With more than 20 years' experience as an aesthetician, Clover Cummings, lovingly referred to as 'the Queen of Skincare', has clients from all over the world. People visit Jamaica just to have personal sessions with her before singing her praises upon their return home. Cummings's spa is called Total Face Care and is a hidden gem on Beecham Plaza in Ocho Rios, St Ann. Cummings, who is from Westmoreland, discovered her passion for skincare by chance.
"It was decades ago, and I happened to land a job at a prominent spa in Ocho Rios. I loved improving the skin of my clients and it felt like I was changing lives."
She opened her own place soon after and has been unstoppable ever since. Total Face Care offers state-of-the-art facials, wart removals, chemical peels, waxing and other skin-improving procedures, all of which are done by the queen herself.
"Over the years I trained various employees, but I don't do that anymore because most clients would rather have me do the procedure, plus I love to give everything my personal touch."
Cummings plans to expand by opening a larger spa in Ocho Rios and taking the Total Face Care brand to other parishes.
"I would like to expand to other parishes, in particular to Westmoreland. I have clients in all these places who have to travel to Ocho Rios to see me. They want me to move to where they are, but I just can't be everywhere at once, unfortunately. "
She loves being an aesthetician and explains that the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
"I love it when my customers are pleased with their results. Also, when I see young people with a lot of warts, I encourage them to remove them and sometimes, depending on their financial circumstances, I might even do a removal for free. The results are usually amazing."
... 'Gov't should offer tax breaks to entrepreneurs'
Aesthetician Clover Cummings does believe that the Government should offer tax breaks to entrepreneurs so more people will be able to afford to run their own businesses.
"For my business I work alone, so I have to pay tax for the spa, tax for myself and many other things. I have to register with parish council (municipal corporation) every year and pay for that. There are a lot of things that must be paid out of this single income, so I understand how much more difficult things would be for people who are just starting out."
Additionally, Clover notes that although many people are experiencing financial difficulties, she has still managed to maintain a steady flow of clients.
"My prices are very affordable because I am aware that most people have less disposable income. I have to make it reasonable so everyone can get a facial and take care of themselves."
When it comes to budding aestheticians, Cummings believes that they should never stop working on their craft.
"I never stop learning. I attend conferences every year in the United States. Last November, I went to an event put on by the International Congress of Ethics and Spa in Florida. I always try to be knowledgeable so I can offer the best service. You have to love what you do. Put your customer first and make yourself marketable."