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Meet Richard Merrill-Rivas of Artesia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Merrill-Rivas.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been a licensed esthetician since December 2009. My mission is to provide customized beauty and wellness education and services to clients and skin care professionals in a nurturing and supportive manner. I began my work in the wellness industry as an in-home healthcare provider for the elderly. I worked in numerous settings to offer personal care support to those who suffered from ailments such as dementia to more life-threatening illnesses as Cancer.

After losing two of my patrons, I ran far from the modern healthcare industry. I sought after a holistic minded service that encouraged people to be better; Beauty and Wellness! I began my search as a Counter Manager for Benefit Cosmetics, where I helped people look great for special occasions. As much as I enjoyed working in this field, I still wanted to discover a career with a more significant impact. I next tried a L.A. Promotions company, which permitted me to build my network and gain knowledge of the entertainment industry. The independence of this job inspired me to give direct sales/ relationship marketing a chance. The concept of making a great income while helping others do the sparked my interest the most. After working for Mary-Kay and AVON with much success, I thought I had found my niche with skin care.

That all changed when I visited the Red Door Spa in San Francisco after my father passed away. Several of my service providers told me the notion of how I would make a great candidate for the spa industry. After contemplating the idea on my way back home, within weeks I was enrolled at Marinello Schools of Beauty to become a Licensed Esthetician. While in school, I began working as an Independent Advisor for Become Beauty, an Australian Beauty and Wellness Direct Sales Company. They manufacture cosmeceutical grade products at an affordable price to the consumer.

After completing my scholastic training, I remained an Independent Advisor. In the process of launching my career as a full-time esthetician, I offered complimentary spa parties to produce more clientele. My goal was to learn as many different types of skin conditions while continuing my education with advanced seminars and courses. I have had the pleasure of being on the Beaute Reports Internet Radio Show as a co-host and have written several articles for top industry sources such as Dermveda and the National Aesthetic Spa Network as well as featured in Skin Inc. and Skin Deep Magazine.

My business began to spread out to trade shows, vendor fairs, and celebrity red carpet events. I had reached the peak of my career and only had been licensed for 6 months at the time. I decided to present more services as my clientele increased, which lead me to HairPlaay Studio. The journey to improve each person’s confidence daily with great skin is a joy of mine. While I was successful in educating more individuals about mindful ways to care for their skin, mind and body my knowledge of ingredients and product also began to expand.

While attending the 2010 International Congress of Esthetics and Spa Long Beach Trade Show I met with, Lotus Moon Founder and President, Lake Louise. Her experience in product development and eco-sustainability sparked a need within myself to once again reach beyond my comfort and deepen my understanding of holistic, mindful skincare. A few months later in January of 2011 I joined the Skin Mind Body Essentials (SMB Essentials) team as the National Client Relations Manager and Lead Product Educator. This experience delved directly into my core focusing on education, safe ingredients, non-toxic active ingredient alternatives, and eco-sustainability. While my time with this company was brief the education was vast and very meaningful to my career.

I have since taken my educational role to new heights as the Lead Esthetic Instructor at Marinello Schools of Beauty at the Lake Forest, CA location while also developing my plan to open my own private practice.

To boost my visibility, I entered the Inaugural Competition for Skin Care Professionals and earned one of 30 National Finalist spots. During the Live Awards show I received “The Game Changer” award for Industry Leadership and Education as well as 2nd Place in The People’s Choice. With this win I took the momentum and opened my private practice at Sola Salon Studios, Artesia and have gone on to win 2017 Top Aesthetian presented by Aesthetic Everything, 2017 Business of the Year presented by Universal Companies and have built many great relationships across the nation in the process.

In my practice, I develop customized protocols and treatment plans for each client to address chief skin care concerns. Utilizing non-invasive modalities such as LightStim LED Devices and high-performance botanicals specifically designed to treat all skin types and conditions.

To truly approach the whole body, I also attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become an Integrative Nutrition Certified Holistic Health Coach, this has boosted service results as well as my consulting and business coaching services providing a personalized approach to each client.

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?
When I entered the adult world at the age of 18, I was in Foster Care and had an estranged relationship with both of my parents. Your typical high school graduate are thinking out college, summer vacation while I was trying to keep a job and find a place to live. Without having the financial support of parents along the way, I have overcome homeless nights behind gas stations, carrying a massage table on one arm and a suitcase of products and machines on the bus to make sure not to miss some amazing celebrity client’s appointment and all the time learning unique ways to find cost saving skills that will allow me to continue doing what I love and keeping a roof over my head. The road to being an entrepreneur is often paved with a long list of what many call failures but I see each of those obstacles as amazing opportunities to learn more about myself and the world around me. Because of each obstacle I have overcome I find that I am more relatable to my clients and have real life experiences that let me understand the real effects of stress on the body giving me a leading edge in this business.

Please tell us about your business.
As a licensed Esthetician, I have access to some of the finest products and treatment tools in the world but the one tool that makes my service absolutely unique is my gift of touch coupled with a long education of ingredients and the skin. I do not offer cookie cutter facials, each one is customized to the wants and needs of the client. I have folded together two thoughts processed that are often serrated in our industry; Luxury experience with clinical results. While I take a natural, gentler, approach to addressing my clients chief skin concerns we create a partnership through a customized treatment plan that allows for long term relationships. My clients are more like an extension of my family.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
As a child, my father planned vacations every summer that included a week in Las Vegas, an amusement park and a week in Ventura by the beach to calm it all down. My absolute favorite spot was Ventura walking the wharf, feeling the cool breeze and just enjoying the slowed pace of life by the beach.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Barry Eichner

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.

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