Karen Oettl’s entrepreneurial spirit has been engrained in her since childhood. Now her business gives customers joyful and educational experiences.
From a very young age Karen Oettl worked in a chain of small business retail leather goods stores run by her parents- that’s where her love for hospitality and great customer experience was born. That, and her parents’ incredible work ethic, inspires her every day as she builds Save Face Facials. If she’s not working on Save Face Facials, you can find Karen reading, reflecting, or hiking with her two children and family.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 40 years
What I do: Founder and Marketing & Innovation Professional of Save Face Facials
Briefly describe who you are, what brings you the most joy in life? How do you unwind and have fun?
I’m a pretty curious person and the thing that brings me the most joy is creating experiences that people love more than they think they will. Creating experiences that people will learn a bit from and take into their everyday life.
I love reading to unwind and try to balance fiction with non-fiction and memoirs. I love reading about personal reflections through the written word. In terms of fun, nothing makes me happier than hiking with my family (although my 8 and 6 year olds are not as excited about that as I am).
What is the key problem your business or company solves, who does it solve it for and how does it solve it?
We essentially speak fluently about skincare so you don’t have to. When we first started our facial pop-up business, we focused on coming to our consumers where they physically were (retailers, corporations and co-working spaces). In 2022 we plan on opening our first brick & mortar store.
We solve this problem for skincare curious people. People who are interested in leveling up their skincare daily routines and also want a bit of self-care during the month too!
Where are you right now in your life and career, what is your hope for your next chapter?
I’m in the early stages of being an entrepreneur (year 3) so it’s a lot of ups and downs and big milestones I’m hoping to achieve in 2022. My hope for the next chapter is to open our first studio in Atlanta and hire some amazing womxn estheticians and build a sustainable business.
What wellness practices are a part of your daily/weekly life that help to keep you feeling balanced and grounded?
The wellness practices that are part of my daily and weekly routines are my Gua Sha (facial massage) every morning and I try to do at least 5 days of peloton to help me detach mentally from the stressors of life, covid, work and family.
I’ve also just started drinking Athletic Greens juice in the morning which makes me feel strong and like I’m starting the day off with healthy choices.
I have also found that since covid, I’ve developed a better flexible work situation so I try and take a bit of a break from work when my kids get off the bus at 3:15 p.m. every day. Pre-pandemic, this is actually the time that I would start to see a massive drop in productivity anyway so it’s actually ideal to be present with my kids at this time everyday. I truly think it’s a wellness practice!
What are your thoughts about the concept “body before business”?
As someone who was raised by parents with an incredible work ethic, my journey to define what “body before business” has been an evolution.
The 80 20 concept (20% of your efforts drive 80% of your results, also known as The Pareto Principle) can be hugely helpful in life and time management. What three to five actions would you say drive the most value in moving your business and goals forward?
List Making & Monthly check-ins with myself about my business goals. I use these to evaluate whether I have moved the needle in some of my aspirations for the month.
I’m also intentionally trying to automate more of our tasks at Save Face – I really enjoy the manual parts which is NOT effective!
I also love talking to customers. That always adds value at this stage in my business as it’s all about product-market fit.
What tools, resources or processes do you use to help you streamline and automate your business and processes so you have more time to work on the stuff that really matters? (Share links where possible)
I love acuity scheduling for all of our facial scheduling and I’ve recently been loving flodesk for emails out to our customers (very easy to create gorgeous emails without needing to have a design background.)
I do recommend two amazing memberships of Atlanta-based entrepreneurs that I have loved: Manu’s Your Social Team and Olivia Hutto Lopez’s Brand it Better program.
When you feel stuck, how or where do you typically find the help and support you need?
I have my own personal board of advisors, which include many Lola members. I usually try to put pen to paper on why I’m feeling stuck, what’s in my control and what’s outside of my control.
Post pandemic many people are changing how they approach life and work. Taking away all of the normal parameters we put around things (the hours we work, expectations of others, current clients needs, family needs) what would your “ideal” week look like, include all of your key priorities, such as; health, wellbeing, family, friends, love, hobbies, personal interests, play, joy as well as work? Be specific.
An ideal week would be a great mixture of friend time & family time and lots of work in between. I’d probably have a Save Face pop-up that I would have been prepping for for weeks during this ideal week. I’d be able to get a peloton ride or work-out in and most likely, I’d have some virtual skincare consultations booked as well.
My ideal week is busy during the morning and day, and progressively gets calmer with less expectation for me to knock off my to-do list past 3 pm.
This week would most likely be in the spring or fall when it’s warm enough to sit on a patio and my husband I could get in a coffee or lunch date during it. (I’ve been dying to try the new breakfast/lunch spot The Daily so that would probably be part of it!
Give/Get: What value do you bring to The Lola community and are there any special offers you’d like to make Members aware of right now? Is there anything else you need support with?
We are having a facial Pop-up at Citizen Supply (across the street from the Lola at Ponce City Market) on Feb. 11, 12 & 13th. It’s a galentine’s event so we’ll have two facial stations going at the same time, encouraging people to bring their friends or valentines.
I’ll also be leading a Gua Sha event for February’s Wake Up Lola Sisters! on Feb. 15th from 10 – 11. The event is free and I’ll be walking through how to do Gua Sha, the art of facial massage.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that may give us a better understanding of who you are and your personal story?
My love of hospitality and great customer experiences is rooted in how I grew up – my parents ran a chain of small business retail leather goods stores and I worked in them from a very early age.
They are an inspiration to me everyday that I build Save Face.
Member testimonial. In around 50 words or less could you share the biggest value The Lola has added to your life and career since joining? How has The Lola community and it’s Members helped you find success?
The Lola has truly impacted my life as a creative small business owner for the better. I’ve loved getting to know other Lola members and they are the first ones to root, support and cheer for my endeavors within the community.