An Interview With Sabel Fleshman, Our Certified Advanced Aesthetician

Our Certified Advanced Aesthetician, Sabel Fleshman, is a member of the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists. She was recently featured in their Summer 2012 newsletter. We’ve published the interview here, courtesy of the SPSSCS.

Sabel Fleshman – Interview by Shari Friedman

In this quarter’s newsletter, we feature SPSSCS member, Sabel Fleshman from Eugene, Oregon. Here are here candid responses as told to Shari A. Friedman, L. E.

Q: Tell us about about the positions you held before entering the skin care field.

A: I grew up in the restaurant industry, so you can imagine all the lovely side jobs I took while going through school. I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter what type of jobs you’ve had as long as you gleaned knowledge and a basic understanding of customer service.

There is a particular quote I love that states, “the quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field.” At one point, I worked for an orthopedic clinic and that’s where I fell in love with the aspect of continuing to work in the medical field.

Q: So after your initial interest in the medical field, what led you to pursue skin care?

A: I always had a passion for make-up artistry. I was constantly experimenting with different techniques and colors on friends, co-workers and neighbors. When I entered beauty school, my idea was to get licensed and move to Hollywood and become FAMOUS! On the first day we studied the theory behind clinical skin care everything changed for me. I found the science behind the obvious luxury of a facial more fascinating than anything.

Once my interest was piqued in clinical skin care, it made total sense to me that I should work for a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist after graduation, so way back in 1989, I donned my best pair of satin walking shorts, teased my hair REALLY big and went out on a quest to interview with the most popular dermatologists and surgeons in my area. Unfortunately, the doctors did not see the value in what I had to offer. I thought it was a real travesty that not one doctor wanted to extend their services to include aftercare. My way of thinking was a little ahead of its time.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field.”

Q: After exploring the medical side of skin care without much success, what were your first jobs in this field upon graduating aesthetics school?

A: Since the doctors didn’t see the value in what I had to offer, I started applying to salons that provided skin care services. In 1989 in Eugene, Oregon, there were very few. I met with an aesthetician from Germany who was looking for an apprentice. She had 26 years of experience and to me, a 23-year-old, that seemed like a million years at the time. Her name was Rosemary Evans and l owe a lifetime of gratitude to her. It was like entering beauty school all over again. She would instruct me to do brow waxes with toothpicks to teach me precision. Rosemary had me put on these long fake dragon nails to teach me how to properly use the pads of my fingers. At the time, I thought she was crazy but in fact she 
was brilliant.

I also went to work for Aveda for several years as an educator and account representative. That was the pinnacle of my career; it changed everything for me. The education I received from them was priceless. There were over 300 applicants for this position. I’d never held a sales position and I was terrified. I went through 5 interviews and after being hired, I went through a 4-week training period. Getting to Minneapolis where Aveda is based and meeting Horst Rechelbacher and training at the Institute were some of the best experiences I will ever have professionally.

Q: Please tell us a bit about the physician with whom you are affiliated.

A: I work with Dr. Daniel, who came to Eugene in 1999. He had recently attended an ASAPS meeting and decided he was going to offer chemical peels and he needed a Certified Advanced Aesthetician.

He asked friends who they went to for their skincare and my name kept coming up. Dr. Daniel and his wife called me; we met, and the rest was history. Ever since our meeting, I have developed and managed the med spa portion of his practice. It has grown to include a variety of skincare services, an extensive list of laser services, Thermage and more recently CoolSculpting.

We are by far the largest and busiest medical spa in Eugene. Thirteen years ago, every plastic surgeon in this town laughed when Dr. Daniel hired a “skincare person.” Today, every single plastic surgeon has a Certified Advanced Aesthetician on staff! Dr. Daniel is a phenomenal surgeon and I am very proud to represent his practice.

Q: What are you most passionate about regarding the field?

Putting a smile back on a patient’s face. When a patient presents themselves during a consult and they’re not making eye contact, they’re holding their head down and they’re crying because they hate their skin, the very best feeling in the world to me is to see them come in after treatments with a ponytail, eyes sparkling and beaming because they have regained confidence in their appearance!

Q: What is your proudest achievement?

A: Becoming a mother was the most profound life-changing experience for me. It led me to develop tunnel vision when it came to being successful. I wanted to be able to lead by example for both of my boys. They have always been supportive of every trip I had to take for work and every late night I had to put in. They are my pillars.

Q: Tell us about some of your other interests outside of work.

A: I love fashion, travel, spending quality time with people and FOOTBALL!

Q: What are your thoughts regarding the future direction of our industry?

A: We need to get back to basics. For years, we have all been lost in all of the exciting NEW everything. There is so much out there now, it is very overwhelming for the consumer. Minimizing skincare lines you support and speaking one language lessens the confusion and creates more sales.

Q: What are your long-term goals?

A: Within 5 years, I see myself transitioning into a career in consulting. I would like to focus on start-ups and working with struggling spas to help implement programs that can transform businesses and lives.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an SPSSCS member?

A: First and foremost, I find that being a member of SPSSCS is an accomplishment in a Certified Advanced Aesthetician’s career. It indicates that one has taken a path to a more clinical approach to skincare and feels confident enough to work with a plastic surgeon.

The SPSSCS shares with its members such insight into building a better practice.
The meetings always leave me inspired to do better for myself, my patients and my doctor. I enjoy this wonderful learning opportunity and the newsletters too!

Dr. Lee B. Daniel, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
244 Country Club Rd
Eugene OR   97401