As you may have heard, we are celebrating 5 years in Boston! It's been an incredible 5 years, hear more about it in this interview with Pete Dziedzic and learn more about why skoah and Boston are a perfect match!
If you can't listen, we've included the transcript below:
Jay: Hello everyone! This is Jay Judas and I am here with Pete Dziedzic, my co-founder of the P.J. Scooter Company which operates skoah skincare stores in Boston. July 22 marks five years since the Boston flagship skoah location opened in the South End in 2010. Did the time go by quickly?
Pete: You know Jay, it really did. It’s hard to believe that not only has it been five years since we opened up the doors to the South End location of skoah here in Boston, but it has been almost six years since we first discovered skoah while on a vacation up in Vancouver. So, yeah, the time has absolutely flown by.
Jay: You have won a lot of awards, including two Best of Boston and three Allure Magazine Best Facial wins. Why do you think so many people love skoah?
Pete: You know, I think we are pretty different than what else is out there in the market. We are much more approachable and our focus is on helping people get better skin and solve any issues they have. So the combination of our in-store facials and the product use at home, and our products being really easy to use and effective and doing what they say they are going to do really makes us different. We are not as frou frou as some other places. We are really about come in, let’s get to work, let’s see what’s going on. Yeah, it’s a relaxing facial, but at the end of the day, it’s all about helping you look better. We do what we say we are going to do and there are results and people appreciate that.
Jay: The products you have made in Vancouver seem to address just about every skincare concern. What the best-selling products and why?
Pete: It’s pretty funny but our best selling products are our cleansers and I think that’s because any good skin care routine is going to start with washing your face and having a good cleanser. Given that our cleansers are sulfate free and won’t dry the skin, people really like that so we sell a lot of cleansers. Another popular product is our aha mask. That’s an exfoliating mask with a one percent pure glycolic that comes from apple and grape seeds. People really appreciate it because either they don’t exfoliate and need to or they are exfoliating but they are using the wrong type of exfoliant for their skin. So the aha is great because it’s perfect for any skin type and it’s really easy to use. Since it is in a gel base, it is actually going to hydrate while it exfoliates so people really appreciate that. More recently we added our gold kollection products, a gold serum and gold kream, and those have been very very popular with our guests. They are our most potent anti-aging products and people have seen great results from using those on a regular basis. So we sell quite a bit of those as well.
Jay: Your second store in Chestnut Hill is doing exceedingly well after a year and a half. What made you branch out of the city to that area?
Pete: We have always had a fair number of customers coming into the city from the suburbs and the Metro West area and a lot of them complained a little bit about the parking situation or having to take the T. We thought it was a natural fit to open up out in Chestnut Hill. The Street, where we are at, is a great development with a great tenant mix and it gives those guests who live out in that area easier access to skoah. On top of that, there are some great clients out there that we hadn’t met yet and we thought would love the skoah concept, and so far that has been true. Between the folks out there that knew and loved skoah plus their friends and new guests who walk by and our intrigued by us, it really has been a pretty impressive success for us.
Jay: I always get a laugh when customers see you working in another store and say, “Do you work here , too?” because they don’t know you’re the owner. What does a typical work week look like for you?
Pete: No two weeks are really alike. Every week is different. It is really a combination of various elements. There is certainly some in store time for me. That could be literally manning the front desk, taking appointments, checking guests in and out and helping people who are walking in making product selections. Traditional retail and spa type work. It’s also working with the krews either working with the managers on how to work with their krews or working with the krews directly on culture or sales or products and training like that. There is also a large part of it that people don’t see that is more back office, administrative work. Payroll, bookkeeping – that kind of stuff. And then a lot of it is the marketing and finding different partners we can work with. Putting events together. Putting together new and cool ideas that we can do both in store and outside of the store. It’s really a mix of those things and it’s six to seven days a week of skoah related activities.
Jay: That is definitely busier then I think the customer sees. I know we have been able to get away from this business twice for four days and once for three days over the past six years, if you count the start-up time. Is your goal to take a week-long vacation at some point? For my sake, please say “Yes”!
Pete: Yes definitely! We want to take a longer vacation sometime soon, so hopefully we can make it happen in the near future where we can get away for a little bit longer. It’s tough and I think if you have kids you might be able to relate even if you do not own your own business. Having stores is like having children and sometimes it is hard to get away and make sure that they are taken care of. So yes, we will work on getting away for a week sometime soon.
Jay: Pete, thanks for your time and congratulations on our five-year milestone. Listeners can learn more about skoah by visiting us on-line at skoah.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram at @skoahboston.