateful to have had a happy childhood, and my family are very close. My brother and I have always been encouraged to speak freely, be kind and honest. That has certainly enabled me to practice the way I do. My approach towards my lovely clients is rooted in honesty and kindness, which makes for a fantastic client/practitioner relationship.
I love that! So, how did you actually get started in the beauty industry?
Well, I have been obsessed with skin and beauty products since about 12 years old and when I was 15 I did my first stint of work experience in a beauty clinic. I used to spend hours reading up on all the weird and wonderful ingredients in different types of beauty products in order to familiarise myself.
"A key thing for us is to try to have zero toxins and erasing harmful chemicals if we can."
Wow! So you definitely knew what you wanted to do from a young age then. When did you decide to start up your brand and why? Was the timing important?
I started Maya SkinCare London when I was 19 years old while I was studying and as soon as I could get treatment insurance, I started my mobile beauty business. It was 20 years ago so there was a huge gap in the market and I went for it with encouragement from my parents. My enthusiasm for the trade was immense and still is today! At the time my clientele was mainly local mums around South West London who found it tricky to leave the house for treatments. It was so wonderful and I’m still in contact with some of them today!
Aw, that’s so lovely! You clearly made some amazing bonds in those early years. So, you know that we are very curious about skincare that considers sensitive skins. Would you say Maya SkinCare considers issues of allergies and sensitivities?
Absolutely! Especially living and practising in London, as the pollution seriously takes its toll on the skin and messes with the acid mantle and PH balance of the skin. Additionally, I meet many clients who believe they have sensitive skin, but it’s simply unconditioned. What this usually means is that they have an inappropriate skin care routine in place. That moment when a client leaves us with strong, healthy and glowing skin is always amazing! I’m currently working on creating a product with my best friend and colleague for hypoallergenic skin.
That is so exciting! In what ways are you considering sensitive skin throughout the manufacturing process and when selecting ingredients?
A key thing for us is to try to have zero toxins and erasing harmful chemicals if we can. There are many toxins that are FDA approved, so it’s tricky sometimes. However, having said that, most active ingredients have been derived from natural sources that have been adapted to serve the skin, so it’s about getting the balance right.
Completely! And every skin is different too! How does sustainability factor into Maya SkinCare?
It is definitely an important issue for Maya SkinCare. I have a daughter and it’s our responsibility to preserve the planet as much as we can for the next generations. We’re very bright beings and we can do it!
Do you think people are more conscious of the ingredients in their beauty and skincare products nowadays? If so, why?
Absolutely! Due to the Internet we have all this information and communication at our fingertips. People can educate themselves at the sound of an ‘Alexa’!
Haha. That is so true! We don’t even need to Google things anymore, Alexa or Siri can tell us the answer... What would you say were your biggest challenges in starting up a business?
None. I don’t believe in that. This industry is my calling! Everyone is good at something; it’s just a matter of being brave enough to find it. We learn along the way so, of course, there are things to overcome, but it’s a blessing to grow and become better at our trade! If you love your job, you never work a day in your life!
I love your optimism! What strategies do you think have been key to the success of your business?
Building healthy relationships with others and believing in myself have been key. Everyone questions themselves sometimes and I believe that even those moments are an opportunity for growth. Also, being honest and kind even when you're met with something that doesn’t feel good! I have the most amazing friends and support network which I am deeply thankful for.
A great support network is so crucial. I think Covid-19 has made us realise that more than ever! What is your favourite thing about your job?
My clients! I adore each and every one. Seriously. Helping people feel comfortable in their skin is paramount to me.
I can tell by your passion! Which is your favourite product that you’ve ever created?
Definitely my collab with my best friend that is yet to be born! Watch this space…
Oooh. I cannot wait! What do you think makes Maya SkinCare stand out?
Maya SkinCare was built on wanting people to feel confident and deeply comfortable in their skin, and I believe that passion shines through the work we do with every client. Also, my aforementioned belief in being honest and kind with clients means that we achieve great things together.
"The most important time of day for me is winding down with my daughter just before her bedtime. We talk about the day and we meditate. It’s divine!"
It sounds like you have forged some great relationships with clients so I can tell that your approach works. Could you describe your biggest “pinch-me” moment?
Being named by Harpers Bazaar as one of the best Facialists in London. I am beyond thankful for that recognition!
Congratulations! That is marvellous! Where do you get your inspiration?
Wanting people to feel confident, healthy and happy.
And it sounds like you really make that happen! Could you describe what an average day looks like for you?
First thing’s first…Celery Juice! Trés importante! Then, it’s time for hugs and breakfast with my daughter. After that, I do the school run and try to get some sort of exercise time in, which is usually a HIIT workout. I try to have a quick and healthy breakfast, which is usually eggs and oatcakes. I tend to have back to back appointments for most of the day and try to respond to as many calls, messages and emails as I can in between. At some point, I’ll squeeze in some research for product development too. I like to spend at least an hour with my daughter after school- she’s the best company! Then I’ll do more emails and bookings. I'm very thankful my parents live close by, so my mother usually prepares dinner and looks after my daughter as I work most nights... Plus she is a far superior chef than I! In the evening, I try to spend time with my hubby as our schedules mean we’re like passing ships in the night! The most important time of day for me is winding down with my daughter just before her bedtime. We talk about the day and we meditate. It’s divine!
That is so wonderful! Meditating with your daughter sounds very special. I feel like you have nailed the work/life balance. Would you say so?
I would like to think so. It is very important to me. Family-time, relaxation time, and party time are all essential to a happy life!
YES! I love that! What words do you live by?
“Have fun!”- My Grandmother's mantra! Also, “be thankful”; it changes your cellular composition for the better. Literally!
I completely agree. Gratitude journals are the way forward! What’s next for the brand?
The sky's the limit! Better and better and better!
Want more from CAROLINAGMX? Check this out: Black Skincare Brands & Influencers You Need To Follow