Former Corporate Lawyer Finds Fulfilling Career with skoah
Meet Boston franchisee owner Pete Dziedzic
Boston franchise owner Pete Dziedzic has been with skoah now as long as he worked as a corporate lawyer — and he couldn’t be happier. In 2010, he leaped from the world of private equity mergers and acquisitions to open the first skoah facials-only shop in the United States.
Dziedzic has a unique skoah story. He began with our company as a licensed seller of skoah products before we even had a formal franchise operation — it’s just within the past few months that he’s become an official franchisee. He’s also one of only two male franchise owners in our company.
A self-proclaimed “skoah lifer,” Dziedzic says his skoah franchise has been a terrific experience, and he’d “100% do it all over again.” Dziedzic’s shop is award-winning, having been featured in Allure magazine and been named the “Best of Boston” in Boston magazine several times.
Business is so good (growing about 15% to 20% year over year) that Dziedzic is making plans for expansion. “We are close to maxing out now. We’re doing facials every hour we are open, so I’m trying to figure out if I can add another room in our current physical space,” he says.
We spent a few minutes with Dziedzic, talking about how he left a traditional career to pursue a business with skoah and hearing his take on what it’s like being a man in a female-dominated industry.
Q: You were working for eight years as a corporate lawyer. What made you decide to join skoah?
I did mergers and acquisitions by helping private equity companies purchase target companies and then represented those target companies. I wasn’t looking to do anything else, but I actually kind of hated it.
My husband and I went on a vacation in Vancouver and walked by the original flagship skoah store in Yaletown. At that time they only had three stores, I think. It looked interesting, so we went in and made appointments for a couple of days later. We went back for our services and enjoyed it.
That night at dinner, my husband said: “You know, you hate being a lawyer. We’ve always wanted to own our own business. You can quit being a lawyer and do something like this, and I can keep my job to pay the bills while we get up and going.” At first, I thought he was absolutely insane.
But I thought about it a little bit more, and I decided to email the store to reach Andrea and Chris [Scott, skoah’s founders]. A few days later I got a response from Andrea. Our first phone call was about two and a half hours long, and we immediately clicked. Our first conversation was in August of 2009, and things moved quickly from there. I quit my job, and in June 2010 we opened up the Boston location.
Q: What makes skoah unique among its competitors?
There’s nothing else that exists with the combination of both the skincare and product offering with an approach that’s straightforward and not “frou-frou.” Nothing competes with us directly that has a facials-only product and service with a personal training-like approach to skincare.
But we do have a lot of competitors. On the facial side we compete with any place that does facials, and then on the product side, we compete with many brands. But what makes us different is that you can get both in one place, plus we have expertise. Who knows how knowledgeable those sales associates are at the other stores?
Because we are facials-only, we’ve seen so many skin issues on so many different people — different problems, different ages, different ethnicities. So even our people who are relatively new to us will, in a short amount of time, have so much experience that they can handle any issue or question. If you go to a spa where they’re doing facials alongside other services, you’re not going to get that same level of expertise. They haven’t done as many facials as we have.
Q: Is this business good for men to buy?
Of course it is! The main difference I’ve noticed is that in this business, I’m working in an all-female workplace. But 35% of our guests are male, which is higher than your industry average. You want to make it quite comfortable for them, so I think to some extent, having a guy at the front makes it easier for the guys coming in.
Because the skoah brand does not have the “frou-frou” aspects some of the more traditional spa and skincare places offer, it does make skoah more enticing for men as customers and franchisees.
We’ve moved past that age when guys were not caring about their appearance. Of course, they care how they look! Our whole line is unisex, but we do have a line definitely designed in terms of skin type for a “traditional” guy. It’s made for thicker, oilier skin. It’s also packaged with a man’s lifestyle in mind — that he may not take as many steps in skincare as a woman might.
Q: What do you like best about your career with skoah?
I’m definitely much happier at the end of every day than when I was working as a lawyer. With the kind of law I did — acquisition work — I’d do a deal then move on to the next one. I did all this work, and then it just went away. You don’t see what happens to it afterward.
What I like about owning my own business generally is the work I do today I can see the results tomorrow or next week. You put in the effort, and you can see the results down the line. It’s a lot more satisfying to me.
I’m building something, and I get to see it grow, and that’s been a truly fulfilling experience.
Learn more about franchising with skoah
Beloved in Canada for almost two decades, skoah is now poised to revolutionize America’s
$15 billion spa industry with its facials-only shop franchise. Learn more about opening a skoah location in your community by exploring our research pages or requesting a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.