There’s nothing better than finding the time and place needed to relax, unplug and take care of you. Novo Esthetics is that place. Novo is “a safe place to land” for every walk of life and they’re committed to ensuring the earth is cared for as much as their clients. Intrigued? Keep reading as we introduce you to Vicki Aitken and all of the wonderful services she offers….
Describe your business: Novo Esthetics Studio is a business dedicated to providing rituals of care for all bodies. We are a space that is LGBTQ2SA+ Friendly, and making strides to accommodate those with limited mobility as well.
Novo Esthetics Studio strives to find gentle, botanically based, and cruelty-free products. We choose remedies as close to nature as possible; and choose a holistic approach to traditional esthetics services. There are even some products that we make in-house.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you? I personally find such joy in creating relationships with m clients. It’s a privilege to learn about their lives and support them through crisis and triumph. There’s nothing better than having a guest leave not only satisfied with their service – but with their heart full after a great conversation as well.
What has surprised you most when owning your own business? Owning a business is a humbling experience and the current pandemic hasn’t made it any less challenging! I think that some folks believe that owning a business is glamorous. I’ve learned that I don’t work for myself, I work for my clients, and in order to be successful, it’s important to be available when your clients need you [all while learning to create professional boundaries]!
What was it like when you first started? This industry requires patience! Building a clientele along with a positive reputation takes time in order to support sustainable growth. When I first started my business, even though I was transitioning away from a room rental in another spa there were days that I only saw 1 or 2 clients in an entire 8 hour day of availability. I didn’t let that discourage me. Instead, I started conversations with strangers, I passed out business cards in business cards to friends, and I tried to connect with other business owners that shared a similar vision to my own!
What is something people don’t know about your business? Novo Esthetics has just joined the Green Circle Salons initiative.
Not only are we committed to choosing products that are plant-based and natural, but we care about our environmental impact too. If you purchase a product and you’re unsure as to how you can properly recycle the packaging we welcome clients to bring that container back to us so that it can be re-used or responsibly recycled. We’re hoping to start verma-composting this year as well!!
What would your customers say they love most about doing business with you? I’ve received some really nice reviews over the past few years, some that have even brought me to tears. I think that what our clients enjoy most is that Novo is a safe place to land. As a space that feels more welcoming and less prestigious than other spa environments. Casual but still professional.
How do you motivate and encourage each other? Yourself? I feel very lucky to have a team of givers and healers right now. Each staff member has their own special gifts, and I think that we do a great job of acknowledging and supporting each other in personal growth. This is not a space where we shy away from conflict or hard conversations, because when you’re willing to sit with and deal with difficult emotions, it provides an opportunity for deeper connection and friendship. When we returned from the pandemic we took Mental Health First Aid as a team so that we could better support not only our guests but each other as well.
Where do you see your business in the next years? As I mentioned, we have a great team right now and I hope that in the coming years I am able to support them as their clientele grows. We’ve now won 2 Consumer’s Choice Awards and I’d love to make it 3!
What are your greatest challenges? One of the most challenging things about being a business owner in not only a “Niche” market but also an industry that is customer service-based, is finding people to join your team that not only understand but also share your vision for growth. I learned some expensive lessons last year around hiring staff.
What is something most people don’t know about you? The first thing that comes to mind is that I sometimes struggle with my own mental health [which is why I’m such an advocate for it]. I live with High Functioning Anxiety, which can make social media terrifying for me! I can’t stand crowds, and I’m nervous about the world “returning to normal” post-pandemic. I feel most at ease in interactions that are one on one or in small groups.
What do you love most about your town/city? I love Saskatoon and Riversdale specifically. This neighbourhood feels like a community where people get to know each other, and where the business owners like each other enough to collaborate on projects [I mean this blog is a perfect example of that]! If it were up to me my husband and I would live here, but we actually currently reside 45km east of Saskatoon. It’s a nice quiet place for us to retreat to, but my heart is and always will be in Saskatoons core neighborhoods.
Why do you think it is important for people to support local? I believe that every dollar that you spend is a potential vote for the type of world that you want to live in. I work hard for my money, and I want it to go back into my community. I try to support local whenever possible from the groceries that I buy, the clothes that I wear, the items in my home that bring me joy, and the restaurants that I eat in. There is energy attached to our money, and I believe that the more that I spend on supporting my community, the more likely that I am to see that money return to me.
What are your favorite restaurants? Oh gosh. I LOVE to eat out so that’s a tough question for me, but if I had to choose a top 5 – I would say Leyda’s, The Odd Couple, Thirteen Pies, UNA, and Thrive Juice Co are all at the top of my list. Also, I know they aren’t categorized as a restaurant, but I’m obsessed with the Chocolate from Those Girls at the Market. I make multiple trips to their shop in a month.
What are your favorite things to do locally? One of my favourite things to do is walk or sit along the river bank. Our city has such beautiful hidden places to explore.
Address: 208 19th Street West Suite 108 Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7M5X8