Career Q&A; Why This Therapist Closed Her Clinic And Went Back To School

If you’re thinking about making a big business decision, read this first.

It’s not every day that you hear about a business owner running two successful clinics make the decision to close their doors. But when Lucy Salerno was faced with COVID lockdowns and a desire to shift the focus of her practice, the choice simply made sense. And, it’s paid off.

Running a beautiful boutique clinic, SKIN By Lucy, out of her home, she then decided it was time to up-skill and is currently studying Naturopathy at university to bring the holistic service to her clients she’s always found most important in treating skin concerns.

We chatted with Lucy to learn more about her career moves and how forging her own path is paying off.

Can you tell us how you got started in the beauty industry? What did you study and where was your first job?

LS: I studied my diploma of beauty therapy straight after finishing year 12.  I didn’t know what career path I wanted to go down, and tagged along to a beauty information night with a friend and immediately knew it was the right path for me. Teaching was the other career path that I considered, which I feel I have now combined into my skin practice. I love to educate my clients, as well as provide an educational Instagram forum. Knowledge is power. My first job was then offered to me by my college waxing teacher as she had her own salon. 

What led you to starting your own clinic? 

LS: Honestly, my fiancé at the time, now husband. He is very business minded and encouraged me to open my own salon. I was 20 years old when we opened our first salon 17 years ago.

When and why did you decide to close your commercial clinic and open your boutique clinic at home? 

LS: We had two beauty salon locations running when COVID hit. By this stage I was only treating the skin for my clients. During the lockdown of 2020, it gave us a great opportunity to reflect on our business and make changes to move forward. With this came the decision to close one of our commercial spaces, giving me the opportunity to open my boutique skin space from home.

What have the biggest benefits to you been since opening your home clinic?

LS: It’s been absolutely amazing! I love having such a beautiful space for my clients where I can treat them one on one. Having been in the industry for so long I knew exactly what I needed in the space and it is so functional. My clients love the experience as it feels really personalised. It’s easy to work around my children and family life – the list goes on and on!

Can you tell us about your decision to go back to university to study Naturopathy?

LS: I’ve always had this understanding that the skin needs to be respected and what we see on the outside is a reflection of what is going on internally. Also, I love learning. I’m always doing courses and workshops on skin and health so I can have more knowledge for my clients. But I felt like I had learnt as much as I could from this type of education. 

One night I had a lightbulb moment and thought “I need to study in naturopathy!” I am always referring my clients on to naturopaths so studying was simply the next step in order for me to up-skill. I am a ‘do-er’, so within a week I was enrolled and ready to go! 

How do you incorporate your study into your practice?

The first step when working with me is always a holistic consultation. This consultation is quite extensive and covers internal, external, environmental and lifestyle factors that could be affecting how the skin is behaving. Understanding the body as a whole has given me the knowledge and confidence to treat skin from the inside out, which gives my clients amazing results. 

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you’d been given starting out? 

Follow your gut and it will lead you to where you need to be. If you’re passionate about something, it shows and you don’t need to work on your ‘brand’. If you just be you and stay true to who you are, you are the brand!

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