Ukrainian Immigrant Finds Success as an Esthetician

Albina Kisanova, founder of Albina Brow-Tique in La Jolla Cove, California is enjoying success as a business owner on the foundation of word-of-mouth. In a time of mass-marketing, internet sites and advertising, Kisanova doesn’t even have a company website, yet she has a well-established clientele that frequents her salon.

Born in the Ukraine, Kisanova came to the United States and trained as an esthetician at the California Hair Design Academy despite her limited knowledge of the English language. Her determination to excel pushed her to the top of the class, and in 2003 she began working at Gaia Day Spa where she gained the respect and loyalty of her clients.

Kisanova wasn’t shy when she completed her application at the spa, claiming that she “gave the best facial in town.” Her boldness piqued the interest of the hiring manager who tested her claim and hired her immediately.

After gaining further experience at additional spas like Ocean Pearl Spa and Cristina Q, she was ready to venture out on her own. She opened Albina Brow-Tique and has never looked back. The salon specializes in eyelash tinting, eyebrow shaping, facials and body waxing.

Kisanova averages 40-60 clients each week and boasts a customer base in the hundreds, including many out-of-towners. She attributes her popularity attained while working at Gaia Day Spa to the success of Albina Brow-tique. An affordable pricing schedule also attracts clients of every economic status, including students.

Though she has never advertised nor asked for reviews, Kisanova maintains a five-star rating on Yelp with 55+ reviews. She credits her father’s advice to find something she was good at and stick with it. He also told her to treat others as she wanted to be treated.

The advice has paid off and now Kisanova has an appointment book filled weeks in advance.


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