We’re starting the new year with some amazing news! JCI Body Spa Esthetics Graduate Reagan O’Dea has opened her business, Brick & Mortar Beauty Co. in Kenora, Ontario. Since graduating from our Body Spa and Esthetics Program, she has been a JCI Instructor and a Self-Employed Esthetician.
We’re incredibly proud of all her accomplishments so far and we wanted to start the year featuring her and her amazing success of having opened up her own salon in her home town! Congratulations Reagan!
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Kenora, Ontario. In 2005 I followed my older sister and moved to North Vancouver for a change of scenery. After a few years in Vancouver and working for a financial institution, I decided to make a change and pursue a career in esthetics.
What inspired you to pursue a career in Esthetics?
My leap into esthetics was very unexpected. I always had an interest in art and painting growing up. I thought I would become a hairstylist however every time I thought about applying for school something would hold me back. During a visit back home one summer I was giving my sister a pedicure and it dawned on me that doing so was like art and presented a creative outlet for me. Why hadn’t I thought of this career path sooner?!
Was it something you always wanted to do?
Esthetics was never something I really knew I wanted to do but once I figured out I could combine art, painting, decor, and making people feel good while being myself it was a no brainer!
What was your experience with JCI Institute?
My experience at JCI was great! I really enjoyed school! From day 1 I clicked with a classmate and we created a bond and still keep in touch. I have relationships with all of my teachers and still contact them for guidance from time to time. JCI opened the door to a whole new world of opportunity for me! I took the opportunity to learn as much as possible from everyone and anyone. I was the scholarship recipient in my program as well as receiving a Top student award. I was also lucky enough to obtain a position as an instructor at JCI in the esthetic program before moving back home to Kenora.
What is it like owning your own business?
Owning my own business has been a lot of work and I’m just getting started but at the same time extremely rewarding and felt like a natural progression in my career.
I have been a self-employed esthetician for 7 years as well as an esthetics instructor over the past 3 years. I have gained valuable experience and insight from every job I have had and that paved the way for me to open my own salon.
How was Brick + Mortar Beauty Co. created?
After working in different salons over the past few years I felt the need to embrace my creative ideas as well as listen to the needs of my clients and bridge the gap. The idea of brick+ Mortar Beauty Co. was to create a relaxed environment where everyone is welcome to be themselves. From a clean cozy esthetic with natural elements including brick, stone, wood, leather, greenery and earthy vibes. I want everything to be an experience from the moment you enter, to the first thing you smell. A small boutique should you choose to treat yourself and a friendly embrace as you enter until you exit! Providing exceptional service is my first priority and the rest I feel should be a standard in my industry.
The name Brick+ Mortar also comes from the esthetic of the building as well as the definition, which is an independent street-side business, possessing or leasing a retail shop and have a physical presence and offer face to face customer experiences.
How do you see yourself and your business in 5 to 10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, I plan to grow my business to either offer more services expanding to hair services as well or any other services I do not currently offer. Keeping up with current trends is important to me but remember not to stray from my vision of comfortable customer experience.
What is one of your biggest prized moments throughout your career?
I would have to say my biggest prized moment to date would be opening Brick+ Mortar and seeing my vision come to fruition! It has been in my head for a solid year. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I would decorate and the layout for which I would perform services. It’s amazing how quickly it all came together once I made up my mind to proceed. The most rewarding part of all would be the support and positive feedback I have received from family and friends as well as my dearest clients and even complete strangers. This is my “feel good” place and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.