No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Katt Philipps. Katt is the owner of Grafin Skin and Beauty in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Katt’s business has grown in leaps and bounds because of the empowered, supportive way that she helps women with not only their skincare needs, but with life and self-esteem in general.
G: I have known you for a lot of years now, and what you provide to women goes way beyond skincare needs. Because of the way you connect with clients, you offer up a judgement-free zone and you root for me in my life.
K: Well the thing is that I get that back from people too in the work that I do. Pieces and parts of conversations and figuring out what someone’s struggle is and what my struggles are and figuring out how I can make things easier for others in turn makes things easier for me. My biggest philosophy is the perspective is that we take different things from each other, and that our differences propel us forward rather than holding us back.
G: Yes! You so clearly have a business built on relationships. And you see the good in your clients and really try to get to know them.
K: Yes, but there is also the piece that the world is moving so fast, and we don’t have time to breathe. I know what I know about people because I make it okay for people to breathe. Women need to take this time for themselves and be present while they are here.
G: You are such a champion of women and people taking care of themselves in this fast-paced world.
K: Well it’s funny. I never thought that was going to be me. I always said I wasn’t a feminist because I didn’t believe that by being angry and setting ourselves apart we were going to get anywhere. But I have become a huge fan of women. And then I started in this industry and realized that when you take away the need to nit-pick and one-up one another, women are amazing. One on one any woman is such a beautiful human being. It’s when you get women out into the world with all of the marbles rolling around and women lose sight of that in each other that that gets lost. That’s tragic to me. We all have our strengths.
G: One of the things that I have noticed about you is that you are mindful and aware of the gift that you are trying to give to women. At the same time, this is a full-time job for you. Is it hard to keep that focus or on some days does it feel like just a job?
K: I have never had that feeling of not wanting to come to work. It’s really fun to see all these people and see their lives and see how it all intersects from time to time. I keep a scrapbook of all of the nice things that people have written to me over the years and I look at that. I am lucky. People come in and they are stressed out of their minds and I get to say “I got you. I have fluffy towels and a nice warm bed for you to lie on for a few minutes to catch your breath”. I just have a different experience of humans. I also feel a responsibility because I have knowledge of people’s vulnerabilities. It’s kind of a weird job, and it takes a certain mindset.
G: You have been at this for a long time, and you have grown from working in a spa to running your own business and finding success out on your own. I believe that because of the way you create intention and are so thoughtful about what you are doing and why you do it is part of your success. Do you agree with that?
K: Well, I have worked my butt off. But at the same time, people come in every day and fill up my cup. It’s really not me, it’s this tribe that has formed around me. It’s relationships and connections and it is such a blessing. But I haven’t always felt this way. I have had to learn some lessons in my 20’s and 30’s that have really changed how I have grown as a person.
G: Can you share a little bit about that?
K: Well one example is when I was taking ballroom dancing about 10 or 12 years ago. I was trying to learn the Viennese Waltz. It’s incredibly fun, but it involves so much spinning and twirling. I could do one rotation crisply before the reality of who I am set in and my heels would cross up and I would inevitably land on the ground with my skirt over my head. And what are you going to do at that point? This happened multiple times, and I found myself literally under my skirt laughing. That one moment, that one reaction helped me to see that I like me. And that literally changed everything in my world.
G: I think that speaks so well of the evolution that we can go through if we challenge ourselves to grow. What is so powerful about what you have said is that the moment you decided to be okay with you, is the moment that your life became transformed.
K: Yeah. I am not perfect. But why do I have to be perfect? It’s the same with my business. It’s the broken that something super cool comes out of. Whenever you fall off of the horse and you get back on, you are a better rider.
G: I think you are fearless. You approach the world with an adventurous spirit.
K: Well I will do and try anything, but I do have to go to the edge and look down and make sure I know what I will land on. But the recurring theme for me is that I have to grow too. I can self -sabotage pretty easily and I am continually working through that. And that’s not uncommon. People just don’t talk about it. I just try to step forward and then fix things in the wake behind me. Everyone is so obsessed with perfection.
G: That is so great. You clearly love your job. On a personal level, what gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you going?
K: My dog takes over my pillow and barks in my face! But it’s also the fear of missing something. It’s that sense that something good, bad or indifferent is going to happen and I am not going to be there to hear the story. I love seeing what turns the wheels for people, what makes them tick. And figuring out what makes you tick is what makes me tick. I love hearing people’s stories.
To connect with Katt, visit grafinskinandbeauty.com