Welcome to Big Break, a place where some of the most important people in the beauty business look back on the events that shaped them, both positive and negative. Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, and Shay Mitchell are just a few of Shani Darden’s famous clients. She is also the creator of Shani Darden Skin Care. In this article, she describes her journey from working as a spa receptionist to establishing a thriving skin-care business.

From a very young age, Shani Darden was a huge fan of skin care. She tells POPSUGAR, “My mother was really into the necessity of taking care of your skin. Darden was very curious to learn more about the realm of skin care because of his acne-prone skin. She had a strong love of beauty, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be an aesthetician. As there wasn’t even an aesthetician in her hometown, she claims, she didn’t know it was what she wanted to do. One of Darden’s friends suggested she consider working in a spa while she was trying to decide what she wanted to do after relocating to Los Angeles. 

Darden realized she wanted to become an aesthetician not long after starting school. Darden reflects, “I was extremely lucky enough to get really wonderful employment right out of school. She chuckles, “I worked at a fairly high-end spa and did reception work there in hopes that they would hire me later to be an aesthetician, which they did not do, but they helped me obtain a position at a dermatological center. Darden gained a wealth of knowledge about different skin types and disorders while working with renowned dermatologist Dr. Erma Benitez of Los Angeles. “Before I set out on my own, I bounced around numerous places, practically working everywhere, every hotel, plastic surgeon office, you name it.”

She enjoyed what she did, but there was a part of it she didn’t like. If you’re not marketing products, becoming an aesthetician at a spa is frequently not a lucrative career choice, she says. Yet when it came to her personal strategy, Darden specifically didn’t want to do that. “What I didn’t like about working at any spa was that you have to push things, which was really hard for me because I didn’t necessarily believe in all of them. Also, not everyone can afford to leave a place spending that much money each time,” the employee said.