A new store has opened in downtown Ripon, aimed at helping customers achieve healthy skin.
The Skin & Out Facial Bar at 129 East Jackson St. welcomes customers by appointment Wednesday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am to 2:00pm
The shop is closed from Sunday to Tuesday.
Skin & Out owner and skincare therapist Carley Harmon recently relocated her business to Ripon from Columbus, Wisconsin, as she lives in Oshkosh and the drive to Columbus was getting “a little too much.”
She’s excited about the move as Skin & Out grows from a “small, closet-sized space in the back of a salon” to a full storefront in downtown Ripon.
While her storefront is reminiscent of a salon, Harmon does not offer hair care as she specializes in skin care, eyebrows and eyelashes.
She noted that the store looks like a salon because she wants it to be an environment for conversations with her customers.
“This is a really different environment than a traditional spa,” Harmon said. “Usually when you get facials you go into this dark room, there are almost no windows, the lights are off, you have to put on a bathrobe, you climb into this bed under covers. It’s very intimate, it’s very quiet and a lot of people fall asleep.”
However, at the Skin & Out Facial Bar, Harmon talks her clients through the process, describing herself as “a teacher of skin first and a service provider second.”
“I want it to feel like you’re hanging out with friends, just doing face masks while you’re learning about skin,” she said.
Harmon was interested in skincare from a young age, as she “always loved playing with makeup.”
“As a young girl, you’re very uncomfortable in your own skin, especially if you have acne or other skin conditions,” she says. “I have a birthmark on my cheek, so I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s always made me want to help other people feel better about themselves.”
In coming up with the name for her company, Harmon said she wanted to come up with something that was short and to the point.
“I wanted people to see the name and know exactly what I am,” she said. “I focus on skin, but I also do more things with skin. The facial bar aspect comes from not wanting to call it a spa because it doesn’t really have a spa environment and is set up more like a salon, like a little bar with facials.”
Although Harmon grew up in the Beaver Dam area, she has “always loved” Ripon for its small-town charm and historic nature, having visited the community several times over the years.
She added that the low downtown vacancy rate also fueled her decision because she feels Ripon is a safe community to open a new business.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on it for the past few years and just couldn’t find anything that was in my price range,” she said. “Nothing felt right, but when this place finally opened – after three years of looking – I was like, ‘I don’t even have to see it, I’ll take it.'”
At the moment she is focused on establishing the company and becoming part of the local business community. But she eventually hopes to hire more skincare therapists since she’s Skin & Out’s sole employee.
“I market. i am finance I do the services. I deal with customers face to face. And then I have a part-time job, too,” Harmon said. “It’s a lot, but everything will work out in the end.”
When Skin & Out eventually expands to hire more staff, she hopes to be a mentor to those relatively new to skincare.
“It’s really difficult to find good employment in the spa industry; It’s very hard on your body and the pay isn’t good, so I really want to get people started,” Harmon said. “I want to be the person I needed in the beginning.”