One of Kakaako’s hidden gems is just upstairs from Impact Hub HNL. The Skin Institute Internationalé (TSII), a locally-based teaching spa and esthetician school, is on the third floor of our building. Their training programs are for new and experienced estheticians (think eyebrow tinting, facials, waxing) and help people of all ages start a business in the spa industry.
And the spa and wellness industry is nothing to dismiss: FastCompany explains that, “the wellness market, which encompasses everything from boutique fitness gyms to day spas, is now valued at a whopping $4.2 trillion, having grown 12.8% in the last two years. The industry now represents 5.3% of global economic output.”
If you or anyone you know wants to get into this industry, there is an easy opportunity just a few floors away from us!
TSII trains hundreds of students each year, and they offer their services at discounted rates to the community. Better yet, Hub members get an additional 20% discount on spa services, perfect as relaxation after a long day at work or if you need to treat someone special to some body care.
I chatted with Mary Ronnow, expert esthetician and Founder of TSII, to learn more about her thriving business and how she helps grow wellness businesses in the islands.
Andrea Bertoli (AB): Tell us a little more about your background and why you started an esthetics school?
Mary Ronnow (MR): I’ve been in the beauty and spa industry for over 40 years, and I’ve worked in every avenue of the industry. It’s an exciting multi-billion dollar industry that is always changing. I have had the great fortune to work with my three daughters who are, like myself, master estheticians. All of us are serial entrepreneurs – addicted to starting new businesses. We see opportunity everywhere- likely many Hub members can relate. My daughter Lierem and I saw a huge need for a thorough, sophisticated training in our industry on island, and we have been greeted with open arms – the business community of Hawaii has encouraged and support us over our first three years, helping us become the thriving company we are today.
AB: We love seeing that it’s a woman-owned business. Do you see any particular challenges to running your team? Has this changed over the years? Do you think it’s different than when you started your business years ago?
MR: How great are women-owned businesses? Not only do studies show that women-owned (or companies with women on their board) do better and create better outcomes, I get to work each day with my daughters – all compassionate, powerful women. Our team is all women, all dedicated to supporting the students in their learning environment.
There is a stereotype that it’s challenging to work with a team of all women, but there are not any particular challenges that I’ve found. Regardless of their gender, employees and team members want the same thing: recognition for their contributions, interesting creative work, and appreciation for a job well done. What I do think has changed is that most of the young women students don’t even know what the term ‘glass ceiling’ means– which has been a long time coming!
AB: The school seems really active: about how many students do you train each month/year and what types of jobs will they get after they graduate your programs?
MR: We do have a lot of students coming and going! We train all ages, as the spa industry is a great career for the student who has tried college and found the traditional route didn’t fit them, or for mothers who have just put their youngest in school or their oldest is off to college – for all of them, now it’s time to do something for themselves.
Our students so highly trained when they graduate, they can essentially choose their own path and salary among the many options in this growing field. Each student is required to take Hawaii State board exams to become professionally licensed, and after that they can work for day spas, resort spas, medi-spas, or focus on back-of-house spa operations (accounting, education, and more). At least 30% of our graduates start their own businesses.
AB: What services do you think are the best options for our hardworking coworkers, and how can Impact Hub members enjoy these services?
MR: Impact Hub members are welcome to 20% off our elegant spa services at already extraordinary prices at our beautiful and calming spa – it’s a great way to treat yourself, a friend, or a coworker. Our pricing is an incredible value and we just love spoiling people. For the member discount, they just need to mention Impact Hub to receive the 20% off.