We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney La Marine and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Courtney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I decided to start my own business 14 years ago it came from a desire to be in control of my life and the type of Aesthetician I wanted to be. Working with so many different skin care lines and spas all over the country allowed me to take notes from some of the best out there. I wanted to take a slow approach to healthy skin, being in Colorado it works well for my clients. So when decisions to grow came my way, it was easy to move forward. I spent many years focusing on building my clientele in Denver. Having a strong base here at home is very important to me. I also wanted to travel for work and the opportunity presented itself in 2016. I expanded to Uvita, Costa Rica and began taking clients in Los Angeles as well. The way my business has unfolded so far is what I’ve envisioned for my life. During the pandemic I began working on Clove Apothecary, a small batch botanical based skin care and body line. This was a piece of Clove Studios that had been an idea for years. The down time I experienced allowed me to focus on Clove Studios and Clove Apothecary. I’ve been given the opportunity to research new and innovative ingredients from different countries. Having the chance to create products that I not only use but completely stand by is a dream. The process that I’ve always brought to Clove Studios is if it feels right. I do my best not to force anything, it doesn’t work for me. I’ve never been happier with my small business, every day I get to work on Clove is a great day!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wanting to become an Aesthetician happened rather quickly. When I was a teenager I had bad skin and was constantly trying products to clear my own skin. I used to work in an office setting and when my company got bought out, I took the severance and paid for Aesthetic school. It seemed like the only option for me. When I finished school I went to work with a Doctor at a med spa. This is when I knew I had made the right decision. I worked with clients with severe skin disorders from cystic acne to severe hyperpigmentation. This is what laid the foundation for how I run Clove Studios today. I like to take a slow and steady approach when treating the skin, because most of us here in Colorado enjoy the outdoors. I take time and care when choosing machines to bring in as well. Currently Microneedling and Hydrodermabrasion have become two of my most popular treatments. What makes the Clove Studios experience unique is that I use Clove Apothecary to customize each treatment. I custom blend a finishing mask that addresses their specific needs. I use organic clays, local honey, organic essential oils and organic hydrosols in each mask. My favorite clay right now is the Costa Rican Blue Clay, a detox clay I source directly from Costa Rica. My friend actually goes into the jungle, harvests it and processes it. Sourcing my ingredients from local companies is important for my business. I’m so proud of where Clove is right now because it just feels great. I’m creating products I love and my clientele is the best I’ve ever had. I feel very lucky. Getting to where I am now was not easy, self doubt held me back more than I realized. Pushing myself past the what if’s and why’s was difficult. I made a choice to believe in how I was handling Clove Studios and that the products I make for Clove Apothecary. Knowing that the decisions I make elevate my clients skin. Deciding that this dream is mine and if I stay true to it, others will believe in it too. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to keep the negativity to a minimum, in my own head especially. Even if you think no one is rooting for you, I promise someone is watching and you are their motivator. This keeps me going. I want Clove Studios & Clove Apothecary to be known as a high quality, result driven products that are made with love and care. I want my brand to be known for its transparency. I don’t use anything in my studio I wouldn’t use on myself.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh I love being the tour guide in Colorado! I’m a native so I have gotten the chance to explore CO my entire life. I would of course start with food, I will never steer you wrong when it comes to food. My Brother’s Bar for the best burger downtown, Lao Wang if you love soup dumplings and Ba Le has the best Bahn Mi around. I would certainly take them to Smokin Yards BBQ in Idaho Springs on our way to the mountains. I’ve always enjoyed taking my friends to Carbondale via Independence Pass. The road can be a bit scary, but the views are breathtaking. We would go for a hike in Carbondale, the views of Mt. Sopris are unmatched. Then take an evening soak in the hot springs at Avalanche Ranch in Redstone. You can’t visit CO and miss the hot springs. I have many friends that are artists and have murals all over Denver. Showing them off is a must! I have had a membership at the Denver Art Museum, the MCA and the Botanical Gardens for years. I love getting lost in art so taking my friends to all three would be on the agenda for sure. I have my favorite watering holes, Hi Dive for live local music and Pon Pon for the small intimate experience. I recently had an evening at Nocturne, so I would end the week there. Jazz, amazing food and cocktails make for a lovely evening.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been lucky in this journey to have support from many people. When I was first starting out, Lydia Jordane, Lycon Cosmetics, was a huge asset in giving me business advice, and still is. Maggy Dunphy, Sp-Oz Solutions & The SOS Spa Project, was a spa director I worked with often and taught me many lessons in being unapologetically fierce. Melissa Wilson has been a colleague and friend for over a decade. I run all of my new products by her, she will give me the honest, constructive criticism that I need. Jani Duncan-Smith has been my Creative Director since Clove Studios began. She takes my vision and makes it a reality. Mark Hansen, Topo Designs, has been the one that keeps me focused on ideas. He gives me the push that I, a self proclaimed procrastinator definitely needs. He holds me accountable for an idea I have but haven’t made come to life, he gives me tips on how to run Clove Studios more efficiently, someone I trust and respect immensely. My family will always be a driving force in my life. They keep me grounded because we never take ourselves that seriously, just one of the things I love about them. I’ve recently started listening to Steven Bartlett, The Diary of a CEO, this is a fun and informative podcast. Shifting my mindset and keeping my head above water is of utmost importance. The people that love me and support me mean the world.

Website: clovestudios.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/clove.studios

Facebook: www.facebook.com/clovestudios

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/clove-studios-denver?osq=clove+studios

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.