Jennifer Dighton, of Edgecomb, set out to create a rewarding career for herself. On Jan. 4, she opened her first business in Newcastle.
Skin Sensations, in what was once an eye exam room in Dr. Roy Seibel’s practice at 71 Main St. in Newcastle, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Dighton offers a full range of skin therapy services, including facials, back treatments, eye treatments, and body waxing. She will soon offer lash and brow tinting, as well as eyelash extensions.
“My services are all about making people feel beautiful and confident about their skin,” Dighton said.
Dighton discovered her passion for skin therapy just two months before enrolling in an 18-week aesthetics course at Aveda Institute Maine. Students must complete 600 hours of training in facials, waxing, makeup application, lash and brow tinting, lash lifts, eyelash extensions, business development, wellness, product knowledge, and state exam preparation before earning their certificate.
“I fell in love with learning about the complexity of skin therapy,” Dighton said. “I had no idea how much science and training went into giving facials; I thought it was just rubbing people’s skin.”
Dighton grew up in Dresden and attended Dresden Elementary School, Wiscasset Middle School, and Morse High School. She said she has always loved making people feel beautiful. Her path to the beauty industry began not with skin therapy, but with hair.
“I was always the friend or family member asked to cut and style hair,” she said. “I actually didn’t know anything about skin treatment, and I’d never gotten a facial until taking the aesthetics course.”
Dighton said that before having children, she had hoped to pursue a career in cosmetology. “Then life happened, and I didn’t have the 13 months to study cosmetology,” she said.
As a mother of two sons, Dighton said, she centered her work schedule around her children. For nine years, she worked from her home in Edgecomb, weaving mats and baskets out of lobster rope, which she sold to Custom Cordage, of Waldoboro. Before that, she made lobster traps from home.
“I took any job that would allow me to work from home and raise my two boys,” Dighton said. “I didn’t think of work as something that would bring me happiness.”
Dighton said that one day, after nine years in the lobster rope-weaving business, she realized she was done. “I told myself, ‘I’ve had enough.’”
Eager to pursue her career in beauty, she contacted Aveda Institute Maine about its aesthetics program and applied. She earned her certificate in April 2020 and became licensed in October.
For months, Dighton struggled to find a job in aesthetics while continuing to practice facials and back treatments on her friends and family members.
“I wasn’t going back to the weaving or lobster trap-making business, and I wasn’t going to work in a convenience store,” Dighton said. “I finally found a career worth pursuing.”
In the beginning of December, Dighton discovered the exam room available for rent. She moved her equipment into the space and her boyfriend, a carpenter, replaced the carpeted floors with hardwood. She opened Jan. 4.
Friends and family members have made up Dighton’s biggest clientele.
“They love my services so much, they’ve told me to go into massage therapy,” she said.
For now, Dighton looks forward to bringing her clients “peaceful and relaxed skin therapy.”