“This career will give you so much happiness and independence, especially if you are prepared to put in the time, listen to others, and continue to learn.” – Annette Hanson
Tell us about your professional background.
"Excellence in Education" has been a guiding principle in my life and at my school, Atelier Esthetique® Institute of Esthetics in New York City. a New York State licensing esthetics school and postgraduate facility, opened in 1985 in the Empire State Building. After studying face and body treatments in France, Germany, and England, I brought this European touch to the United States. My professional experience in skin care spans more than 30 years as an esthetician, salon manager, aromatherapist, distributor, instructor, writer, and consultant. I encourage and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in all my students, and indeed the culmination of all my knowledge was when I created my own two skin care lines. I am also a crusader for change and championed for a separate esthetics license for New York State.
What inspired you to make a career in esthetics?
My parents have been my biggest inspiration. They owned a drugstore in Calgary, a city in the Canadian province of Alberta. My father was the pharmacist, and my model for good customer service and a strong work ethic. My mother was the Beauty Advisor. She got me started in the industry and taught me everything I know about taking care of one’s skin. I learned retailing skills starting when I was six, selling penny candy. When I arrived in Paris for two years of esthetics study at the famous Carita Institute on the elegantly fashionable Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, I knew I was living my life's dream.
What is your greatest accomplishment in the industry?
After many years of advocating to create separate licenses for esthetics and cosmetology, I was so proud when the Honorable Alexander Treadwell, NYS's Department of State Secretary of State, asked me to develop a standalone esthetics curriculum for schools in our state. Finally, on July 5, 1994, New York created a specialty esthetics license consisting of 600-hours for those who wished to study skin care, waxing, and make-up only. An updated version of this same curriculum is being used today throughout New York State. I later championed a separate Waxing Specialty License in New York, making it a law that only estheticians, cosmetologists, or waxing specialists could perform waxing. Happily, on January 1, 1999, New York State created a waxing license of 75 hours, a first for any state.
What is the proudest moment in your career?
In August 2009, I was honored as a Dermascope Legend. It meant so much to me to be recognized for leadership and education in skin care by my peers in the industry
What motivates you each day?
I feel so proud when I run into people who say how much I have inspired, motivated, and encouraged them. That I am responsible in some small way for their success is both humbling and gratifying. I measure my success most by how many of my students have gone on to have fulfilling careers in the industry. I love my students, teachers and staff. Still to this day, I can walk down the street anywhere around the world and hear, “Ms. Hanson, Ms. Hanson.” That makes me so very proud.
How do you give back to the industry?
I continue to write monthly articles for skin care magazines and share my knowledge in podcasts and blogs. I enjoy giving lectures at various trade shows, spa conferences, and school associations. Additionally, I was a founding member of the Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for Skin Care Schools Council and I continue to be on their leadership committee, mentoring estheticians of the future.
What would you tell someone considering an esthetics career?
This career will give you so much happiness and independence, especially if you are prepared to put in the time, listen to others, and continue to learn. Whenever I give a graduation speech, I mention “The Five ‘A’s.” These are what you need to become an Amazing Esthetician: • Appearance, • Attendance, • Availability, • Accountability, • Attitude.