Former Cal State Fullerton gymnast Kelly Mathiasen opened Our Little Secret — a full-service hair, skincare, wax and spray-tan boutique — one year ago after taking a turn from a career in teaching and discovering her true passion lies in the beauty industry.
“After graduation and spending time in the teaching world, I quickly found out that teachers are, unfortunately, very undervalued and overworked,” she said. “I did a bit of soul searching and realized that I truly loved the beauty industry and spent years having to be ‘done up’ for my gymnastics competitions.”
Mathiasen said she realized she was particularly interested in skin care, which prompted her to go back to school to become an esthetician.
“Finding a true love in the industry, I decided that I wanted to make my own way in the world and open a quaint salon that really specialized in pampering our customers rather than so many that seem to be more of a cattle call of just doing mass customers and losing the focus on what we’re actually here for — to make our clients feel special,” she said.
After about three months of construction and design, Our Little Secret was born last year in mid-July. Despite the career change and leap into an entirely new industry, Mathiasen hasn’t looked back since.
“It’s amazing how word of mouth and the buzz of our results have quickly spread,” she said. “Being a self-funded small business in today’s economy is a challenge, but we’re thankful everyday for all of the positive response we’ve had this year.”
One of the reasons the tucked-away salon has been whispered about from the lips of satisfied customers may stem from the fact that the ladies at Our Little Secret make customers their top priority.
“We want each and every customer to have an amazing and unique experience tailored to his or her every need. We’re not a big national chain store that has 30 stations and a revolving door. Our goal is to have every client feel spoiled, pampered and perfect,” Mathiasen said. “Our priority is to make certain each customer walks away feeling amazing and smiling ear to ear.”
That mentality, she said, results in a high repeat client base who love to come in and enjoy a little shop talk, unwind and leave feeling relaxed.
“We go the extra mile to let our customers know we’re here to put a smile on their face,” she said. “I think we’re doing a pretty bang-up job based on the 45 reviews we have on Yelp, averaging 4.5 stars, not to mention our return customer visits are at 85 percent.”
In celebration of its first successful year in business, Our Little Secret is hosting a red-carpet gala celebration on July 29 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and empowering wounded soldiers.
“We actually teamed up with Wounded Warrior for our grand opening last year and we are thrilled to be able to help give back again this year,” she said. “We are thrilled to share our anniversary with all those who have helped us get where we are and want to share an evening of fun, fashion and good times.”
The event will feature food, drinks, live music, photo opportunities, swimsuits, models and product discounts. Complimentary tickets will be given to any customers who take advantage of Our Little Secret’s services through July 28. Tickets will also be available for purchase at Our Little Secret, located at 6437 Caminito Blythefield, Suite A.
First time customers who mention La Jolla Village News or LJVN will receive a 50-percent discount on any of the salon’s services on their first visit. Clients can also sign up for the salon’s newsletter, which contains special discounts several times a month, or sign up to become a member for additional offers on tanning and waxing services.
For more information about Our Little Secret, visit www.ourlittlesecretsd.com or call (858) 454-Shhh (7444).