Dasha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2007, my mother and I started our skincare brand out of our kitchen with only $3,000. At that time, I was finishing college, working at a spa as a receptionist, and going to beauty school for my esthetics license. I remember we used to sit and fill bottles with serums and cremes all evening, and stick labels on them, so that we could drive to San Diego at 5am, to teach a class at a beauty school at 8am, and hopefully sell something.
The first couple of years were tough – we were operating out of our apartment, which meant living with boxes everywhere! I had boxes with bottles and jars in my bedroom, and I remember we could never really have company over because the amount of boxes was overwhelming. After 2 years in business, we moved into an office, but it was tiny, and didn’t have a warehouse, so we kept all the boxes with packaging and product in a storage unit, and drove back and forth a million times every day.
Now, 10 years later, we operate out of a 4,400-square foot building with a training center and warehouse, and have distribution in 16 countries, including a beauty school in Sweden – “Saian Academy”.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In 2013, we were shocked to discover that my mother had grade 4 Glioblastoma, a malignant tumor the size of a baseball in her brain. Needless to say, I put my business on the back burner for two and a half years, as I stayed home to take care of her and my 86-year-old grandmother. This meant 2 brain surgeries, recovery and physical therapy to walk, special organic diets… everything we could do.
In the process of learning about my mother’s illness, I became an expert on oncology care, and alternative treatments. I also became more aware of the stress that we both had put each other through at work. From that point on, all the little meaningless things that used to irritate me, no longer mattered – this was the wake-up call I needed to learn to pace myself in life and in business. After my mother passed, I found myself absolutely engulfed in my work – it was, and still is my happy place. Surprisingly, as I relaxed about making money at work, and focused on providing a better experience for my customers, everything fell into place, and we actually made more sales!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Saian Natural Clinical Skincare is a professional skin care brand that works directly with estheticians. We provide skin care professionals with the highest quality anti-aging, anti-acne, and anti-hyperpigmentation products, as well as valuable training and certification. We train at our North Hollywood location, as well as internationally – our “Saian Academy” in Sweden certifies esthetics students in skin, bodywork and nails.
Saian skincare products are amazing in that they are paraben-free, fragrance-free, with no added artificial colors, and not tested on animals. Our products are proudly made in USA, and contain the highest concentration of active ingredients, making them clinical strength but affordable and natural!
What were you like growing up?
I was born in Moscow, and lived there until the age of 12. My grandmother raised me, while my mother was living in Los Angeles and trying to get her citizenship to bring me over, as well. I was a total tomboy, refused to play with dolls, and was always outside getting into mischief- climbing trees, bringing stray cats and dogs home. I remember my report cards always looking the same way – “A” for every subject, and “U” (unsatisfactory) right next to it, in the column for “behavior in class”. I was a class clown, what can I say, I had to do it for my fans!
As far as interests, I was absolutely obsessed with Egypt, and everything that had to do with Greek Mythology. Also, my love affair with languages started at an early age. By the age of 16, I spoke English, Russian, Armenian and Spanish fluently. I am now learning Mandarin Chinese, which is pretty addicting!
Address: 7260 Radford Ave
North Hollywood CA 91605
Read Dasha’s story as featured in VoyageLA magazine about LA’s most inspiring young entrepreneurs: http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-dasha-saian-saian-natural-clinical-skincare-north-hollywood/