Dayspa

JAN 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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ONE ON ONE WITH... Leticia Giron, CEO of Belleza & Beauty Leticia Giron is full of surprises. From her gutsy move from El Salvador to the U.S., to her transition from a 15-year career in finance to a role as a beauty equipment manufacturer, this industry maven always has something new and exciting up GIRON (RIGHT) WITH BUSINESS her sleeve. PARTNER BLANCA SOLIS Giron's utterly unpredictable career path began in El Salvador, where she lived until her early 30s. "We left in 1989," recalls Giron. "The political situation was very scary at that time. It seemed like there was an opportunity for a bigger and better future here." With that dream in mind, Giron and her mother left the home they knew, each with one suitcase in tow. Upon arriving, Giron hit the books straightaway and enrolled at Woodbury University in Burbank, California, where she studied business administration, marketing and international business. After graduating, Giron was hired as a bank teller and eventually negotiated her way up the finance ladder to a position in acquisitions. "In this role, I would build relationships with clients, and in doing so I got to work with the owner of a skincare manufacturing company," she says. The business owner liked what he saw in Giron and asked her to come on board and help him manage his business. The rest is history. Although Giron's fortuitous partnership eventually dissolved, she had been bitten by the beauty bug and had no intention of turning back. She founded salon and spa equipment company Belleza & Beauty in 1999 and has dedicated the past 15 years to learning the ins and outs of the industry. She even got her esthetician's license to "better identify with the clients I serve." The journey is far from over for this entrepreneur and, although she never forgets her native soil, she's grateful to live in a country where the opportunities seem endless. "In El Salvador, there's a glass ceiling of success," explains Giron. "Here in America there are no limits to what you can do." —Angela Melero 66 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 Giron (at the wheel) boating in Italy. W hat spurred your decision to develop equipment? I've always been a very mechanical person, which I owe in large part to my older brother. He's an electrical engineer by trade and has always had that mindset. As a child, I would follow him around and observe as he learned to fix and create things. I'd watch him build motors, which helped me figure out how electrical frequencies worked. In entering the beauty and skincare industries, I chose to concentrate on spa and salon equipment because of my fascination with how it works. H ow do you stay up to date on the latest equipment technology? I devote a lot of time to studying, and I research and consult with my brother, since his expertise is electrical engineering. I also travel to China and Europe to see what's new in those markets and to get ideas about what would appeal to my clients. W ho has been the biggest influence in your career? I have two great influences: my mother and my father. My father is an intellectual man who loves to challenge himself and continue to learn about new things. He attends the Swedish Political Science Association annual conference every year and comes back to tell us all about what he has learned! My mother is the more practical parent and doesn't like to be told what to do. She raised us to always use our brains and encouraged us to be whomever we wanted be. H ow do you balance your professional and personal life? These days it gets harder and harder to achieve that balance and I've had to make some sacrifices and reprioritize a little. My mother is beginning to show the early symptoms of Alzheimer's and she is now living with me full-time. Up until a year ago, I ran Belleza & Beauty and still made time to do some financial consulting on the side. I gave up the latter to give my mother the time and dedication she deserves. H ow do you unwind? I love to dance! Whenever I get a chance, I'll gather my friends together and we go out and dance and forget about the world! H ow would you like to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who was fun to be around, always kept her word and was a constant helper of others. I've been fortunate enough to have had people in my life who have helped me succeed and I would love to pay it forward and do the same for others.

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