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Meet Ariel Simonetti of Skin Theory in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Simonetti.

Ariel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been an esthetician since 2006 but I feel like I really began my career in 2009 when I worked at a brow studio in Nordstrom Fashion Valley. All day long I would shape eyebrows which is how I began building a clientele. I loved working there and have fond memories there but after a couple of years, I realized I wanted to build my own business where I would offer other beauty services that I loved. My skill in brow shaping helped me make this transition because I had a decent following of guests who wanted to continue seeing me once I left the brow studio. I left in 2011 and have remained in business for myself since then. I made skin care another main focus of mine and eventually added natural lash enhancements as another core service I offer. I decided from the beginning that I would only offer treatments and services that I was passionate about and that I knew I would excel at. Rather than offer a huge menu of services that would only be mediocre, I decided to keep my menu genuine. Now, 6 years later, I’m in a location that I consider a second home, that I love coming to everyday. The relationships that I’ve built with my guests are dear to me, some have been with me since day one! Every day I realize how fortunate I am that I live the life that I do and I know that I’ve worked hard to earn it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m fortunate enough to say that it has been a fairly smooth road to the place that I’m in now. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have trials along the way but none were so disheartening that I ever wondered if this is what I wanted to work towards. Truthfully, I had and still have a wonderful support system. My husband, then boyfriend, was very supportive of me and never once tried to persuade me out of creating my own business. Even though it meant he would have to take on the financial slack for an undetermined amount of time, the thought never crossed his mind that I wouldn’t succeed. You need those kinds of people in your corner. When you’re worried or unsure of how things will turn out, those friends and family will be the ones who say ‘Do it anyway’, ‘Take the risk’. I come from a family of entrepreneurs so I knew my family wouldn’t try to talk me out of it. I feel that my exponential growth over the years is a combination of my unquestionable confidence that I would succeed, taking advantage of opportunities to learn about growing my business and also a decent amount of good fortune. The good fortune is my way of understanding that not everyone has a smooth road and I try to remind myself as often as possible that it may not always be like. Keeps me on my toes!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Skin Theory story. Tell us more about the business.
Skin Theory is a skin, wax and lash studio that specializes in brow shaping and restoration, traditional and advanced skin treatments and keratin lash lifts. All of my services are bespoke, meaning every service is tailored to each guest and their beauty objectives. What I’m most proud of is that I have been able to concentrate on offering impeccable service while also forming genuine relationships with my guests. My guests come to see me to receive a treatment but they’re also there to see me, a person they enjoy spending time with. While, yes, their appointments are a limited time frame, I still see it as time to catch up and strengthen our friendship. The beauty services I offer are a part of a much more meaningful responsibility I have to my guests and that is to simply show them that they are remarkable. There are too many people in this world who question their role in life or the impact they have on others. I would like to be a person in their lives that shows them they matter and I chose to do that through beauty and wellness in a place without judgement. Not everyone who walks through my doors needs this kind of remedy but I offer it to all my guests, no one is exempt. I also don’t assume I’m single-handedly changing their lives but I find comfort in knowing I’m giving them something positive rather than adding any negativity.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Truthfully, I believe luck is learning to listen to your instincts better and that’s always played a large role in the success of my business. Of course, I mainly make my decisions based on any facts I can acquire and look at all possible outcomes from every angle. One particular incident that comes to mind is when I ran into an old friend at a random Starbucks back in 2013. We chatted and that single conversation inspired me to move my business from North County Coastal back down to San Diego. I discovered this nuance I possessed that convinced me that changing my location would be the best thing I could do for my business despite the fact that I’d already been in a salon for an entire year with a small clientele. It all began with a small “glow” of an idea that became this undeniability that I would succeed in a new location, no doubts about it. Making that move connected me with new guests and new guests meant growth and growth signified moving on to a place that better reflected the ambiance I wanted to give my guests. I literally found the studio I’m in now because I connected with a particular guest within a week of moving to my San Diego location. After two years, she introduced me to a friend who had a studio available and I, once again, listened to my instincts and it’s been one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. I think a lot of successful people have learned to tap into their instincts and that’s why it often seems that they always make the correct decisions. It’s taking the facts and combining them with your “gut feeling” to make your final conclusion.


  • Brow Shaping $25 Eyebrows are shaped to perfection, giving you the timeless beauty of sophistication.
  • Keratin Lash Lift $60 Eyelashes are lifted and curled, opening up the eyes. Offering a more luscious look for your lashes.
  • Age Gracefully Corrective Facial $110 This unique facial treatment is more than just a steam cleanse and mask. Various advanced products are used to stimulate cell turnover and collagen production and retention. You’ll leave the studio with a visible change in your skin that will become more pronounced over the days following.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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