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Hidden Gems: Meet Lauren McKeough of SkinVibes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren McKeough.

Hi Lauren, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
After working in NYC for 7 years, I ditched corporate America for something that gave me purpose — here’s my story!

I was working in marketing and PR for a high-end fashion company in New York City. It was an amazing opportunity for my first job after graduating College with a Fashion Merchandising and Business Communications degree. After climbing the corporate ladder, I began to feel like the daily grind of being in New York (and sitting behind a computer for most of day) wasn’t for me. Something was missing from my career, and I knew I wanted to get into a line of work that was more hands on and rewarding.

During this time I was introduced to a now close friend of mine and asked her what she did for a living. She told me she was an Esthetician. After 5 minutes of chatting with her about her career, a lightbulb went off. I knew this was a career that would be perfect for me!

I quit my 9 to 5 and went back to school for Esthetics. I then moved to Austin and worked in the industry as a licensed Esthetician. I quickly realized my passion for helping people and my dreams of opening my own skincare studio started blossoming. I’ve always had a dream of owning my own business. For years growing up I thought this would be a clothing boutique — who knew it would be skincare!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I told my family and friends I was quitting my 9 to 5 in corporate America to become an Esthetician, many of them thought I was crazy! The combination of paying to go back to school plus taking a significant pay cut didn’t make sense to many, but I was determined I could make a successful career out of it.

Unfortunately, I had terrible timing on opening my studio, as I opened in 2020. I opened SkinVibes and worked for a month before being forced to close for a few months while Austin was in the height of Covid. During these few months, while the salon was closed, I began doing virtual skincare consultations and shipping skincare products to clients to help cover my costs of opening my space.

When I began seeing clients on a regular basis, I felt an immediate sense of joy in helping people achieve their skincare goals. Nothing gives me more happiness than helping someone with their skin and giving them the confidence they deserve. The skincare industry is overwhelming, and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to help others by putting together a customized regimen and treatment plan. When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
SkinVibes is a membership based facial salon. Our menu is simple and straightforward, allowing you to choose from two different facials and a small handful of enhancements which can be added to any treatment.

I wanted to come up a simple menu, since one of my pet peeves when going to get a treatment is a lengthy, overwhelming spa menu.

We offer a membership of $89 per month, which allows clients 1 treatment per month and discounts on products and additional treatments. I wanted to come up with the idea of a membership based facial salon, as I truly believe your skin is in the healthiest state when receiving a facial once a month. This coincides with the skin’s natural cell turnover rate — I usually get into this in more detail during my consultations.

Most of us have gym memberships, and skin health is just as important! The treatments and products we use are medical grade. These include standard facials and chemical peels. I’ve recently added Microneedling as well, with the backing of a Medical Director. All the treatments are customized and can be geared towards treating acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and overall aging.

The idea behind my entire business model is to be able to provide affordable skincare treatments for everyone!

What are your plans for the future?
As a new business owner, I’m looking forward to seeing SkinVibes grow and meeting more new clients. By recently adding a Medical Director, I plan on expanding the medical grade services that I offer.

My goal will always be to make effective skincare as affordable as possible, and my hope is that will help me expand to multiple locations throughout Austin!

Pricing:

  • Monthly Membership – $89/Month

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brenna Hodge (Brenna Joy Photography)

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