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Hidden Gems: Meet Summer Ryan of Sugar + Sand

Today we’d like to introduce you to Summer Ryan.

Hi Summer, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I had tested out of High School a year early. Thinking I wanted to go into advertising, I took off to Canada and New York immediately after getting my early diploma. I thought I wanted to be an executive with a high rise who worked every single day making six figures. Unfortunately, soon after arriving to New York, I was slapped with this overwhelming inconsequential feeling. I have never felt like such a speck of dust in my life. Coming home with my tail between my legs, I started working at this tanning salon in the back of a very large and exquisite hair salon called Alexanders in Corona, CA. It was there that I had met my very first Esthetician. We would share stories back and forth and she would tell me about how she used to be a journalist in New York and how much she hated it. She knew when she started looking into Esthetics school that she found something so special and unique.

This odd in between of being a therapist and helping others with their insecurities all at once. She said it felt like she could finally help people with the inside and the outside. It peaked my interest and when the opportunity literally fell at my feet, I knew to go for it. I graduated Esthetics School in 2011. I had no idea that this small decision would inevitably captivate the next decade of my life. I eventually moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. I was going to attempt to go work on a cruise ship and go to their Steiner International School in London but love got in the way. Not really planning on living in Las Vegas I scrambled to get my life together and decided to take a chance at applying to a MedSpa. Not really understanding that world of course, I just dove in headfirst.

I learned so many different dynamics to this industry that I had never known existed. I learned Laser Hair Removal, Microneedling, CoolSculpting, Sculpture, IPL, Thermage, NIR, LaserLipo, VelaShape, and so many more non-invasive procedures. I spent four years honing in on this new world and sadly discovering so many of the disheartening things that can take place behind that very thin line of helping and harming. I came back to California two years ago and to my surprise, everything I had just spent all of my time learning is nothing I am allowed to do in the state I was originally licensed it. Finding myself scrambling once again, I had always known without a shadow of a doubt that I absolutely despise body hair. Not on other people, I am fully supportive of whatever one wants to do with their own bodies and love the occasional underarm shag but I did loathe how I had to always take care of it on myself. It was a never ending roller coaster of things that did not work. I am too blonde for Laser Hair Removal, too sensitive for waxing, and honestly just too much of a baby for threading.

When I discovered sugaring, I knew I had just found something that I wanted everyone that was going through the same frustrating journey as me to know about. There is a very therapeutic essence about it. Maybe because of how ancient the technique is or how natural it actually is, it just feels simple and up until that point and after doing everything in esthetics, I had never felt that way about a treatment before. So I took a leap a faith during a pandemic and I started my studio in a Sola Salons in Huntington Beach, CA. I could beat myself up about how I should have started this years ago in my Esthetics journey or how I picked the absolute worst career for how much I moved, but all that matter is I started something and it is truly never too late to do that. I created something. I took every negative experience I had about getting my own Brazilian and I changed it.

My bed has a plush 2″ memory foam topper to make the bed comfortable and inviting instead of being cold and sterile. I take my time with every client and give significant room in between so you never feel like you are just being rushed out. I include a mask and high frequency if you need it to try my hardest to not cause any ingrown hairs or any additional scarring to your skin. I brought back the hospitality to something that women do so often yet feel so uncomfortable about. Women’s attractiveness has such an abnormally high expectation in society and so many companies exist just to feed off of their insecurities that these companies themselves have created. I just hope that I can help in some small way for women to get back to enjoying their self-care and make them feel as though they are the only client I have seen that day. I love what I do and I am so grateful to do it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being an Esthetician is very challenging on your body. You are bending in all kinds of odd weird ways and unfortunately Spas are notorious for not thinking about their service providers when it comes to equipment and a room set up. I have worked 10 hours plus with no lunch breaks and never receive insurance options with jobs. I have so many back issues that I have lost count and early arthritis is knocking at the door. It can be at times a very thankless job. And without mentorship, it can be extremely hard to make any money. I have made more money than engineers being an Esthetician and at times, I have made $80 a week. There was no consistency. You have clients who cancel last minute, snagging a spot from a potential paying client and end up not even having enough money to eat that day. And even with all of that, I still could never imagine working in any other industry.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Sugar + Sand was created for everything V and beauty related. I want you to start looking forward to what we have come to know of the dreaded monthly Brazilian. Experience something different with custom serums, masques, and treatments for your nether regions. Leaving you with smooth silky skin, you’ll never want to go back to basic hair removal. Sugar Paste is made of only Sugar, Lemon, and Water. It only attaches to dead skin cells allowing you to go over areas multiple times without irritating your skin. It is very unique in the fact that we pick up a small ball of the sugar paste and rake that against the hair growth, and once the hair is stuck in it, we pull in the direction your hair grows. Removing it in the direction your hair grows to lessen the chance of getting ingrown hairs because we are not breaking the hair at the surface like traditional waxes and shaving.

This helps create a more comfortable experience that can cause less irritation and with consistent appointments sugaring can eventually help to permanently reduce hair growth. I also offer Mobile Custom Airbrush Spray Tan. I currently use South Seas Lava Tan Solution. It is the most sought after spray tanning color in the world. Inspired by the volcanic origins of French Polynesia, Lava erupts with mahogany undertones emanating a dark, rich and radiant glow. I am most proud of how much I care about your experience. I know after visiting me, you will feel cared for and maybe hopefully be excited to get a Brazilian done for once.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Helping others makes me happy. If I was more determined, I would have a Blog sharing all of the information I know. If someone wants to switch to Laser Hair Removal I will genuinely help you find a place to go do it at. I have no desire to be stingy with the knowledge that I have of this industry. I think it makes me so happy because that is my true purpose here. I don’t think I was put on this earth to do anything else. Also, what makes me happy is my innate ability to make people comfortable being fully nude in front of me within minutes of meeting them. I have seen 1000’s of naked clients from doing Laser Hair Removal, Brazilians, and Airbrush Spray Tans for ten years. I am extremely lucky that I possess this customer service skill or I could imagine I would have not been very successful in my line of work. lol

Pricing:

  • Brazilian + Australian Pink Mud Masque $75
  • Brazilian + Underarms $90
  • Monthly Brazilian $60
  • Monthly Brazilian + Underarms $80
  • Intimate Brightening $90

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

@marissabilbee

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