October, 2015


Since 2008, when I bought the apartment in Israel, my plan has been to gradually lengthen winter stays there.  Chanukah in Jerusalem is great, the city sparkles, and Purim is like a week-long carnival, with everyone....not only children....going about their business in costume.  That first year I was only able to stay a couple of weeks.  Then the...er.,....'economic downturn' began.  Many of my customers needed to economize and were happy to have treatments less regularly and still maintain their relationship with me. The timing just happened to work with my own goal.  Now, when I'm in Winnipeg, I'm in business.  When I'm in Jerusalem, from Chanukah to Purim, I'm a retired person.


Well, not quite. Occasionally in Israel someone comments on my skin, and that leads to a conversation about what I do, which leads to inevitable skin problem questions, and a consultation happens right then and there.  Word of mouth advertising leads to referrals, and even requests that I begin to do my non-invasive facelift treatments right there in eretz.  That would mean taking my microcurrent simulator with me; I'm not sure I'll do it.   But, as far as business goes, last winter I began looking at the plethora of cosmetics available there.  Because of the Dead Sea beauty product industry, manufacturers from all over Europe have set up all over Israel.  And I happen to be looking for another line of products for my studio back in Canada.


For years I carried a professional line of products manufactured in France, products I loved to use because of their variety, specificity, purity, and good value.  In recent years, however, they've begun to be manufactured in Canada, the formulations have been combined or changed altogether, packaging has become glitzier, and names of the creams trendier.  Gone is the simple, plain packaging, with names that told what was inside.  They are not as specific, there is not the variety, making it difficult for me to fine tune my recommendations.  Last year I began to try out various Israeli lines, and I have found a couple that interest me.  My plan is to ship back a supply to stock my studio. 


I didn't select this career.  It chose me.  Owner and operator of Simone's Skincare Studio has not been my first occupation.  When I lived in Toronto I was a Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator, under contract to the Toronto Board of Education.  On behalf of the Y.M.C.A. of Toronto, I developed a flagship after-school program for inner city schools, as well as other “Y” programs, and helped design the Volunteer Coordinator certification course at Humber Community College. The main job search criterion for me was that I not have to leave my children in daycare.  I didn't want to have them reared by others.  While they were pre-school, I took them with me.  Before I became a mother, I was Assistant Editor at Quill & Quire, the book trade magazine.  (Back in those non-computer days I compiled the Canadian bestseller list.)


When I returned to Winnipeg with my children I looked for work I could do at home.  After a few false starts, I had the opportunity to train as an Esthetician with a wonderful French woman who had just opened a school here.  As my business grew, and realizing I had an instinctive talent for skin, make-up, and wardrobe, I dropped the other esthetic services to concentrate on faces.  Now I do facials, make-up lessons, non-invasive-facelifts, image design, and on the side I write articles on fashion and beauty. 


Perhaps it was bashert that I wind up in this field.  I'm told that when my great grandmother came to Canada, she made her living growing herbs and making cosmetics.  It was a skill she learned from Roma friends in Romania.  To some extent that skill may relate to the essential oils I use in my facials.  Isn't there something about talents being passed down genetically?  I'm told she also used to cast out demons, but that's a topic for another day.