I’ve loved all things beauty since I was a little girl. My best friend had one of those big Barbie heads, and I loved applying makeup on her. Once, I accidentally cut her hair off when I was experimenting with what I thought were the latest and greatest hair trends of the 80s (Sorry, Nikki, that was me!) Even though we were playing with dolls, the relationships were always the most important part to me. From a young age, I was always trying to make people feel comfortable, smile and laugh.
I have never been shy, and when I started working at Rocco Altobelli, a concept salon, at age 15, I loved going to work every day at the training academy. It was about so much more than technical skills. We took etiquette classes and learned about voice inflection and verbiage, so that we wouldn’t just be great at what we did, but also polished professionals. I was like a sponge, absorbing any and all knowledge that was available to me. I quickly worked my way up to a management position, where I stayed for seven years.
In my early twenties, I attended aesthetic school and massage school, then started working for the Day Spa in Minnesota. Shortly after turning 30 I took my next step on my career path and accepted a position with Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics. This led me, a single girl from Minnesota and my Bichon Frise, Sparky, to the beautiful city of Chicago, where I’ve been ever since.
It was intimidating at first because I had a lot of territory to cover—basically all of Illinois up to Kohler Water Spa. I had to learn my way around, figuratively and literally, real quick (thank you, Garmin). Once I got into the swing of things, I started participating in trade shows and educational seminars all over the country. I met Envy Medical, the creators of Silk Peel Dermalinfusion systems, at a trade show in LA and started supporting the Silk Peel through education and sales. That role opened doors to countless opportunities, connecting me to doctors and Med Spas, and fueled my passion for education.
Through years of endless product obsession and a fearlessness to try any service, I became my own guinea pig. I have experienced a LOT and enjoy sharing what I have learned, whether the results were good, bad, or amazing! I strive to understand the hows and whys of every treatment and product, and I love to share knowledge, educate and create discussions around our skin.
My passion and expertise came to fruition when I opened my own spa, Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique in 2010.
The journey I have been on has allowed me to gain expertise and hands-on knowledge in so many different facets of the health and beauty industries. I am proud that each experience, challenge and mentor I have encountered has taught me something that I can now apply to my own business.
In my continuous quest for knowledge, I am constantly researching and educating myself. My clients know I buy and try everything on myself before sharing it with them. Being in this industry, I am obsessed with seeking out new products and services to try and understanding if, how, and why these items work so I can provide the best guidance to my clients.
My passion is continuously learning and sharing that knowledge with the world. At nearly 44 years old, I’ve learned when in comes to health and beauty, less is more—except for learning and growing along with my clients. I hold myself to the highest standards because nothing is more important than these relationships.
Aesthetics is a partnership between you and your professional. It’s a journey you take together in which education, communication, and trust are the key stepping stones, so make sure you’re in the hands of an expert—even if they once gave Barbie a bad haircut.