We know you've heard of EC Beauty and hopefully, you are scoring deals there all year 'round with your LH Hook-Up Card. However, do you know the beautiful genius behind the amazing treatments offered there? Get to know our latest Mom Boss of the Month, Erica Cerpa!
Starting a salon seems like a HUGE undertaking. You need equipment, products, and, of course, the location. What was your motivation for taking that leap of faith and starting your own business?
I wanted to start a center for beauty in a community environment where women could go not only to just relax, but also build a trust with their esthetician and ask those questions about their skin that maybe they hadn’t asked before. Many consider the state of their skin a vulnerable topic. I wanted to create a place where women could shed their insecurities and find the best solutions for their skin & body concerns. When our clients come to us, it is our goal to treat them as if they are the only client that we have.
There are so many spas and salons, but yours is so specialized and offers treatments that we don’t see elsewhere. How do you keep your business in the forefront of technology and skincare?
No two EC Beauty facials are the same, we truly customize each and every client’s treatment to cater to exactly what their skin needs! I am constantly learning about new services so that I can offer a wide array of services. Additional training, trade shows, reading up on publications and blogs is all a crucial part of this business. Additionally, I require my staff to take also advanced training as well so that we are all properly trained to give the best treatments possible for all of our guests. We have four estheticians right now, which gives us the opportunity to help each other learn and share what we know with one another.
What do you want your little boy to know about women and beauty?
My dream for my son is that he can see the beauty in each and every person he encounters. Everyone has something unique about them that makes them beautiful; their smile, their eyes, their laugh. I want him to be able to not only see a person’s beautiful qualities, but be someone who uplifts others. We have too much negativity in this world sometimes, people try to tear each other down. I hope that when he notices someone’s uniqueness, he tells them so that they can feel good about themselves.
Not everyone knows, but your salon is moving to a new location! Congrats!! What does your new space represent to you that your old one didn’t?
I’m so excited to be moving to 80 River Street on the 2nd floor! In our new space, I feel I am really able to bring my longtime vision for EC Beauty Studio to life. It will truly have my own personal stamp on it. Additionally, we will be able to finally offer many frequently requested services in our new space that were not possible in our old one. It will truly be a full beauty center, complete with not only our signature skincare, but also body treatments, weight loss treatments, and makeup.
You have access to the best treatments there are. When is the last time you got a pimple? And what does Erica Cerpa do when she gets one?
Freak out and not leave my apartment! Just kidding. My last big pimple was two months ago and I was lucky enough to be at the spa. I have one of the estheticians extract and “zap” it. Zapping uses our high frequency to kill the bacteria and promote healing. It is definitely best to have an extraction done by a professional with a magnifying lamp and correct pre and post care products, but seeing as that’s not always the case here is the best way to treat a pimple from home: use a hot compress over the area, take a small needle or pin and create a tiny opening directly in the center of the whitehead. Wrap two fingers in tissues and squeeze gently. Seeing blood or clear fluid is normal and usually means it’s time to stop squeezing. Follow this with a spot treatment, preferably something with benzoyl peroxide and let it heal! Don’t pick at a scab should one form. It should also be noted that this at home procedure should only be done if the zit is ready! If you don’t see a white head, be patient, don’t pick, and continue doing hot compresses until a head is formed and can be extracted.
When you actually get a day off with your little guy, what are your favorite Hoboken spots to have some fun at?
Hoboken has such great activities for kids. I absolutely love Songs for Seeds and also enjoy taking Michael to art classes at Urban Arts, located at the Monroe Center. It’s important to me that he embraces his creativity. We also love going to Tony Boloney's for lunch or dinner together.
Why is Hoboken the best place to raise a family?
Hoboken is a great place to raise a family for so many reasons. It is really rare to find a place that has both a neighborhood/community feel but at the same time, an urban/city feel as well. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many possible experiences for our kids. The best part of living here is that there is always close-by options of activities you can do as a family, that time you have together is so important.
What is your funniest mom fail moment?
One day I was driving home and I really had to pee. My son was only a few months old, so I wasn’t able to pull over somewhere and just run out without having to take him with me. I rushed to my apartment, just grabbing Michael out of the car and leaving all my bags because it was such an urgent situation! I decided not to take the elevator and ran as fast as I could still carrying Michael. The moment I walked in the door I sprinted to the bathroom and struggled as I pulled down my pants and still held my baby. I finally sat down and started going until I realized…I had left my underwear on! I screamed so loud at the sudden unpleasant wet feeling, Michael started to cry and my neighbor came to check on me! Needless to say, I always double check that I’m completely “ready” before using the bathroom since that mom fail!
What was the best business advice anyone ever gave you? How about the worst?
The best business advice I’ve gotten is to always be very clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Let your expectations be known so there’s never any confusion or misinterpretation. I haven’t really gotten “bad” business advice, but I do think a common mistake made in business is that people take client concerns very personally sometimes and I believe that an opportunity is missed when that happens. Always listen to your clients and address their concerns, (luckily we don’t get too many!) because this could actually help your business grow and improve.
A day in the life of Erica. Go!
6:45- wake up, make coffee, put together my to-do list for the day!
7:15-8:00- try to get myself ready first before Michael wakes up. This is always a race against the clock!
8:00-8:45 – get Michael awake, fed and dressed so we can leave the house. As I’m sure most moms know, mornings are very hectic when you have a toddler!
9:00- drop Michael off at Urban Jungle
9:30-10:30- EXERCISE! This is so important to maintain my energy in keeping up with my two year old, keeping my stress level down, and my skin looking its best. I love working out at Soul Cycle, SLT or even with a personal trainer.
10:45-12:30- I have something I need to pick up everyday, whether its for home or work. After I work out ,I’ll head to the store--sometimes it's Trader Joe’s, a beauty supply center, or Target. I do whatever errands I can before heading to work!
1:00- Work begins! My first facial is a plumping Oxygen Facial
2:00- next I have some Microdermabrasion
3:00- a longtime client is coming in for Microneedling to fix hyperpigmentation
5:00- Dinner time! Luckily, today I have a break to eat. Usually a salad and green juice. Yum!
6:00- I get to give one of my beautiful clients a spray tan
7:00- My last client of the day is getting a Chemical Peel to help with her acne
8:00 –clean up and head home.
8:00-9:30- spend some time with my son before giving him his bath and putting him down for the night.
9:30- bedtime- I use the time by myself to relax, meditate, take a bath, and plan out some cool activities I’d like to do with Michael for the weekends or my days off. I try my best to get to bed as early as I can!
Do you know someone who should be our next Mom Boss of the Month? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us!