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Meet Catherine Kooiman of Skin So Sweet in Huntington Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine Kooiman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve had over a two decade love affair in my passion for the skin care industry. At age 17 I became an aspiring make up artist, by age 21 I became a licensed Esthetician, by age 31 (in 2006) I set out on my own as a budding Entrepreneur and created Skin So Sweet (Get Sugared!), by age 33 (in 2008) I had opened two Orange County locations. Since 2008 I have expanded my Huntington Beach studio twice in which now resides in a beautiful studio I built and designed. My Corona Del Mar location was sold in August of 2012, when I became a proud mommy of two (Kooper age 5 and Kenna age 4). 🙂 I launched my own brand of sugaring products, supplies and education in November 2012 (Sweet Professional Inc). I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love each day and share my passion for cultivating a successful sugaring business both in the consumer and professional markets.

Conceptualizing, owning, operating, educating professionals and treating clients with high quality organic sugaring practices is a daily task I truly enjoy. In each phase of business in which my brand has evolved, expanded and grown I have found myself dreaming of its aspirations. As a practitioner, your craft becomes honed to be second nature, almost like the air you breathe, effortless and necessary. As an Entrepreneur it’s an endless journey of risk and reward, at times having very little to go on other than just simple faith to fuel your passion, ambition, and dedication, to fulfill your hopes and dreams. My aspirations for Skin So Sweet and my Get Sugared! brand is to be conceptualized into a high-quality franchise concept and continue to “share the sweeter side to smooth skin.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Anything BUT smooth! In all the years I have been practicing in this business there have been many times in which I have had to adapt to market changes, reinvent things, take risks that only my gut instinct felt were necessary and intuition dictated. Learning to run your own business, then learning to both own/operate/manage your business with staff and multi-location endeavors is quite a task. One that comes with ongoing changes and constant attention. Thankfully some of those risks were worth taking and the setbacks endured became stepping stones and lessons for the next chapter. No one can give you a definitive road map in business that includes life’s unexpected little surprises. After launching my second business in November of 2012 I was due in March with my daughter Kenna, my son Kooper was 11 months old at the time. A few months later in June I found myself in the middle of a divorce. My entire world turned upside down. I jokingly refer to the last three and a half years of my life as “The Tsunami of my life”.

The distribution business was a whole new arena for me in which suffered lab changes, import/export customs issues, and creating a foundation for this business became a daunting task especially at a time when I suddenly found myself divorcing and being a single mommy with two babies in diapers! Somehow, I picked myself up and shifted my focus into whatever kind of balance I could find. I learned how to delegate, and was blessed with tremendous support from staff that I am so very proud and honored to call “my work family”. I found a way each day to rely on faith when there was nothing else to rely on, I kept believing in myself and in what we (my staff and I) have created together.

Sometimes there were financial setbacks so significant it was hard to find a way out, and sometimes there were days I just put my head down and wanted to give up but it just wasn’t in me. I became the warrior I needed to be in order to persevere through this and God willing nothing was going to stop me from getting to the other side…. it’s really beautiful, sunny and bright on this other side I’m on with opportunities on the horizon to continue to create, hope, dream and aspire.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Skin So Sweet specializes in the craft of sugaring for hair removal. We use our (sister company, Sweet Professional) own brand of sugar paste and pre/post skin care. I trademarked the phrase Get Sugared! more than a decade ago. We like to think of it as a “movement” 🙂 We also offer facials, and lash extensions. We have a boutique area that carries high quality skin care, some other retail items throughout the seasons that vary.

I think collectively what sets us apart from others is that we have been established since 2006 and have a long standing successful career. We care for our clients in a manner in which is unique to Skin So Sweet. To date we are the ONLY sugaring brand in the professional market in which has had a successful brick and mortar establishment alongside a distribution/education business platform as well. What I feel elevates us is that we practice what we teach on a day in and day out basis. No other sugaring establishment or sugaring brand to date that I know of operates that way. I am most proud of continuing to be able to do what we love each and every day and get to share it with others.

What were you like growing up?
Oh boy…. 🙂

I was headstrong, independent and somewhat rebellious! I enjoyed getting lost in creating things, I loved to write, stories, poems, songs and I loved music/singing. I was absolutely a dreamer.

Unfortunately my childhood was not the most pleasant. I moved to the United States in 1980 when I was age five. My mother was English/French and my father is Iranian. I had a British accent, and since my father was Jewish and the revolution had begun in Iran we fled the country and came to the U.S. with very little money. Kids can be cruel when you look different, talk different and are foreigners. I was bullied a lot in elementary school. I struggled somewhat in school. I didn’t find out I had ADD until my thirties and looking back a lot of the areas in school I struggled with were attributed to that. Back then we were not as informed as we are today about those kinds of challenges.

My parents divorced when I was twelve, and I had to grow up fast because I mostly had to take care of myself. Once I hit Junior High School and High School I gained strength, courage and confidence and I attribute that to the struggles I faced young. I moved out at age 17. I put myself through some college and Esthetician school.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 16456 Bolsa Chica Street,
    Huntington Beach, CA 92649
  • Website: http://www.skinsosweet.com
  • Phone: 7148464703
  • Email: getsugared@live.com


Image Credit:
Beth Cocuzzi
Cheryl Callahan

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.

2 Comments

  1. Carrie Bayer

    September 12, 2017 at 01:15

    I was a client of Kat’s & she is amazing. She really knows her business & is the best at it. Not only is she a true professional, she’s a loving person as well. I miss her terribly since I moved away from Orange County. Get sugared!

    • Cat Kooiman

      September 14, 2017 at 20:08

      Ohhhh my goshhh Carrie Bayer! Thank you for the kind words:) And you are greatly missed. Get in touch! I’d love to hear from you! Love-^..^

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