Her facials are getting rave reviews in the media, from beauty experts, and from everyday people. It’s no wonder Facials by Obina in Brooklyn is booked solid. And the owner is juggling career and motherhood. ‘I am a full time Mom and a full time entrepreneur. The term that would best describe my business or me is ‘Mompreneur,’” says Obina Escort, a New York State license esthetician and owner of Facials By Obina. “Facials By Obina is my full time business and I enjoy every level of growth that it brings. However, raising and nurturing my children is my first priority.”
Because her children are her first priority, Escort was looking for a way to have a career that gave her major flexibility. Add to this her love of beauty, and Facials By Obina was born. “I needed an opportunity that would allow me to work around my schedule as a Mom. Looking within myself I found that I always had a penchant for beauty, fashion and great skin,” she recalls. “Always knowing that the beginning of beauty is great skin and a blissful attitude. This is where my inspiration to become an esthetician would be perfect for me.”
So she got the necessary training by attending the Aveda Institute where she obtained her esthetician license. But starting her own business was still just a dream. She honed her new skill by working freelance at such places as Bloomingdale's.
When she was ready to go it on her own, she found financing from those close to her. “I got a lot of help from family and friends. Seeing my passion and tenacity to succeed in this venture, they all helped in any way they could,” she explains. “One very special friend blessed me with $1,000 to assist in buying my equipment so that I could start my own venture.”
After facing the hurdle of funding, there were a few other obstacles for Escort. “As my business continues to grow, staying in contact with clientele and keeping them current with services, products, specials, etc. is proving to be a challenge at times,” she reveals. And her desire to expand her offerings has proven to be a challenge as well. “Offering fresh, new services to keep clients interested while improving the quality of my service can also be a challenge. This is a business that is ever-changing with times and trends. It is important that I keep abreast of the industry and be innovative in order to stay unique,” she says. “My services are a mix of traditional and new wave. This keeps my clientele interested, while inviting new clientele focused on great skincare that works infused with an exhilarating massage to relax the mind.”
Her facials range in price from a 20-minute “Fresh Express Facial” for $30 to the hour-long “Deep Pore Cleaning Intensify” for $85 to the 45-minute “Gentleman’s Facial for $75. She even offers a back facial for $45.
Escort is constantly looking forward. She has major plans for Facials By Obina. “It is always my goal to improve on my skill set and become the best esthetician for male and female skincare while offering the best service or services there is to offer,” she shares. “My long-term goal(s) is to expand my brand into other markets across New York State and eventually throughout the rest of the country through my skincare line, "Daily Regimen" which is set to launch May 2013. My skincare line will begin sales online through Chillax Mobile Spa," she says. Also, she will soon be launching her own website and webstore.
As she developed her company and new product line, Escort says she often turns to other entrepreneurs for support. “I constantly build on my weaknesses. My strengths come easy and natural for me and having a strong support system helps. Fellow entrepreneurs and business owners have become some of my greatest supporters. We help each other through our individual obstacles. We also help each other with cross selling services,” she explains.
She also uses other businesses to her promote her own. “I use business-to-business cross marketing,” says Escort. “Strategically, I use a wide array of guerrilla marketing techniques, social media, blogging and hash tags. Email marketing and mobile blasts have worked well for me to keep my clients aware of what’s new with Facial By Obina, scheduling, products and website specials.”
With all of this going on business wise, Escort has found that it can be a struggle to balance her family life and her career. But owning her own company has given her the flexibility to work it all in. And, most of all she enjoys what she does. “I am a people person. I love to connect with all people. Putting a smile on someone’s face, getting that person to their relaxed state as I do my magic of healthy skin rejuvenation and the natural power of touch, is something I enjoy.”