In Her Words – Erica’s WHY
Growing up in New England, in a home that was less-than-nurturing, I didn’t get the positive, nurturing encouragement I needed to grow into a confident woman.
You see, I was born with a birth defect called Microtia Atresia where the outer ear does not develop properly. I grew up always feeling different, weird and unworthy. I made every attempt to hide my physical condition, but to add to the complexity of feeling not good enough, I was also diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability, struggling in school.
As a child, in an attempt to deal with the confusion and sadness of my body and self-worth, I would take my Barbies, cut their hair, make them different heights, and try to change their hair color with food coloring. I know that may sound disturbing to you, but as a little girl struggling to find her place in the world, I was simply trying to express what I knew at such a young age; we are all different and it’s perfectly wonderful.
Our hair and skin aren’t the same, we aren’t the same height, and there are a million different body shapes. When I looked at my dolls, my little mind innately knew their sameness was not a true reflection of the people around me…especially me.
My struggles with self-worth continued throughout my education and lead to abusive relationships, and working random unfulfilling jobs.
My foray into the beauty industry was not easy. I was married with two young children and ready to lay my learning disability insecurities down and register for college. However, my self-worth was still very tender and my ex-husband was unsupportive of going to school and I turned my back on registration. It was only after many years later and with the beautiful support from dear friends that I had the confidence make the decision to give the ex the finger, stop waiting for approval and step forward to pursue a career in the Esthetics field – an industry in which I could nurture the self-worth of the women & men in my community. In a way, helping my clients see their own value via self-care and healthy skin, was also a healing for me. Supporting the self-worth of others is a wonderful feedback loop!
Happily, I remarried a wonderfully supportive man but a month before the birth of my third child was due, we were given devastating news – my loving husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As you can imagine, everything changed for us – terminal illness has a way of quickly identifying one’s priorities. We decided I would take four months off work to see and do all things he hadn’t yet experienced and to create as many memories and pictures for our daughter to remember him by.
After I went back to work, I became increasingly dissatisfied while working for spas and salons that didn’t have a strong purpose, leadership, structure or integrity. I felt an incredible force driving me to open my esthetic studio and to be of service in a way that is full of purpose and integrity. So, at my husband’s urging, I opened my own esthetics business in 2010.
Today, my feelings of low self-worth and value are still hard to see, but every day I bring my nurturing soul and full self to my studio to help others feel and look their best no matter what. It’s not about unattainable beauty standards or trying to grasp at the last few strands of youth. To me, being an Skin Therapist and Esthetician is an ambassadorship for self-love.
We all deserve to be told we are beautiful, smart and downright worthy because we are.