We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Kramer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There is an element of risk in every decision we make. More often than not, doing nothing is riskier! I have plenty of fears but I know that opportunity lies in taking chances. I do this in both life and career by simply comparing the way things are currently (today and now) to what it could be if I take that risk. Turns out, my confidence increases the more I fail! Such a strange statement but it’s true- I’m much more attached to the process than the risk itself because a) it’s more fun b) I’m no worse off and c) it’s a numbers game: at some point, I’m going to win! Work is a perfect example of my risk-taking. I started my own skin clinic when I was 23 years old. For the first 17 years, I worked by myself until one day I decided to grow my business so I could help more people. I did this by asking for help. The simple act of asking for help is risky. Even riskier is doing what they suggest! Fast forward some time and I grew to a team of 10 with two offices in Los Angeles. I ‘failed’ a lot along the way and know at the time it felt horrible. Looking back, I barely remember those times. I now only recall my successes. And here we are in the midst of a pandemic. The skincare industry has been shut down per LA County Mandate and we have been unable to provide services for the past 6 months. I’ve had to let go of most of my team and may not reopen one of my offices. It’s been tough, but I’m also using this as an opportunity to jump off the hamster wheel, take a breather, and once again ask the question, “If I do X, Y, and Z, how would it compare to the way things are right now?” I’m still uncertain which way life will direct me but most of the risks I’ve taken in the past have served me very well. I’m very proud of where I am (and who I am) based on the success AND failures of the risks I’ve taken so far.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Corrective Skincare specializes in the reduction and prevention of acne, skin discoloration, scarring, and aging skin. We are results-oriented. Think of it like a facial but a little more clinical in nature. We spend a significant amount of time giving an in-depth analysis of the skin, focusing on the client’s specific needs, and an ongoing treatment plan is then tailored to suit. We work with a local chemist and offer professional-grade skincare products for our clients. Our exclusive line of products, CSLA Skincare, is also what we use in the treatment rooms for facial treatments. Because we work directly with a chemist, there are fewer preservatives and “junk” in our products- which is incredibly important when addressing skin issues like acne and discoloration. Having had a mentor from Nigeria and training from the best physician in the field, I excel at treating acne, scarring, and discoloration in all skin types, with clients of all ethnic backgrounds, and have passed that on to my team. We believe that all skin is beautiful and everyone deserves a personalized approach. There is no magic pill or big check anyone could write that would spontaneously clear acne or scarring, or make someone 10 years younger. I’ve spent my entire career helping clients take personal responsibility for their skin’s health specifically because I was a consumer dealing with the same issues and *it’s frustrating*! There is an endless list of skincare super-ingredients and “must-have wonder drugs”. In the real world of marketing, up-sell, and silly semantics, consumers often have no idea where to turn or what to spend their money on. Just today a client came in and asked about this “skin tightening, acne reducing, discoloration machine for cystic acne” for only $40 on Amazon. Obviously, the market likes to sell a variety of products and people love to buy them because they’re desperate. That’s not how we are at Corrective Skincare. What it really comes down to is consistent practice and the basics. A frozen ice cube to this day is still the most magical treatment many of my clients will find! (Find out why here: https://youtu.be/G6-34AMl9GU). There is nothing better on the market than a diligent washing routine and ice. I’m not saying all products are bad (some are awesome!), I’m simply saying there is so much out there that people are being pushed upon and in their desperation to fix their skin, they’ll purchase anything in an attempt to clear their skin. We really believe in creating a trusting relationship, giving great clinical facial treatments, skincare products that work, and a simple home care routine. That makes all the difference.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If it were my best friend, I know she’d appreciate the ‘off the beaten path’ type of week, just as I would. Each day we’d start by doing something active outside. We’d either swim in the ocean at Tower 26 with my LA Tri Club buddies, ride our bikes in the Santa Monica Mountains- Mandeville Canyon is my favorite local spot, or run Westridge Canyon, beach path, or local Amalfi Loops. Once that was done, we’ll have earned our Breakfast Burrito (add avocado and bacon- duh!) at Bardonna or the Gilson’s scramble at Marmalade Cafe in Santa Monica. We’d both then take a few hours working because we both love what we do…and then take a well-deserved nap. Later in the evening we’d either hit R&D, Bandaras, or Scopa OR grab a meal from a Taco Truck pretty much anywhere. I’d also throw in a Grilled Cheese and Beer Night at the local Cheese Shop (www.andrewscheese.com) and take a Food Tour of all the greats in Downtown LA at (www.sixtaste.com) so we can enjoy the food and also get a little history of Downtown LA. We’d also throw in a stop at Griffith Observatory to see the stars and The Getty for some exhibits.
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?
I’ve been sitting with this question for a long time trying to decide who should get credit for ‘my story’. So I did what I normally do when I can’t think….I distracted myself with social media. A few minutes of scrolling and came across a post by Jedidiah Jenkins on Instagram. (@jedidiahjenkins – he’s amazing, follow him!) He and Sophie Bush were ordering food on Postmates for themselves one night and he discovered 33 items in her cart. Her response, “Oh I just had everything that looks mildly interesting. The menu is too huge and so I add anything I might want and then I go through the cart and whittle it down. It’s more manageable that way. And in the cart, I can see clearly what I want.” His response: “This is an excellent strategy. The menu of being human is sometimes too large. Collecting friends in our twenties, anyone who might be around or fitting for a moment, and then whittling it down to who we really want in our lives. We don’t know who will be right for us, so we collect. We don’t even know who we are or what we need. We try out. We settle. And then time and experience reveal and trim. Collecting odd jobs and skills until we find what we’re meant to be doing. Collecting heart-breaks and mistakes and vulnerabilities and embarrassments and kindnesses, until we’re ready to be with someone right and be someone right. Just throw it all in the cart. Anything that’s a ‘maybe.’ The menu is too big.” So this, in a nutshell, is my answer. I’ve spent so much time with people who were wonderful, supportive, taught me love and kindness, raised me up and inspired growth and made me into a better person. I’ve also spent time with people who haven’t. I have learned and chosen to level up from BOTH types of people. My shoutout is to everyone I’ve put into my ‘cart’.
Sarah Moon, Manuel Lozano, Jennifer Kramer