back to And Comfort

Julia Christine on Being an Esthetician and Owning Her Own Skin Care Studio

by
Karine
Julia wearing our Cambridge Tie Dress

Please introduce yourself!

Hola!  I’m Julia, a holistic esthetician who owns Jae & Leona, a charming skin care studio nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of South Park in San Diego. On my days off, I love knitting, napping with my sweet calico Penelope, road trips, whiskey chai tea and spending time with my family. I am currently in development of a sustainable fashion and beauty blog.  Being a person of color, a “plus size” woman and someone over 40 years old, I think there’s a need for representation for someone like myself who searching for well made clothing, skin and beauty products that have been made consciously and who is trying to create a more eco and ethical lifestyle. It’s still in the beginning phases of brainstorming, but it’s been a project I’ve been wanting to get going for a while and am really excited to launch it soon.

Jae & Leona Beauty Collective was really a natural progression for me as I grew as an esthetician, not only in experience but in the desire to want to offer a safe space for individuals who wanted skin care treatments in an environment that was not only relaxing but accepting and healing.

When and how did you become interested in natural skincare?

I became interested in plant and botanical skincare at the very early stages of my career as an esthetician, almost two decades ago.  I started working for a local Aveda salon and became completely immerse in the cultural and approach to not only skin care, but beauty, hair and lifestyle as whole.  It was the first time I had ever heard of Ayurvedic practices, natural remedies that actually worked and saw true healing being practice in the treatment rooms.  It’s great to see a growing acceptance and popularity of these natural treatments and I hope the excitement surrounding this movement sticks around for a long time.

Tell me more about Jae & Leona. What inspired you to start it?

Jae & Leona Beauty Collective was really a natural progression for me as I grew as an esthetician, not only in experience but in the desire to want to offer a safe space for individuals who wanted skin care treatments in an environment that was not only relaxing but accepting and healing. Jae & Leona was created out of love for my work and the sacred connection I’ve made with my loyal clients and guests along the way. This space is for them.

What was the process like of opening your own shop?

Opening up my own studio was kinda like a cross between Disneyland’s Mad Tea Party and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Completing thrilling, scary with bouts of tears and laughter all in one day, sometimes multiple times a day.  In all honesty, it’s still thrilling and scary and we’re almost 5 years in. I’ve learned so much about myself being a shop owner. I realized I am much braver and far more of a risk taker than I ever thought I was. More importantly, I realized that I’ve got a whole lot of passion driving me to do good.

I honestly find most of my inspiration from people I interact with #IRL...there’s still something so enchanting about sitting down with a like minded individual and vibing with them on all sorts of levels. I find inspiration on those who are living their truth, chasing there passions or are practicing gratitude and love.


Any resources that you love to look at for beauty or fashion inspiration?

I honestly find most of my inspiration from people I interact with #IRL.  From my clients, to fellow business owners, my current girl crushes and close personal friends, there’s still something so enchanting about sitting down with a like minded individual and vibing with them on all sorts of levels. I find inspiration on those who are living their truth, chasing there passions or are practicing gratitude and love.  

I would however be remiss to acknowledge that Instagram and other social networking platforms offer a lot of inspiration and motivation, even if it is thumbing through Pinterest for styling ideas when pairing sneakers and dresses.  I’m currently obsessed with a handful on people on IG that definitely give me all the good feels -

Kestrel Jenkins of @consciouschatter - she hosts a fantastic podcast about sustainable fashion and deep dives into everything from supply chain issues, to the lack of diversity in eco fashion to all the in betweens.

Lydia Hudgens @lydiahudgens or @lydiahudgensphot - Iconic is all I can say.  From her bomb sense of style to her amazing work as a photographer.  Both feeds are worth a follow.  You’ll be double tapping in no time.

Indie Beauty Expo @ indiebeautyexpo - A great resource of consumers and beauty professionals who want to connect with independently owned beauty brands.  It’s a fun event to attend too, if you’re ever in one of the cities they host in.  

I’ve learned so much about myself being a shop owner. I realized I am much braver and far more of a risk taker than I ever thought I was. More importantly, I realized that I’ve got a whole lot of passion driving me to do good.

The philosophy that drives And Comfort is the idea of finding delight in the everyday What’s something that brings you delight?

Experiencing and acting on kindness and mercy in some way, each day brings me so much delight and hope. The little things that remind us that we’re all human, each having a unique human experience unto ourselves is not only delightful but beautiful.  Kindness and mercy are two traits that are pretty simple in concept but so powerful when put into action.  On a less profound note, watching old episodes of The Office when I get home from work not only delights me, but has become a ritual of sorts as well.  Some people drink a glass of wine to wind down after a long day, I watch The Office and all is well.

--

Shop What She's Wearing - The Cambridge Tie Dress