May 2009

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


Create Longevity in Your Career

Being in the beauty business has always been a way for creative and talented people to not only make a living but to allow their creativity to shine.

This industry has always encouraged those in it to fulfill their creative side. And they do that by seeing clients, designing new products or coming up with creative ways to help the general population feel more beautiful.

If you hope to achieve longevity in this industry it is imperative that you are continually learning; not just about the latest trends-but about whatever peaks your interest.

For some technicians it’s health issues that eventually lead them to other areas of the industry like when their wrists, ankles, arm cramps, or back pain become unbearable or even exposure to harsh chemicals. The physical toll resulting in arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, and allergies may end a career as a technician long before retirement time.

In order to stay in the industry, getting in touch with your passion is not only suggested, but required! Passion is what all great ideas and businesses are founded on, and it can carry you to several different areas of the beauty industry. Does your passion lie in one of the following areas: education, transformation or elevation? If it does, here are suggestions from real people that you can take in your own career.

A Passion for Education

Sharon Davidson says she always found her passion in educating herself and others. In her 27 years in the industry she found ways to share this with her fellow stylists as an educator for her distributor. “I was always struck by how getting back to the basics and how adding a new and modern twist could create incredible results,” Davidson explained.

“I really discovered my passion for the industry lies in the fashion and the transformation that can take place for the clients and the people who are employed in the beauty industry.” Davidson is now exploring her possibilities as educator; this time for the manufacturer Divi International. “I refuse to get stuck in the same-old, same-old and want to make sure I continue to educate others to do the same.” she exclaims.

Transform Your Clients

Lisa Kahn always took her cosmetology license very seriously and knew she was the type of professional who would make sure she touched her client’s lives.

Since she earned her license in 1981, Kahn was looking for those in her community who needed her help the most. “I have always had a volunteer mindset, and wanted to give back to my community,” Kahn explained.

She has expanded her professional career to include makeup artistry and now specializes in “restorative camouflage” make-up; she has been volunteering her time giving her passion to the “Look Good, Feel Better” program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

“I specialize in women undergoing chemotherapy and women who have been facially disfigured by cancer. I give my heart to my clients from the volunteer program and those who are my professional clients, and guess what, what I do will never feel like work!” Kahn is currently working on a book to instruct women with cancer on how they can employ the same techniques at home that she does for “Look Good, Feel Better” to transform their appearance back to who they recognize in the mirror.

Elevate the Industry by Raising Standards

Sue Santsche who has been a technician for 34 years and a salon/spa owner for 26 has won several awards including: top 200 salons and a Global Salon Business Award in 2006.

In Her Spa at Personal Choice in Eureka, California, she is providing her clients with the most personalized information for their specific beauty needs. “I built the business by filling a niche for professional women and providing them with image consulting which then led to providing them with beauty treatments to help them maintain their image,” Santsche explains.

She is in the process of writing a book for everyday people to use to navigate their way through skincare product ingredients and find out what works for them. Santsche is also in the process of developing her own skincare line, “My goal is to simplify the process of choosing what works for each individual and their own particular skin type. This would clear up much of the confusion for consumers and empower them to make the correct choices for their skin.”

If you are looking for a life-long career in the beauty industry consider where your passion lies and how you can make sure you are placing your passion front and center in your life. Whether you are fulfilling passion by educating others, volunteering your time, or creating new standards and products, you are setting yourself up for a long, happy and fulfilled career!

Charlene Abretske is a business advisor with Your Beauty Network and supports salons and spas with growing their businesses through on demand back office tools designed for beauty professionals. For more information about how Your Beauty Network can help, call toll free (866)364-4926 or email