We had the good fortune of connecting with Sameera Ahmed, Founder and Esthetician of Signal Skin Science and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sameera, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve worked for a number of skincare lines as Lead Esthetician, Educator, and Account Executive, and saw a real gap in understanding in how a lot of esthetic professionals approach skin care. I noticed either a fear-based “natural” approach that positioned all “chemicals” as toxic, or an aggressive medical approach that peeled first and asked questions after. There wasn’t a true holistic understanding of the skin and how it indicates whole-body health. So I wanted to start a practice that embodied this whole-health approach.
Signal Skin Science was founded in 2020 – in the middle of the pandemic! – as a skin care practice grounded in intuition and informed by science. The name is based on the science of cellular signaling and really embodies my approach to working with the skin, leveraging its existing function to create healthy, beautiful skin.
I created a simple service menu of custom, corrective facials, chemical peels, microneedling and more and help guide my clients through each treatment and their at-home skin care regimens to create their most perfect, healthy skin.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my business in August of 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s an in person, service-based business started in a time when those types of services were slowly opening up after being shut down for months. As such, I started with no marketing and just invited clients in who were receptive to receiving high-touch services and wanted to resume their self-care activities. I opened in a single room in a shared office building, which was 100% occupied by women entrepreneurs. It was a really inspiring place to open my business, and being surrounded by like-minded women really helped.
It slowly and steadily grew through word of mouth that first year, and I was able to look for a larger space to grow into the following year. I took a huge leap forward and moved into a five treatment room space which now includes multiple practitioners including acupunture, massage, laser hair removal, and injectables. I’m still working on growing into the space and am trying to allow for slow and steady growth; I always feel that kind of intentional, careful growth is longer lasting than the zero-to-sixty type of growth that can quickly fizzle. This type of slow growth is possible through word of mouth, reviews, referrals, and excellent customer service and I’m proud to say that we’ve never invested in marketing beyond that!
Some lessons I’ve learned are to allow growth to be a process, and to be iterative. There’s a huge temptation to make everything perfect from the get-go: investing in the best furniture and interior design, the fanciest devices, the latest trending treatments, etc. but I’ve found that it’s more important to be invest wisely and leave room for growth and improvement over time.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely start with a hike in the mountains – Golden has some easy and quick trails perfect for newbies. Then I would swing through to the Highlands for brunch at Linger – one of my faves, and it offers great city views. Following that, we’d have to go see some art at the MCA, and sip a cocktail on the rooftop. Union Station is just a few blocks away and offers a ton to see, taste, and do! Sunday Vinyl is a favorite. We’d have to include an overnight at Strawberry Hot Springs, and bikeride through town to Cherry Creek Reservoir. Shopping at Cherry Creek, and sushi at Uchi.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout my husband, Pierce Murphy, for being a never-ending source of inspiration and support, a sounding board, and literally everything I need whenever I need it. I couldn’t do business (or life!) without him.