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Meet Nicole Barnhart of Skincare 5280 in LoHi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Barnhart.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
There have been a lot of stops and starts along this path. I had gone to school for Interior Design and was in Real Estate for a few years, just getting my footing financially, when the economy fell. I figured I could fall back on a restaurant gig to get me through, but I was a young widow with a five-year-old at home and I really needed a new direction – something with regular hours.

A friend of mine who owned a waxing studio in Fort Collins suggested that I go back to school and get my estheticians license and work with her. The thought of going to beauty school was really hard to imagine but I decided to give it a try. Luckily for me, I had an amazing teacher and I fell in love with skincare.

I was exposed to a whole new world. I had never even heard of people having facials and had only known about seasoned Realtors getting injectables like Botox or having laser procedures. I had always found those things fascinating and to be able to learn how to get into that arena was a breath of fresh air for me. I was hooked!  Needless to say, I never did get that waxing gig.

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?
Anything but smooth. As a newbie Esthetician out of school, very few places wanted anything to do with me. This industry is really tricky. Once you are established, it’s great. But getting there is not a clear path.  I knew I wanted a 9 – 5, Monday thru Friday job so, I targeted Plastic Surgeons and Dermatology offices. I got my Laser Certification and updated my resume often. I called and left messages for the hiring managers once a week, I brought front desk staff coffee – anything to give them a reason to speak to me. I tried to sell myself on being green – I was moldable! It took nine months to get the job, but I finally landed a full-time esthetician job for a busy Dermatology practice in Longmont and worked there for 3 years.

After moving to Denver, I took a break and became a stay-at-home mom. I was lost and lonely. I really missed working, but I wanted more control over my schedule that running my own business could offer. I didn’t know the first thing about running a business. But I envisioned myself at the end of my life and thought “Would I regret not going for it?” The answer was “Yes.”   Even if it failed, at least I could say I tried, I took a chance. And I know that stretching myself is the best way to grow as a person.

As far as Skincare 5280 was concerned, I had struggles with the simple stuff (simple for people who know business that is, which I didn’t) like setting up an LLC, getting my FIED number, putting together a proper business plan, etc. Looking back, I should have gone to the Small Business Administration for help. But it all worked out, happily.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Skincare 5280 – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Skincare 5280 is a one-woman show. I help people of all ages, colors, and genders realize their best skin for Colorado weather. I specialize in skin care regimens and treatments to get people results.

I help people get ready for weddings or reunions. It’s nice when I get couples coming in together who want to look their best on the most photographed day of their life.

I help people rejuvenate their skin after years of bad acne that may have left a lot of scarring. It’s so cool to see how the body WANTS to heal itself if given the proper stimulation. And it’s even better to see how that improves the psyche of my clients; they come out of their shell, smile more, they seek relationships – their lives improve!

I help people who are new to Colorado, struggling with our dry environment. We get a lot of transplants here, people moving from humid environments. What worked for them in Florida or New York, doesn’t work for them here. So, I help them with a home care regimen plan that will work and keep their skin happy.

I think what sets me apart from other Aesthetic businesses is that I only deal with skin. I don’t do injectables, makeup or waxing. I just do skin and I am really good at that. And I care. It’s my goal to be a client’s trusted advisor.  If a person has the understanding of what a product or treatment does, then they can make an educated decision. I love it when client says to me “No one’s ever explained things like you. I finally understand how it all works now!” That feels really good.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I don’t have any concrete plans for the future, but I am open to new opportunities. I would love to pay off my business loan in the next few years and get help at the SBA to put a plan together to expand. I envision something like a Skincare 5280 Cooperative where several practitioners come together to offer a full spectrum of services. Perhaps when I am older, I could offer classes for other estheticians. Who knows? I am the type of person who is never satisfied with just coasting. I like to keep growing. It keeps me young.


  • $30 Consultations – 1 hour

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Image Credit:
Tim Gillies

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