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Blanche Macdonald

Esthetics & Nails


BLANCHE MACDONALD ESTHETICS GRAD AND BLU HARBOUR WELLNESS'S SPA LEAD TRACY CHERNIAK: NORTH VANCOUVER'S SUGARING EXPERT

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If life had turned out the way Tracy imagined, you’d be visiting her on the deck of a luxury cruise liner. But it was her piqued curiosity that got the better of her and forever set her life on a new path.

“Initially, I wanted to work in tourism. I had a friend who had registered for the Spa and Esthetics program at Blanche Macdonald and I thought it sounded so cool! I didn’t know anything about esthetics, or even what to call it, but I made an appointment with the school to have a tour and the next thing I knew, I was enrolling in the program. I liked the idea of a service industry, but this was much more realistic and with so many more opportunities!”

The opportunities that followed a world class education at Canada’s Top Spa School were almost immediately discernible to Tracy.

“I did do a bit of research on other schools, but nothing jumped out at me. I decided that I would call some local spas and ask whose graduates they would hire and everyone said ‘Oh, Blanche Macdonald grads are the best!’”

That was over 13 years ago. Now firmly planted in the Esthetics industry, there’s no other place Tracy would rather be. She’s the Spa Lead of North Vancouver’s Blu Harbour Wellness + Spa, the area’s only spa certified in Medical and Advanced Esthetics, which has been her home for the last 6 years.

“This location is fantastic. And my clients here are really wonderful. One of the estheticians we hired here was actually the one that covered my maternity leave at another spa in the area so we’re like a big family! And the owners are great - they’ve given me the opportunity to really grow my career and expand my skills.”

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Despite a wonderful and family-like work atmosphere, there’s one other very important factor that keeps Tracy doing what she does every single day.

“I enjoy esthetics. I’m definitely a lifer. I always reflect back when I was a kid and my poor little sister! I used to pretend to do her nails or I’d put a bowl of boiling water on the floor and make her lean over it to give her a facial. When I started school, she was always my model and she was like ‘This is nice! You know what you’re doing now!’”

In fact, Tracy is so good at what she does, her clientele spans from Squamish to Cloverdale and Kitsilano to Tsawwassen. Tracy’s service specialities span from advanced skincare treatments to OxyGeneo facials and Micro Needling but what she’s known for specifically is her Sugar Hair Removal services. As the only Sugar expert at Blu Harbour, to say Tracy’s services are ‘in-demand’ would be a bit of an understatement; couple this demand with her inability to say ‘no’ to a client, and Tracy’s days get very busy, very fast.

“My days are very busy. I do a lot of sugaring and then there’s usually some other services sprinkled in like manis, pedis and facials. My days get booked so fast that when a client calls and can’t get in, I usually take them even if it means I stay later than I’m meant to. I’ve very bad at saying ‘no’! I even booked myself 2 hours later tomorrow night because there are clients who absolutely need to come in.”

But staying late doesn’t bother Tracy. Keeping her clients happy, as she sees it, is the main point of the job.

“My clients are very, very loyal. They’re the ones who, during a discouraging or slow time, will help carry me through. I’ve been in the industry for a long time and one of the main keys to success is building good relationships with your clients.”

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It should come as no surprise then, that Tracy’s favourite part of her job is her clients.

“My clients are the best part of my day. Getting to know them and share their lives is amazing. Some of them are my close friends now, we’ve really surpassed that client/esthetician relationship. I’m a talker so to get to come to work and socialize all day is great to me.”

And the clients seem to love her as much as she loves them. With so much industry experience and a dedicated following of clientele, Tracy has found true success in a career she’s built all on her own and now, new estheticians are coming to her to develop their own career path.

“We recently hired a new esthetician at the spa and I’m mentoring her. The thing I keep saying to her is to not get discouraged. It takes about a year to build a good client base but that will come, especially if you take your time and do little extras for them. Even if they’re coming in for a hair removal, give them a little massage after. Whatever their service, just try and make it the nicest and most relaxing version of that service. We have the power to make people’s days so much better so why wouldn’t we try our absolute best to do that?”

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Blanche Macdonald