Two Entrepreneurs Bring Unique Facial Bar to Detroit

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Face BarEver heard of a facial bar? Well, it’s one of the latest beauty rages and now the metropolitan Detroit area is about to get its first ever facial bar, courtesy of two young Black women entrepreneurs.

Shareese Shorter, a financier, and licensed skincare therapist Jessica Hayes-Stallings have teamed up to open Skinphorea Facial Bar, the first and only high-concept facial bar, offering customers a facial with a “Happy Hour” feel including add-on services called “$10 Shots.” Skinphorea opens in October 2016.

“I’ve always wanted to own a spa, but I was nervous because statistics showed that eight out of ten businesses failed within the first two-years due to no unique value in the market and not understanding numbers to make it profitable.  To add to that, there is a spa and salon on every corner, I knew we had to be exceptional and give clients what was missing in the market,” says Hayes-Stallings. But she never gave up on the idea, instead she looked to find a unique concept.

She says, “For years, I went from spa to spa receiving services. I also traveled to different cities, states and even outside the country to see what spa owners were doing in the marketplace. I realized that clients were missing the educational component of skincare. Every location offered a relaxing facial and at the end of each experience, clients were sold products but very few were educated about the ingredients and if the products were a great fit for the skin. To stand out, we knew that we did not want to be a one-stop shop. We wanted our main focus to specialize in changing the client’s skin, making it affordable and creating an atmosphere where busy people can walk-in, get services and get back to their busy schedule or lounge time after work with their friends. So we thought, why not offer services at a bar to create a happy hour feel and focus on the most important parts of a facial – the skin and the skin education.”

The Skinphorea facial menu will feature all-natural 30-minute express facials with custom-designed cocktail treatments. Skinphorea facial services include: chemical peels, enzyme peels, LED Light Therapy, microdermabrasion, and oxygen facials. Skinphorea will also offer body-waxing services as well as customizable vegan facial cocktails.

Having an idea and even a unique concept doesn’t always mean entrepreneurs are able to get the ball rolling. But this pair was determined. “With the help of BUILD institute (a business development service), I first wrote out a business plan and prepared three-year financials along with conducting market research to see how much it took to run the spa each month and which services would make us the most profit. Along the way, we continued to improve the business plan and menu after visiting other spas and locations,” explains Hayes-Stallings.

She continues, “Once we had a solid business plan and examined who our ideal target market would be, I pitched the idea and applied for funding. We then hired a broker to help us look for a location within our target market. Throughout this time, we continued to work on our branding and website remodeling, and we hired our PR company, Guru Public Relations, and our contractors. When the paperwork was finalized for our location, we started the long permit and licensing process with the city and State of Michigan and began the interviewing and hiring process of our staff. And here we are!”

The two businesswomen wanted to make sure their facial bar was different. “We specialized in 3 things… Improving skin, education and exceptional customer service. Tell me where else can you go and get a $49 facial and see real results while sipping cool non-alcoholic cocktails and watching your favorite movies at a bar. Our estheticians at Skinphorea have an average of 10-years experience within the skincare industry. We not only have a passion for skincare, but also enjoy educating others about their skin. We’re not doing nails or hair. We are here to change your skin,” says Hayes-Stallings.

The partnership between Hayes-Stallings and Shorter has worked well. “Honestly, I was taking so long to get things off the ground because I was working full-time, and being a wife and mother of three girls. I decided that maybe bringing in a partner could help if done the right way. I made a list of people I would consider partnering with and decided to go with someone that was great in areas that I was lacking, took business seriously, and wanted something more out of life,” explains Hayes-Stallings.  “I spoke to my husband about Shareese and he agreed she would be the perfect partner. Shareese was immediately on board and we both agreed to set-up legal contracts to avoid future conflicts. She is everything I am not! We make the perfect team because while we don’t agree on everything, we always find a way to meet in the middle to create something great. We play off of each other strengths and weaknesses and that is what makes a great team.”

According to Shorter, “Both of us came up with a percentage of liquid capital that helped us get our location. We also used a portion of the profits from our online store. I then pitched the idea and received funding from the Michigan Women’s Foundation who approved us based on our experience and success in the industry, and our detailed business plan and financials. And recently we received a small 0% interest loan through KIVA.”

Even though they are just about to open, the pair is always looking ahead. “Our goal for 2016, of course, is to be profitable, but more importantly to be recognized as a place that offers exceptional customer service. Also, we hope to gain the trust and fit the needs of our clients so they can see drastic results with their skin,” reveals Shorter. “We plan for Royal Oak’s location to be the first of many. Our goal is to partner with other investors and soon open another location in Michigan and then several throughout the U.S.”