Setting up shop on Sacramento Street, Lynn Heublein wants to keep nervous clients from feeling“oversold and overdone”
By Kristen Gray
Since Lynn Heublein opened her first SkinSpirit clinic and spa in Palo Alto 13 years ago, business has grown along with demand for Botox and other nonsurgical procedures. “No one was doing surgeries anymore,” she recalls. “Instead they were looking to less invasive treatments to get the appearance they wanted.”
As Heublein expanded SkinSpirit in Walnut Creek, Mill Valley and Los Gatos, many of her San Francisco–based customers would travel to one of the three locations for their facials, fillers and laser hair removal. So it made perfect sense to look at Sacramento Street in Presidio Heights, a neighborhood bustling with great restaurants, chic boutiques and—as of December—a new SkinSpirit outpost. It’s the cherry on top of a thriving business that’s crossed state lines into Washington, with three venues in Redmond, Bellevue and Seattle.
Heublein has always been ambitious. She studied engineering at the University of Washington, received an MBA from Stanford and began a zig-zagging career that saw her rise through the Silicon Valley ranks to lead the former videoconferencing start-up HearMe.com before going on an indefinite hiatus from the industry to focus on her quality of life—and start a new act as a skincare entrepreneur. She joined forces with Dr. Michael Dean Vistnes, to whom she went for microdermabrasion and other services starting in her 30s, and together they founded SkinSpirit, a venture that felt meaningful to her. “Many entrepreneurs have a connection personally to what they are doing,” Heublein says. “Whether it works out the way intended or not is up for debate.”
In those early days, Heublein and her team learned a lot about what it takes to nurture a small company. There’s “a tremendous focus on quality and hiring highly skilled practitioners,” she says. “Each candidate is personally interviewed by Dr. Vistnes and myself. We are looking for the best in the market, so we aren’t able to scale fast.”
Moreover, “we want our clients to feel confident that they will not be oversold and overdone,” she says. “We under-promise and over-deliver. We realize we are not the only game in town. Many of our clients are patient or staff referrals and a firsthand account is always important in a decision like this.”
She adds, “We want to change the quality of people’s lives. It is not about vanity. It’s about living your best self.”