Sasha Benson overcomes challenges to be named Entrepreneur of the Year
When skincare specialist Sasha Benson was named Entrepreneur of the Year, she dropped her phone in shock.
“When I first got the e-mail inviting me to the BEDC Business Awards, I thought it was spam,” the owner of Benson Esthetics said. “I was going to delete the message.
“Later, I told myself not to get my hopes up and to just go for the nice dinner.”
At the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation event on November 18, she found herself up against the likes of CariGenetics and People’s Pharmacy.
“There was some tough competition,” she said. “Just to be in that space and talk with them was a win for me.”
She received a trophy and an envelope explaining that she was chosen for being innovative and a visionary, for excellent customer service and for her community involvement.
When she launched Benson Esthetics three years ago, she never imagined herself being in such a position.
“It was December 2020, the worst time to start a business,” she said. “It was the peak of Covid. Clients kept their masks on and we treated around their forehead and eyes, because those were the parts of the face you saw.”
She started out offering her services in a dental office, after hours.
“I gave my first treatment in a hygienist’s chair,” she said.
Later, she moved to a 200-square-foot outbuilding on the dentist office property, and shared the space with a hygienist.
“We had a sink, but no bathroom,” she said. “Clients had to wait in their cars until it was their turn, and if they needed to go to the bathroom I had to walk them across the yard to the dentist office.”
As time went on, her client list grew.
“I said I think it is time for me to move on,” she said.
She relocated to the more spacious Cavendish House at the top of Spurling Hill in Hamilton, directly across from the Cavendish parking lot.
“We have a bathroom now, and a kitchenette,” she said happily. “After an intense chemical peel, clients can have an ice cream or something else to cool them down.”
She has since hired a nurse and a spa tech and also taken on an apprentice.
“It has been wonderful to educate others and share my passion with them,” she said. “Getting them certified has been exciting. I have a very cool team now who are eager to learn.”
In the new space, she has held charity events to raise money for breast cancer awareness such as a girls’ night out.
Ms Benson said people often only see the glitz and glamour of running a business.
“They do not see that we are behind the scenes constantly doing education,” she said. “I travel three times a year for classes. The aesthetics industry is constantly evolving and changing, and there are always new ways to treat the skin.”