Tracy Aubuchon was a single mom when she decided to open her own skin spa.
“It was scary – really scary,” says Aubuchon, an esthetician who had been working at a local dermatologist at the time. She was dating the man who would later become her husband and they “couldn’t live on one salary alone. It was a joint-risk for us.”
But still, she felt stuck thinking she would have to work for someone else her entire life. So her boyfriend encouraged her to venture out on her own, and she learned to – as she says – “exercise the muscle of walking through fear.”
Aubuchon took her credit card and what savings she had to purchase a skin rejuvenation laser in 2011. Finding critical support in the friends, medical director and now-husband who believed in her idea, she began renting a small room, where approximately 90 patients found her.
The business grew, and she soon expanded into her own brick-and-mortar location, offering a variety of skin services, ranging from standard facials and injectables to laser treatments.
Looking back, she says it’s important to recognize fear for what it is.
“If you’re scared, it’s probably a good thing,” says Aubuchon, noting that Rejuv Ave. Skin Spa now employs 7 people and serves 2,000 clients. “It means there’s opportunity for growth.”
What did you do before opening Rejuv?
I had worked with a dermatologist for eight years, specifically in the skin spa side of the business. I fell in love and found my passion.
What advice can you offer to future entrepreneurs?
Have a business plan and stay focused. There will be bright, shiny objects all over the place – have a laser focus, and know your numbers. I took a risk, but it was a calculated risk.
What kinds of distractions have you run into?
When I first opened my own brick-and-mortar location, a number of people expressed interest in offering services like massage therapy and nails. And while that would have helped offset my costs, I knew it would be getting me into a whole other business that I had never intended. I decided to stick with what I knew best, and that was skin.
How important is professional development?
Very. You'll be your business’ worst chokehold if you don't continue to evolve and learn. I take advantage of the training opportunities at the Fenton Chamber of Commerce – where I’m on the board – and at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. They’re great for networking, too.
Who or what inspires you?
My children – Alex, 15, Mia, 13 and Bella, 13. I’m trying to raise independent, strongminded, fearless people, so It’s important to walk the walk. I try to set a good example for them. If they have a dream, I want them to know they can go for it.
What’s been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the past five years?
How would you describe the Fenton business community to an outsider?
We’re a very close-knit business community. In recent years, we’ve seen more and more people opening small businesses because this area supports small business.
Where do you like to spend time in Flint & Genesee?
I love going to The Laundry and Iron Grate.
To learn more about Rejuv Ave. Skin Spa, visit www.rejuvave.com.