Patricia Owen

Founder and President, FACES DaySpa, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Affiliations: ISPA, PBA, DSA, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in winch she serves on the board.

PATRICIA OWEN’S BEAUTY CAREER started behind the counter as an educator and make-up artist for Estee Lauder cosmetics. She later became an entrepreneur by opening FACES, as a small ladies retail boutique on Hilton Head Island, which transformed over the years into an award-winning day spa. Next to beauty, Owen’s biggest passion is business, and over the years her involvement with her local Chamber of Commerce led to her sitting on the boards of the U.S Chamber’s Council of Small Business and the U.S Chamber of Commerce, involving her in national conversations about issues such as taxes, access to financial regulation arid health care reform. She’s even represented the small business owner in testimony before the U.S. Congress.

Who was your mentor along the way? “My mentor was, and still is, Ida Stewart, the former vice president of Estee Lauder cosmetics. She is an amazing woman who leads by example. Always direct, she says what she is thinking and is a strong believer in fairness and integrity. Because of her, I have always tried to find a way to express myself and my ideas in a way that will make a difference.”

How has being a woman made your career path harder or easier? “I trust and rely heavily on my women’s intuition and believe a successful business owner needs to be visionary Not a pessimist, but rather a realist, I try to always keep my eye on ‘what could happen next’. Faced with adversity I keep looking until I finally find the hidden silver lining. In a word, I am ‘driven,’ never giving up and never being satisfied with the status quo. Questioning how we can improve makes me continue to strive to be even better.”

What would you consider to be your biggest professional break? “When I first opened FACES DaySpa in 1983, we provided an unmet need in the community by offering cosmetics, and our business thrived. When a large shopping mall opened nearby with its own department store cosmetics counter, the competition forced me to look at my business and take a leap into the professional skincare arena—and from the brink of failure our business took off to new heights. With the help of an SBA loan, we were able to purchase and renovate a recently-closed jewelry store adjacent to our original space and expand to become the award-winning spa that we are today.”

What’s the best business advice anyone ever gave you? “I’d have to say my husband who reminds me daily, ‘You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.’”

What business achievement are you most proud of? “Over the years, we have won industry and business awards on a statewide, national and international level where we have competed and won against some of the best small businesses in America. Yet what we value most is the endorsement of the locals who consistently vote us as then ‘favorite spa’ year after year.”

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “Having spent more than a quarter of a century starting and growing my business, I want to be able to spend my future giving back. As a member of the board of directors and chairperson of the Hilton Head Island Small Business Committee, I am able to share my wealth of experience with local small-business owners. On a national level, as a member of the U.S. Chambers Council on Small Business, I am able to help identify issues that are of concern to small-businesses like mine so the Chamber can formulate policies to act upon. I consider it both an honor and a privilege to have also been appointed to the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Directors. As the voice of business, the Chamber’s core purpose is to right for free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion, and governments around the world.”

“Faced with adversity I keep looking until I finally find the hidden silver lining. In a word, I am ‘driven,’ never giving up and never being satisfied with the status quo. Questioning how we can improve makes me continue to strive to be even better.”

— Patricia Owen