1. How did you get your start in the skin care industry?
You could say I "grew up" in the beauty and skin care industry. My parents have owned beauty supplies, haircut salons and day spas for over 40 years. When I was a child, my day care consisted of hanging around our family businesses and helping out. It started at an early age. It may sound kind of cruel, but believe me, I developed my ecstatic obsession with skin care products at an early age as a result of this upbringing. I loved this sort of environment when I was a child, and I started learning about the industry at a very early age.
2. What is the most important aspect of your business?
Customers service, bottom line. The reason why my online skincare business thrives in a looming economy and with so many competitors popping up is because I emphasize personalized customer service. I have live estheticians answer the phones and live chat where customers can get real help with their skin. Other websites discourage personal interaction, where skincarebyalana.com encourages it!
3. How would you like for your customers to perceive your brand image?
I think my customers perceive Skincare by Alana as a place where they can easily get help purchasing the latest and greatest beauty products, and where they can keep up to date on the latest beauty and skincare trends. I have had many customers tell me they consider me their "online day spa” – what an honor!
4. How important is social media to your business model and why?
Social Media is a necessary part of Skincare by Alana's marketing plan, but I am careful not to overemphasize it. We have an active Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube page and so on and they are all getting quite popular. I have mostly utilized these accounts not to pursue new customers as much, but rather to make my website more personalized for current customers. Most of my products and vendor pages feature videos I have created to assist my customers and answer frequently asked questions.
5. Where do you see Skincare by Alana / Spa Alana in five years?
I was honored when Spa Alana (my on site day spa) reached the point in 2012 when we were no longer accepting new clients. Meaning, we were forced to consider it a "private day spa" due to the overwhelming amount of clients that were requesting to make an appointment. I never expected this, so I am not sure what direction to take it in! However, it has been quite humbling to take on some celebrity clientele lately. I want to make my celebrity clientele a little more of an emphasis in future years, as I feel it really helps the popularity of my website when I announce certain celebrity endorsements. Skincare by Alana in the next five years is going to get even more exciting. My goal is to push the envelopes of how skin care products are sold online. In 2013 we will be testing our new live video chat feature, which allows users to receive a free live skin consultation straight from their computer webcam. I have a hard time thinking five years ahead, but by then, I hope to be doing the exact same thing I am doing right now, helping people conquer their skin care problems.
6. Your thoughts on the Vivant Skin Care line / team?
The Vivant Skincare line and team have both exceeded my expectations. As you can see from my website skincarebyalana.com, I carry hundreds of skin care product lines. Meaning, I deal with a lot of companies. The great thing about Vivant, the products are almost always repurchased. From my experience, this means the products REALLY work. As a retailer, this gives me the freedom to sell them with confidence. The 8% Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Serum in particular is a favorite Vivant product of mine. The Vivant team is also really great. I feel like they are such a good match with our team, because we share a lot of the same marketing ideals and customer service values. I really enjoy working with Vivant Skin care.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time away from your profession?
I love the spare time questions! What do I do in my spare time? I hang with my three year old boy and my husband. We live in beautiful Dana Point, CA, so there is always something to do like going to the beach, painting, shopping, etc. I am also really involved in my local church, and my husband and I are involved in a lot of local charity work. This is going to sound kind of weird, but in my spare time I love trying new beauty products and concepts. I guess it’s a hobby, as well as my profession!
For more information about Skincare by Alana and Spa Alana, please visit. http://www.skincarebyalana.com and http://spaalana.com. To shop your favorite Vivant Skin Care products, navigate to: http://www.skincarebyalana.com/vivant-skin-care.html. To read the press release announcing our partnership, click here.