We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney Vitale and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sydney, what role has risk played in your life or career?

Risk taking has been the foundation for many aspects of my life and career. I wholeheartedly believe risk taking is a fundamental aspect of achieving your goals. None of us ever know how the decisions we make are going to turn out, but if we never take the leap we won’t know what we are truly capable of.
My risk taking mentor was a strong and talented woman with an entrepreneurial spirit, my mom. She has taken some pretty ballsy risks, and has always encouraged me to just give things a try. I watched her continually take risks, sometimes she would succeed and sometimes fall a little short. This taught me a valuable lesson early on, “life goes on”. No failed attempt stopped her from “picking herself up by her bootstraps” and trying again. This has helped me to have what I consider to be a healthy fear of risk –  being able to weigh out the potential consequences but not allowing it to paralyze me; willing to be uncomfortable yet unafraid to fail.
In my personal and professional life, taking risks has played a primary role, and every risk I have taken has shaped me into who I am today.  It has become the fiber of my being. Anyone who knows me personally, knows that it only motivates me more when I am told I can’t do something. I dive head first into an idea, researching what I need to be successful, and then rolling up my sleeves and getting right to it, trial and error until I excel.  I have made several career changes in my life, and while many may have thought I was crazy for essentially “starting over” each time, to me it was just a part of the process. I was learning, changing, & growing with each experience.
In 2012, as a mom of 2 little kids, I took a big risk when I decided to open my own esthetics business. With only 1 existing brow waxing client and $5000 in cash saved from cleaning houses, I signed a lease on a dumpy little space. It needed a ton of work (which my husband and I had no idea how to do). In a matter of a couple years, I built that little business into something special. I was proud of what I built, at this time though, I knew there was so much more I wanted to learn. Leading me to another risk.
 I took another big risk and decided to go to nursing school with the eventual goal of blending my esthetics knowledge with nursing. With my kids now 10 and 7 years old, and a full bustling clientele, I took on one of the hardest challenges of my life. I worked my way through nursing school and managed to still grow my business, although some days I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails. Once I finished school however, I knew I needed to solidify my nursing knowledge. I sold my business and transitioned into the hospital setting as a full time nurse.
That lasted only a couple of years… until I couldn’t contain my desire to take another risk. I wanted to own my own practice again. I gave up my full time nursing job and financial security to start my own med spa and esthetic studio in February of 2020. Yep, right before the pandemic. Every risk I have taken has created its own challenges, but each risk has been a learning experience, like life, full of ups and downs. I have learned that a little anxiety is healthy, it drives me to work harder, be a problem solver, and become even more adaptable. Every risk is an exciting opportunity for growth and I never want to be done growing, I look forward to more risks. My advice to anyone starting out…Be brave, take risks, nothing can substitute experience and nothing feels better than success!

What should our readers know about your business?

My skincare studio, The Skin Cooperative, is the most quaint, private, and personal little spot. Details are incredibly important to me. I care about the total experience of each and every client even before they walk through my door. From the esthetic of the old red brick as they approach the entrance, to the smell of essential oils floating in the air and the sounds of relaxing music, each detail helps create a peaceful atmosphere. Each service is personally curated by me, allowing me to provide effective treatments, quality skincare and budget friendly options. I see one guest at a time because I never want my clients to feel like a number. When they are in the studio, it is their time. Keeping my business small and simple allows for quality and consistency, something that I feel is strongly lacking in today’s business world. The Skin Cooperative is a commitment between myself and my clients. Together we work to achieve their best skin, more confidence, and a sense of well-being. This is a joint effort. Modeling my business this way makes me feel good at the end of the day. My measuring stick for success is not how many appointments I can cram into a day, or if I out did a sales goal, but my success comes from helping someone feel good about themselves.
  I am proud of what I have created and accomplished. There is nothing easy about starting or running a business. I have gotten where I am today by persevering and facing challenges head on. I have been open for 1 year. I opened my doors 1 week before the pandemic hit. Being shut down before I even got started was probably the biggest challenge I have had to overcome. Without the ability to have clients on my table and many financial obligations, I quickly had to adapt to my new circumstances and just keep going. That meant being creative in how I brought in income. Providing virtual skin consultations and education was one of the services I provided during the shutdown. Another challenge, that I continually face, is the ever changing skincare industry. There is always new services, procedures, devices, and continuing education. I have learned to trust my gut and not get sucked into the next big thing. I never want to be chasing a fad to make a quick buck. My goal is always to provide value to my client. Doing my research and reading studies with real evidence, allows me to pick and choose which new treatments I want to implement. This also allows me to provide education to those who trust me with their skincare. One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”. I feel that my business embodies this.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are definitely some great local spots for food and fun in Tucson. The Desert Museum is always a great place. It is kid friendly and a great opportunity to learn about the unique and diverse plant and wildlife we have here. Tucson has lots of great hiking trails too, and something for hikers of all skill levels. Sabino Canyon & Catalina State Park are always great options, especially when there is water running. If someone is looking for some unique shopping, Fourth Avenue is another fun location. I always love grabbing a sandwich and soup combo from Bison Witches and perusing the vintage clothing shops for a one of a kind fashion. Tucson has great local fare. Seis Kitchen at Mercado San Augustin is a charming little spot to enjoy a breakfast burrito in the open air courtyard. I like to support the local shops, grab an espresso from Presta Coffee Roasters and bring home some yummy treats from La Estrella Bakery. For a night out, enjoy a casual evening in downtown Tucson with dinner at The Hub and some live jazz music in the Club Congress Plaza. With a little planning, one of my very favorite places for food and fun is The Gaslight Theater. Great food and great entertainment!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Besides my mom being my risk taking mentor, I could never have achieved so much without the support of Joe, my husband of twenty years. Even when he may have been a little fearful of my endeavors, he swallowed his fear and supported me. My kids have always cheered me on and kept me grounded and focused on what is most important in my life. My siblings have supported me, encouraged me, and come to my aid with whatever was needed. I also have a wonderful and extensive group of friends who have supported me through my journey in many different ways, everything from being clients on my table, providing me with words of encouragement at breaking point moments, to celebrating successes with me. Nothing I have ever done can be attributed to my sole effort but is a collection of those around me.

Website: www.theskincooperative.co

Instagram: theskincooperative

Facebook: @theskincooperative

Image Credits
Emily Jayne Photography

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