Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Lark.
Angela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was introduced to the wonderful world of Sugar Hair Removal at a skincare show in Long Beach in 2007. I read a bit about it in our aesthetics book in school but that was it. When I had a sugaring demo performed on me and saw the results, the first thing I thought of was, “Oh my gosh, how is this not the leading form of hair removal?” followed by, “I’m going to sugar the world!”
I just knew I was onto something. It definitely didn’t hurt as much as waxing, it was not hot, there was no residue, water solvable, eco-friendly and hair was extracted in the natural direction of growth with a flick of the wrist without the use of strips so no pulling of the skin and a great reduction of ingrowns while refining the hair which leads to diminishing the follicle.
I loved the history of sugaring also. The technique is an Egyptian form of hair removal and is the oldest form of removing hair. I was so fascinated by all of this! I could not understand why anyone would wax if they knew about sugaring.
I got certified immediately but no one would hire me! They didn’t know what Sugaring was; they told me to come back when I learned how to wax! I can’t even explain how long it took to learn this process because nobody was sugaring – and I mean nobody!
I learned a lot on my own. Brazilians took me over an hour – bless my friends! As it turns out, I was one of the first in the US to learn the Alexandria technique of sugar hair removal, which was pretty exciting! I was completely determined to master this and I was not going to give up.
That’s something I can really attest to: No matter what, don’t give up if you have a strong passion for something.
After a year of sugaring whenever I could, I finally got hired at a little salon in my hometown of Santa Clarita. After working there for several months, I got the great privilege to work under the tutelage of Lina Kennedy, president and CEO of Alexandria Professional. She opened the first exclusive sugaring studio in West Los Angeles in the town of Brentwood.
I had fantastic advanced training by Lina and worked at Studio Alexandria for a year while building my business in Santa Clarita. In 2010, the Sweetest Skin Company came to fruition. Yelp reviews started getting posted, referrals started coming in and little by little, people were taking notice.
Fast forward three years to 2013; I made a move based on a suggestion of a client/friend and opened a little studio in Thousand Oaks. .
Two years ago, I decided to hire more staff, get them trained and certified (Very Important!! Make sure your sugarists are licensed Estheticians/Cosmetologists and are Certified in the art of body sugaring) and open a boutique spa in Newhall. Our reputation started getting more well-known, winning Best Of hair removal in our community and with the help of a fantastic marketing team, started building the brand. Most recently, I opened the third location and became a corporation.
My Sherman Oaks and Westlake Village locations offer Sugaring exclusively while the boutique spa in Newhall offers facials, microdermabrasion, award-winning vegan, paraben free airbrush tanning, eyelash extensions nd of course, Sugaring from brow to toe and everywhere in between for men, women and teens.
I have done a lot of this backwards and have skinned my knees an continue to learn so many lessons, as I had no business degree. What I have is a deep passion to help people take care of themselves – one flick at a time! I love the interaction I have on a day-to-day basis. It’s really what it’s all about. I love making others feel welcome and comfortable and it’s imperative my staff is the same way. My life has been changed forever because I had faith in myself and took a risk.
Great, 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?
It hasn’t been a smooth road!
I have not always done things by the book; it has nipped me in the bud a few times. I have hired out of desperation, gone against my gut feeling, hung onto people when they should have been let go and more. I came very close to going into business with someone who wanted to invest. It was very tempting however he wanted a bigger percent of my business then I would’ve had. I had to think long and hard because he wanted to grow quick and basically take everything I worked so hard to build. I backed out at the last minute and it was the best thing I could have done.
One of the biggest lessons for me is this: I must operate with a business mindset – not a friend or fear mindset. I have hired friends or people that were not properly qualified even though I liked them and it hasn’t always been in the best interest of the company.
If your mindset comes from the beliefs of: I am afraid of not having something, of not getting something, losing something or being perceived a certain way then you’re crippling yourself. If I am operating in fear, then I am not moving forward. That has been one of the biggest lessons for me to overcome.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There are so many but I think it was when I opened up the boutique spa. Oh my God, it was the most stressful time I wanted to give up so much because I just didn’t think I could do it but I have the support all around me and I just kept having that belief that this all in motion. When we had our grand opening I knew that I had done the right thing to all of the hard times I’m getting it together because it really took a village to create just what I wanted.
Two quotes that always come to mind in the face of adversity and they are:
‘What doesn’t push you over the edge makes you stronger.’
‘Put your big girl panties on and deal with it’
- Website: Www.thesweetestskinco.com
- Phone: Toll Free for all locations! 844-575-3349
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Thesweetestskinco
- Facebook: The Sweetest Skin Co.
- Other: The Sweetest Skin Co.
Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.