Speak to skoah’s National Trainer Kendra Dutchak about her work for even a couple of minutes and you’ll instantly be blown away by her passion for the skincare company, its products and its philosophy.
“The best part about skoah is that as a Trainer, I can still do the things I love to do,” she smiles. “I still get to do facials on clients one or two days a week. It keeps me connected to the big picture. I love helping people feel good in their skin and seeing that change. I see people coming back to the spa and their skin’s getting better and better. I can see the change, not just after the treatment, but when they take product home. That’s the most important thing. I couldn’t work for a company if I didn’t believe in the product as well.”
I knew skoah appreciated leadership and ideas, and the owners started asking me about directions I wanted to pursue. At the end they said, 'you’re already doing these things, we better create a position for you!'
Kendra believes in skoah. And they clearly believe in her. Just over two years after graduating from Canada’s #1 Esthetics School, she’s been promoted to the position of National Trainer, travelling across North America teaching the techniques, products and concepts that’s making skoah one of Canada’s fastest-growing spa and skincare product lines.
Although she hadn’t heard of the company growing up in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, the idea of helping people for a living came to her long before she made the trip to Vancouver to begin cosmetology courses at Canada’s top Esthetics School.
“I had bad skin growing up, so I would try things out and research what would work on my own skin. I started getting interested in makeup and wanted to help other people with their skin too.”
Never shy about taking the first step, Kendra created a role for herself in Yorkton’s small beauty industry.
“I started working as a freelance bridal makeup artist after teaching myself. Yorkton isn’t big, so I was able to get at job at the Lancôme counter at The Bay and worked for Mary Kay full time too. One of the things I really liked to do was teaching people how to do things themselves. I started thinking that I wanted to do some kind of training in the beauty industry: something one-on-one that would actually be helpful to people.”
Realising that the time had arrived for some formal education, Kendra quickly decided that Blanche Macdonald was the right school for her.
“Blanche Macdonald was supposed to be the best – and I wanted the best education. When I was looking online, it kept popping up. It sounded like it was really thorough, and it had really good reviews. I’d actually contacted them back when I was in Grade Nine. I had totally forgotten I’d spoken to them until I phoned for an interview and they had me on file already.”
The instructors are the best part of Blanche Macdonald. They’re so inspiring and they’re with you all the way.
By this point Kendra had made the tough decision that her future was primarily going to lie with esthetics, not makeup.
“I wanted something that would be more of a calm environment. I wanted to make people happy on an ongoing basis, and make them feel good about themselves; something to help give them balance in their lives.”
Kendra’s high expectations were exceeded once she arrived in Vancouver.
“It was awesome. The instructors are the best part of Blanche Macdonald. They’re so inspiring and they’re with you all the way, no matter if you’re having trouble. They’ll always help you out, and they have great stories. They really do care about their students and how you’re doing. The small classes were fantastic. I always had the attention I needed, and any time I’d go back all my teachers would remember me.
“I made a lot of friends and was really inspired just by being there. I loved working with skin so facials were my favourite thing from the start. I became a science geek. I wanted to know what was in everything and why it worked. I was constantly on my computer. When we would go through all the different career choices after graduation the idea of training always stood out for me. I liked knowing about products and teaching other people how to use them. I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Blanche Macdonald also introduced Kendra to the spa and the company that would turn into her career and her passion.
“I would never have known about skoah unless I’d come to Yaletown for a tour with my class. Chris Scott, who owns skoah along with his wife Andrea, talked to us that day and the company seemed like it was fun. I knew this was something I wanted to try for. To me, having had bad skin for years, skoah’s ‘personal training for your skin’ concept totally made sense. I wish it had been around when I was younger and struggling with my skin!”
Kendra applied to join the team straight after graduating. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.
“I started as an esthetician and would do facials all day long. I was definitely prepared coming out of school. I loved it, and it was a great learning experience. I still have clients that follow me and ask when I can fit them into my training schedule.
“I knew from the start that I wanted to do training, so whenever I had an idea or thought I could inspire my teammates or make the spa better I would let people know. If anyone had a question about a product I would find the answer. I was a skincare geek. I was constantly on my computer looking up information. I knew skoah appreciated leadership and ideas, and the owners started asking me about directions I wanted to pursue. At the end they said, you’re already doing these things, we better create a position for you!”
Kendra’s training schedule has taken her from Calgary to Seattle, and with skoah planning on opening 50 more spas over the next five years, she has plenty of travelling ahead of her too. Wherever she goes, every training session she leads is different. There’s a lot of information to communicate.
“Our training is three-tiered. I’m explaining our technique, our products and most importantly, how we talk to our customers. Our estheticians talk throughout the entire treatment, explaining what we’re doing and why we’re doing it; teaching clients why it’s great for their skin and how to continue that care at home. We’re happy for estheticians out of school or coming from other spas to implement their own movements and their own techniques. We never want anything to be cookie cutter. We want to give clients routines that fit into their lifestyle. We’re not going to give someone a 14-step skincare program if they have three young kids at home and barely have time for a shower.”
As skoah continues to grow, Kendra’s input within the company continues to grow within it. She’s excited by the present and the future. With good reason.
“I’m exactly where I wanted to be,” she smiles. “When I was younger I wanted a career that I’d be proud of, and maybe get to travel a bit. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I try to refine our training all the time. I’m always thinking of ways we can get better with every training session. Even though I’m in a teaching environment, I’m learning from everyone I meet about how to talk to people and teach clients about their skin. I love being able to share my knowledge, and being around people who are inspiring to me.”
Kendra’s enthusiasm for her company and her job is contagious. Just ask her family.
“My Dad never used anything on his skin. I couldn’t get him to use anything. I got him a few things from skoah and now he’s texting me about the invigorating shampoo and stealing my mom’s skoah products. You can tell men all the information but it’s only when they see a difference that they start using it. We’ll get him into a full skincare routine soon!”