Rasa Levinaite is Managing Director of The Wicklow Street Clinic, one of the leading beauty salons in Dublin for over three decades. Their core philosophy is to bring you the very best service delivered with high skill and dedicated care, all from a talented team nurtured by the inspirational Rasa!
What attracted you to the industry?
The funny thing is, as a qualified accountant, a corporate setting was what I had always envisaged for my life but circumstances were different and just by chance I entered into the beauty industry and I’ve never looked back! It’s very interesting work.
How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Lithuania and moved to Ireland over 17 years ago. I worked in a few different jobs, including as a chambermaid in Galway, which was good honest work but I was a little isolated and really wanted to work in Dublin as an accountant. I took the chance and moved to Dublin and then got a job in a beauty salon on Wicklow Street. I worked my way up to work as manager and when the owner retired I acquired the business, which is now The Wicklow Street Clinic!
What do you love most about what you do?
My staff and customers! I know that sounds really clichéd but my staff are like a family; they’re a bunch of wonderful women. They’re passionate about helping clients get the best results.
I suppose the most rewarding part of my work is seeing a happy customer who is wowed by his or her treatment afterwards. I’ve seen some women come in and they’re visibly transformed with treatments like CACI synergy (the non-surgical face-lifting treatment), a course of skin-correcting anti-ageing facials like Éminence’s peel range, which can hugely impact problem skin, q-Fraq lasering and microneedling.
We also have a Harley Street Surgeon, Dr Roberto Viel, who flies in once a month to carry out medical aesthetic procedures. He’s so subtle, most of our clients come back saying that people think they look fresher faced. It’s all about improving, not changing, someone’s appearance.
What’s the most difficult part of what you do?
All business owners work long hours. It’s something you have to accept from the start, so I can feel a bit overworked at times. We recently revamped the salon and that was a few months of hard work. We held a launch, which was MCed by Lucy Kennedy and was lots of fun. It was featured in a good few publications and it really made me feel that the late nights were all worthwhile.
What’s the best piece of style advice you’ve ever received?
To have at least one nice expensive piece of jewellery!
What’s the best piece of style advice you can pass on?
I believe that you should follow fashion to a certain extent but have your own sense of style.
Who is your style icon and why?
Coco Chanel; her incredible designs were a game-changer. They’re so ageless really. It always warms my heart to see a Chanel piece from any decade.
Who is your business icon and why?
There are a few. I have a lot of respect for Breege O’Donoghue and Alison Cowzer. There’s also a myriad of beauty businesswomen I think have done amazing things.
What plans do you have for your business over the next 12 months?
I am also the Irish distributor for Éminence Organic Skin Care, which is an amazing brand that plants a tree for every product sold. But it’s got incredible cosmeceutical results; it changes the skin. It’s in spas and salons throughout Ireland and just launched in the Portmarnock Spa, as well as being in Castle Leslie and Faithlegg. I want to see Éminence become even more prominent in Irish spas.
We’re just off Grafton Street – The Wicklow Street Clinic – and I want to be a go-to skin clinic, not a
day spa. We’re already popular for people who want to transform their skin and we are on our way to being renowned. We consistently get five-star feedback. Treatments are relaxing but they’re about results you can see in the mirror!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Watch this space. Maybe some Wicklow Street franchises. *wink wink*
How do you stay motivated?
I love my work, love owning and running a beauty clinic – it wasn’t ever in my original sights. It just shows how when you’re younger you have no idea what’s in store for you. They say that if a business has a pleasant ethos, where fairness prevails, that it will always translate to happy staff and satisfied customers. My staff are happy and we get along and that transfers to the clients – we have good vibes in the clinic.
I fully believe positivity transfers to good business.
What advice would you give young people who want to break into the industry?
I think a top qualification like CIDESCO is very important. Be very knowledgeable about all the beauty disciplines, not just one. Having a strong qualification in beauty is the most important. So going to a good beauty college where you can really get that strong beauty expertise is important.