We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Baker-Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
That failing is a bad thing. There is no such thing as someone be successful without being able to say that they failed at something along the way. My dad has always said to me if I tried something new and it didn’t work out, well then that was just an expensive class. Pick yourself up and move on.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I actually knew that I liked working for myself. I started off at 16 working different jobs, Then at 18 I ran a small clothing store all by myself and loved it. I really took it seriously and acted like it was my store. I treated every customer like they were my favorite. Then I went to cosmetology school to become an Esthetician . I worked for a few different salons as either an employee or on commission. But really thrived for most of the 30 years I was in the business when I worked for myself. I know I wasn’t “the best facialist” out there even though I was great at what I did and had my own skin care products. But I did know customer service and how to treat each individual client with care. I had clients stay with me for 15 to 20 years! They became like friends when they were in my studio. I always made them feel special and built relationships. But, after so many years I definitely felt in my gut it was time to make a change because my heart wasn’t in the skin care business anymore…even though I still LOVE taking care of m y skin! Believe me, it was beyond rough saying goodbye to them when it was time to move on to my new chapter, opening The Salt & Sauna Sanctuary. I knew I wanted a business that I could believe in, build and eventually hire a few employees. However, I wasn’t exactly sure until a friend of mine developed a rare auto-immune lung condition that she was told she had only 2 years to live. Along with going to see her pulmonloogist and having to eventually wear an oxygen mask 24/7 she decided to go to a place north of Los Angeles where they had a salt cave where you simply breathe in Dry Salt, aka Halotherapy. It happened to be the only place where she could take off her mask and breathe normally. After seeing how she was getting better, I knew I wanted to know more about Dry Salt Therapy and the possibilities of helping a family member of mine who has COPD. I went to a few conferences hosted by the Salt Association to learn more about Salt Therapy and how to start a business. Along with providing Salt Therapy for my new business, I also learned a lot how Infrared Saunas are so beneficial as well. I like helping people! So, The Salt & Sauna Sanctuary was born.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I have to say one of the cool things about moving back to Orange County is that it literally half way between Los Angeles (Hermosa Beach is my home town) and San Diego. So there is lots to see and do. First, I would start with taking my friend to downtown San Clemente where there are tons of locally owned restaurants and shops to explore in this cute laid back beach town. Secondly, take my friend to The Cliffs in Laguna Beach for a sunset cocktail where there is a restaurant that over looks the ocean and you can sit outside, relax and take in the ocean breezes. Plus there are some cute little unique bungalow shops all in the same place. Next, go to San Diego for the day and explore Balboa Park where there are some wonderful museums, plus dinner downtown at one of the outdoor cafes where you can simply enjoy people watching. Lastly, a drive to LA from exploring the original Farmer’s Market in the Fairfax district, The Getty Museum, going to a great comedy show at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood and of course more shopping on Melrose Ave!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My dad who has always been there for and has believed in me. My wonderful friend Octavia Voltaire who has been there for me during my freak out times and literally has help me be more mindful and just let things flow. You really can’t control everything. Keep pushing forward and let opportunities come when they’re meant to. I also love to watch the show “The Profit” with Marcus Lemonis. I actually learn quite a bit from watching him and how he helps struggling business. I feel like I get tons of business advice for free!
Yelp: Orange County yelp- The Salt and Sauna Sanctuary
Sunlighten Saunas (photo of woman wrapped in a towel with green lights in a sauna)