Paisley’s Story: Helping People Feel their Best

By Emma Kushnir, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

Paisley Mattes loves helping people and making them feel beautiful is the best way for her to do it. She graduated from St Lawrence College, in Kingston, Ontario, and has been working as an Esthetician at Cher Mere Day Spa for about a year and a half.  Paisley focuses on manicures, pedicures, makeup, massage, facials and waxing. “I try to always make the client feel better-  whether it be making someone feel beautiful by doing their makeup or helping them de-stress by giving them a massage.”  The skills needed to become an esthetician can be learned at college, but Paisley explains that “you really have to have a passion for the industry because it is always changing, new brands or new techniques are developed and you [have to] keep up to date, so that when your clients ask you about something you can be a source of knowledge.”

When asked how she first got interested in this career, Paisley explains she’s always loved doing makeup on herself, and then some friends asked her to do their makeup for special events. “It made me realize that I could do it as a career and not just a hobby. At the time I was nearing the end of second year at university studying history and didn’t love it. So I applied to college and decided to go for it!” They didn’t specifically have a program for makeup, so esthetics was the best course because it still involved makeup.

Making the decision to enter this program was her biggest challenge. Was this something she wanted to spend time and money on – especially after two years, and two years of tuition bills, at university?  In the end, after talking to friends who went to the program right after high school, weighing the pros and cons, and with the support of parents and friends, Paisley found the transition was very easy.

Her inspiration was that esthetics combined her love for beauty and for making people feel better. She loves that every day she can be involved in “making people feel beautiful, helping them get ready for an event so they feel their best, or helping get rid of some of their pain or stress.”

Paisley’s advice for others?  “I went through about 10 different ideas about what I wanted to do before I decided on esthetics. And the truth is I could still change my mind if I wanted to, but I will always have the knowledge that I acquired about esthetics. If you feel that changing careers is the right decision for you, then do it!  Esthetics is not a glamorous job. You don’t get free manicures or waxing all the time. You probably won’t have had a massage since school even though your body hurts from helping other people feel better, but the reward is helping your clients feel good, feel happy and feel refreshed.”