president, CEO, and founder
Founder and CEO of the first company to bring seaweed-based skin care treatments and cosmetics to fruition in the United States market, Lydia Sarfati is an industry leader and the developer of the world-renowned Repêchage® Four Layer Facial®. Today, she presides over a 50,000 square foot manufacturing, research and development, and training facility in Secaucus, New Jersey. She appears nationally and internationally at aesthetic tradeshows; has produced 17 step-by-step instructional videos; is the author of Success at Your Fingertips; and has published the Repêchage Professional Skin Care Methods and Protocols and The Lydia Sarfati Book of Skin Science. Sarfati is the honorary chairman of EstheticsAmerica/CIDESCO USA and was presented with the prestigious Chevalerie "Knight Award" by Intercoiffure Mondial.
What is your fondest memory from your early years in the industry?
Opening my first skin care spa, Klisar Skin Care Center, which was located in New York City, during the recession of 1977 and becoming a huge success. Meeting beauty editors and traveling all over the world to work on magazine photoshoots with all the top photographers and models was also amazing; it was creative, exciting, and inspiring!
What do you wish you had known when you were starting out as an aesthetician?
I wish I had known more about advanced financial strategy in regard to operations planning. I was a good businesswoman, but I needed to learn large scale budgeting and growth planning to truly be successful. I had to learn that along
If you could give one piece of advice to a new aesthetician, what would you say?
Always continue learning. When you are green, you are growing; when you are ripe, you are rotten. An aesthetician should make it a habit to take two classes or seminars every year to advance their education. One of these classes should be in skin care science and the other in business management.
Every generation brings something new to the industry; what contributions can we expect from the upcoming generation?
In the past few years, we have seen immense results from using social media and I expect the next generation to go forward with this. We now have far-reaching communication with our clients and business partners all over the world through social media, webinars, Facebook chats, blogs, and Instagram. Social media allows us to truly present the brand on a global scale. This generation will be known for utilizing the internet as a positive force.
Here's more of our chat with Lydia:
How did your challenges and obstacles evolve as you gained experience in the industry?
My business grew from a skin care center to a 50,000 square foot, ISO-9001 certified manufacturing and distribution center. My fiscal responsibility, both to my employees and my clients, grew in proportion to the growth of the business.
How do you handle outcomes or results that do not go according to plan?
Identify the problem, analyze the cause and result of the problem to make the proper corrective action, implement a new solution, and then revisit the situation to make sure the new solution is having the desired effect.
Was there anyone in the industry that mentored you or showed you the ropes?
My biggest mentors early in my career were my father and husband. In the beginning, I would talk to my father about my problems and he would listen and give me his advice, whatever the issue, including how to deal with clients and employees. He was my first business advisor. My husband, David Sarfati, the COO of Repêchage, has supported me 100 percent in all of my business decisions from day one. From folding sheets to making deals with bankers or landlords, he has always had my back!