Growing up, I was a major tomboy – and quite proud of it! My hobbies included riding my bike around town, collecting scars as badges of honor + climbing any tree with a low enough limb to grab a hold of. If you were to tell me then, that one day I would have a successful + happy career in the beauty industry, I probably would have gotten a great laugh.
Flash forward 20+ years, and I honestly couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.
My career began by chance, when I met my father’s new girlfriend, Kim. She was the owner of Eternal, a beautiful day spa in Babylon Village, NY. This gem on Main Street housed wonderful technicians providing clients with skin care treatments, massages + just about any other beauty indulgence you can imagine. Kim treated me to the full experience that day. I had my first facial, first body treatment + even my first airbrush tan. From the second the airbrush tan hit my skin, I was hooked. Little did I know that this first encounter, would soon become a major part of my life. At first it was simply just a visit to get to know Kim + have some fun, but soon I began working for her as a Spa Coordinator … and that is when everything changed.
I was able to learn the ins and outs of how a spa functions, what quality customer service truly entails + the importance of treating yourself, inside + out. This newly discovered passion quickly grew, and I felt I had finally figured out what I wanted to do with my time: become an esthetician. Once I graduated high school, I was able to enroll in the esthetics program at The Long Island Nail + Skin Care Institute. Being a new esthetician, I was very lucky to have already been working in such a great location, surrounded by so many talented artists + technicians. Next door to Eternal, was (and still is) a great salon, Posh. We shared a door with Posh, where our customers could come and go, and so did all of us artists, stylists + so on. I found myself frequently hanging out there on my down time at the spa, making friends + so many memories.
One day in particular, I met an apprentice named Stephanie. Stephanie had a smile that lit up her entire face, a heart of gold. She had so much passion + drive, it poured from her. We quickly became friends, and to this day we have been able to watch each others journey in the beauty industry unfold. Currently, not only is Stephanie a celebrity make-up artist, but she is the founder + digital creator of Around The World Beauty. Their mission is to inspire women to reconnect with their ancestral beauty path, as well as share with others the beauty rituals + traditions that are practiced by women throughout the world. Stephanie is also the host of “Journey to Beauty”, a regular beauty and travel series on vivala.com. And as if that wasn’t enough, Stephanie somehow finds the time between make-up clients + her travels to facilitate events that not only support her brands’ mission, but connect other women with the power of beauty.
In April, I was lucky enough to attend one of the latest ATW Beauty events at the Alchemist’s Kitchen in NYC. I was also able to contribute to the event as a representative for LOTUSWEI, where I provided attendees + beauty lovers with flower readings! All in all, it was a fabulous one-day event where Stephanie shared the secrets of global beauty through a morning of workshops, a brand panel, and an after-party.
Our morning started off with yummy Rose tea + a group meditation with volcano mud masks. After we set the tone for the day, Stephanie shared with us the best-kept global beauty secrets + ancient DIY recipes that we were all able to try on one another and bring home! We had women of all colors, nationalities, and different beauty beliefs come together and share in beauty. From flower crowns, to making Kajal kohl liner using techniques that date back 5,000 years, each of us shared our own personal stories + experience of what beauty means to us. The room was judgment free, and full of love + I think I can speak for the entire group when I say, it was a day to remember. Thanks Stephanie!
After our day of workshops was completed, we kicked off a beauty gathering from 7-9pm. There was a great brand panel hosted by Lyndsey Green, founder and editor of Beauty Atlas, who interviewed Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, founder of global beauty brand Nyakio; Stephanie Wang, brand director of The Alchemist’s Kitchen; celebrity makeup artist Matin Maulawizada, and Around the World Beauty founder Stephanie Flor. The panel discussed the power of beauty, the power of connecting with others + the importance of global beauty.
The event was also sponsored by Avión (along with many others such as LOTUSWEI, Clinique, Nyakio, Beauty Atlas, Tarte, Dove Anima Mundi), who created yummy tequila cocktails for us all, along with hors d’oeuvres from The Alchemist’s Kitchen. It was during the evening event that I was able to provide flower readings to attendees, on behalf of LOTUSWEI.
All in all, it was a great event. Not only did it leave a lasting impression on everyone that was involved, but it happened to be Stephanie’s 30th birthday, and a very monumental day in her career! I was so happy to be able to support + celebrate my friend of many years, and get the chance to connect with others in her inner beauty circle.
Kudos to you, Stephanie and keep up the great work you are doing! The world is a happier, more beautiful place because you are in it. Thank you for sharing with us all that you have learned, all that you have experienced + all that you hope for the future of our industry.
– Naturally inspired. Locally aware. Universally beautiful. With love, Kerri.
*Photos courtesy of Stephanie Flor.