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Behind the Scenes with Heyday Skincare Founder Adam Ross

Published February 5, 2023
Published February 5, 2023
Adam Ross

Spa industry revenue has returned to near pre-pandemic levels despite persisting staffing challenges, according to The International SPA Association's (ISPA) 2022 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study. A part of that conversation is Adam Ross, the visionary behind Heyday Skincare. Ross' core focus on simplifying the entire facial experience attributed to Heyday's success story, as evidenced in the industry disruptor recent deal landing over $12 million in new funding, extending its Series B led by existing investor Level 5 Capital Partners (L5), nearly two years after its initial $20 million Series B.

Ross is a skincare expert who has experience across different sectors of the beauty industry. In a previous life, he was an investment banker, working with beauty companies that focused on pushing products rather than helping consumers do what's suitable for their skin. After realizing that taking care of his skin was increasingly complex and confusing and speaking with others who were equally frustrated, he became convinced there had to be a better way for people to achieve their skincare goals.

In 2015, Ross launched the first Heyday skincare shop in New York City's NoMad neighborhood, with the belief that everyone should have access to professional skincare services―ultimately taking the facial out of the spa and into local communities across the United States, with twenty locations and two new spaces coming to Southlake, Texas, and the Krog District of Atlanta this year. Ross innovatively reimagined the current fragmented spa services industry by streamlining every aspect of the business from booking to billing, including in-depth customer education to drive robust retention.

As Heyday Skincare continues to grow into a driving force in the spa industry, Ross notes it's crucial to balance professional and personal life to maintain positive mental health. His personal journey includes a few destinations off the beaten path, which also serve as inspiration for his company. His travels have taken him to all of Southeast Asia, most of Central and South America, every Eastern African country, and, most recently, a four-day solar eclipse expedition in the Arizona desert.

Beauty Matter spoke to the founder about his company mission, how he evaluates professional growth, the cumulative benefits of great skincare, the importance of accessible skincare, and creating a community of loyal customers.

How do you measure success, and why?

I think it's important to acknowledge that success means different things to different people, and what works for one person may not work for another―and that's ok. For me, it's through how much meaning and fulfillment is in my week. This doesn't always mean joy or happiness;they are derivatives of this. And sometimes, through hardship and challenging situations, you find meaning and the limits of your character, which all point to growth and meaning. I use this filter across my personal and professional life.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?

Professionally, it was ultimately bringing Heyday Skincare back from the brink of the pandemic. We could not have been in a more impacted category. The team and I are incredibly proud of how we navigated that to where we are today (and what we have to look forward to in 2023 and beyond).

What characteristic of yours has led to your success so far?

Persistence. I know, a totally unsexy answer. But just keep turning up and doing the work. I remember when my parents used to say, "Do what you say you're going to do and turn up on time, and you'll come out ahead in life." I would roll my eyes whenever they said this. But never have more valid words been spoken.

What steps do you take to manage stress?

Daily exercise. It's cathartic.

What five adjectives describe you best?

Hard-working, loyal, thoughtful, quiet, and diligent.

What do you value in your professional life?

Grit, persistence, and strategic thinking.

Is the journey or the destination more important?

Journey. Enjoying the journey, and doing it the right way, and the destination will also change.

What is your favorite place in the world, and why?

So many incredible places it's so difficult to name just one. My girlfriend is South African, so we spend a lot of time on safari in Africa. Viewing Petra in Jordan was unreal and otherworldly. Lastly, having four days hiking the ancient Inca Trail through the cloud forests high up in the Peruvian Andes before arriving at the Sun Gate, looking down at Machu Picchu, which is such a spectacular sight. All very different experiences that are special in their own way.

What habits do you maintain for mental health?

For me, I am an early riser (also early to bed). I meditate (also using the Chill Aromatic Alchemy from Naturopathica), journal, and exercise.

What is the first thing you do when you get home from work?

A light run or walk. It helps clear the mind and is a nice reset moment before the evening.

How do you measure your productivity at the end of the day?

I try to think about how I have moved the business forward―and what impact I have had that day. It's not measured in a to-do list―and it can be easy to get caught up in what I term "motion work” versus "impact work."

What bedtime routine do you follow to help you relax?

No screen time an hour before bed. I try to read every evening as well, even if it's for 15 minutes. It helps switch my brain off.

What motivates you in your personal and professional life?

To create genuine and authentic connections with people. In my personal life, this is with family, friends, and loved ones. With work, it's creating products and services that can positively impact their lives.

Do you think it is important to be optimistic or realistic in life?

Optimistic. Helps you push boundaries and what is possible. It's a less safer option!

What is a life lesson you learned from a mentor?

Always have three options. With one option, you're trapped; with two, you have a dilemma, but when you have three―then you have a choice. Note they may not always be good ones, but they are options nonetheless!

What words of wisdom do you want to share with future generations?

You can't over communicate with team members. Which, of course, is easy in theory and so much more challenging in practice. It's an area where you can continuously improve. Doing that will elevate the team in ways you cannot predict.

What is one trait you want to work on this year, and why?

Balance. Across all areas of life. It will ultimately make me better across other areas as well.


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