Renée Rouleau Looks Back at the Last 15 Years

an old image of Renee Rouleau in her clinic

This month is my 15th year business anniversary. Renée Rouleau Skin Care started in 1996, and I’m happy to say that it’s going stronger than ever (considering that approximately 95% of all small businesses will fail in the first five years).

Fifteen years is a big milestone, here’s my back story.

In 1991 when I was just 21 years old, me and a co-worker opened up a skin care salon in Wellesley, MA. Despite five incredibly successful years and an amazing partnership, I needed a change in my life, and Texas came calling. Not because I knew anyone or had friends or family there, but simply because Texans were about the friendliest, most hard-working and most welcoming people I’d ever met and I knew it was a place I’d really love. (Loving country music was a plus).

Opening up a business when you don’t know a soul can be challenging, but I planned for a year before I moved so I felt confident I’d make it – despite friends and family calling me crazy…

At the time, I opened up as a day spa offering not only facials, but massage and body treatments too. Years later I would stop offering the body services and only offer skin care treatments, but it was 1996 and the day spa concept was just beginning and there were very few around so I knew I wouldn’t have much competition.

As I was going through the construction phase, I was looking for someone to lay down our tile in the reception area. So one day, I see a van parked in front of the new French restaurant that is gearing up to open that said “Tony The Tile Man” painted on it. Since I was looking for someone to do tile, I walked over to the restaurant and poked my head in and said “Is Tony The Tile Man in here?” A man in a French accent said he was in the back. I would end up marrying that French man.

So I knew I’d made it in business when that first Christmas, I came up with a clever way to sell gift certificates, since a day spa package was a sought after gift for husbands to give to their wives. Knowing that men wait until the last minute to purchase gifts, and knowing that they love sports, I took out a small ad on the sports page in the newspaper three days leading up until Christmas and wouldn’t you know it – the phone rang off the hook and there was a line out the door. It was genius. I continued doing this for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and it’s truly how I built my company in those early days.

In 1998, was born! My brother was (and still is) a web developer so he suggested early on that I should sell my products online. It was really a new concept but I feel lucky that I got a head start in that space. We still have many, many customers that were shoppers back in those early years, and I am truly grateful.

My decision to stop being a day spa was a difficult one indeed. It was 2000 and despite a booming business, there were day spas opening up on every street corner and it wasn’t special or unique anymore. Having gone to school as an esthetician and my first business being exclusively skin care, I was longing to get back to doing just that again.

So despite having thousands of dollars of unredeemed day spa package gift certificates as well as two full-time massage therapists who were busy around the clock, I informed both my staff and our clients (via a postcard mailing) that we would be discontinuing the body services. Oh, the angry calls started flowing in from our customers. They loved that we were a one-stop shop for both their skin and body care services, but I knew it was the right decision as long as I could weather out the storm.

I ended up having to reimburse many people back for their gift certificates which meant I was losing a lot of business. I had to convince myself that I really made the right decision, but deep down I knew I did.

We brought in some new skin care treatments, and I expanded the skin care line and worked hard to create our new identity. I knew I made the right choice when we’d get in a new client who never knew us as a day spa and she’d say “I love the fact that you only specialize in skin care.” Yay! So despite some challenges, it all worked out.

In 2004, we relocated three miles up the road to Plano, Texas. In 2008, I opened up a second location in the prestigious One Arts Plaza in Dallas.

Fifteen years later, serving thousands of clients both in our skin care spas and through our on-line store, Renée Rouleau Skin Care continued to thrive. Healthy, beautiful and glowing skin is our specialty, after all!

In January 2020, I made a big decision to close down the last of our spa locations and turn my focus solely to e-commerce. While this was a difficult decision, I believe it was the right one. You can read more about my decision to close the Plano spa, and our wonderful estheticians are still available through our virtual consultation program. Thank you so much to everyone who was part of this journey with us—we loved being part of your lives in this way.

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  1. What a true testament to the meaning of perseverance and hard work. In 1997, I moved my children here after a really bad divorce. Not knowing what the future held, I still had a really positive attitude and hope for a better tomorrow.
    In business or life, being positive helps one to focus on not only surviving but thriving.
    Helping people in general is a wonderful attitude to aspire to.
    I truly admire this story and it is inspiring and wonderful to know that women can be the true backbone in an industry that sometimes becomes too corporate and non caring…
    Thank you Renee Rouleau for sharing your story to the masses.

    Posted By: Karla  | 

    • Thank you so much, Karla! I’m glad you are keeping your head up high…bravo to you!

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 


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