Lisa Michaelis, Founder & CEO, LiveLoveSpa

Lisa and I met through Universal Companies, the distributor of all things spa, about 3 years ago. However, it is really not until recently that I have gotten to know her, through her new entrepreneurial venture, LiveLoveSpa, a community for all things spa and the leader in regional spa events. There are many things I love about Lisa: she looks about half her age; she is always smiling and in a good mood; she works with her brother, daughter, and a few other family members; she buys me a glass of wine once in a while, even though she is allergic to alcohol. We had a chance to catch up yesterday at ISSE

AP: What city were you born in?

LM: Los Angeles, CA.

AP: What city to do you live in?

LM: Irvine, CA. I didn’t move too far….

AP: What is your middle name?

LM: K. Not Kay. Just the letter K. It’s the first letter of my Mom’s maiden name. She didn’t speak English that well when I was born, and the people at the hospital where she gave birth asked her what she wanted my middle name to be. She wasn’t sure how to answer, so just picked K…

AP: What is your astrological sign?

LM: Pisces.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know?

LM: I can write backwards as fast as I can write forwards. I learned this in 5th grade with my BFFs, as a trick for passing notes and making them harder to read by anyone who the note was not intended for.

AP: What is your most prized possession?

LM: My children. I guess my hubby too!

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be?

LM: I am fascinated by Seth Godin, I would love to have dinner with him. I get his blog everyday, have read his book, and would love to ask him so many questions…

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum.

LM: Dark jeans, comfortable. (I’m in my forties, may be getting lazy…)

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model?

LM: I don’t. I just look at my phone when I need to know the time.

AP: Diamonds or pearls?

LM: Diamonds!

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret?

LM: I steam my face once a week, the old-fashioned way: with a big pot of boiling water and a towel over my head.

AP: What fragrance do you wear?

LM: I don’t wear perfume.

AP: Botox or not?

LM: Not. Maybe later…

AP: Hair color: natural or not?

LM: Not.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any?

LM: Share your meals; that way you don’t eat as much. Also, I never ever eat my last bite. (Editor’s note: as I write this, she is indeed sharing a burger and fries with her colleague Piper).

AP: What do you do for exercise?

LM: A lot cardio; right now I love kickboxing.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge?

LM: Any type of fruit; Greek yogurt; eggs.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice?

LM: Bacardi and Diet Coke, but not because I like it. I am actually allergic to alcohol… a lot of Asians suffer from this. I will turn bright red all over and will get really drunk with a half glass of wine. While I don’t like Bacardi and Diet Coke, it has the least allergic effect on me.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance?

LM: Having an understanding husband. At this particular moment, I really do not have a lot of balance, so my family’s understanding is key. Also, I believe in quality family time over quantity…

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average?

LM: I have no idea… I am airline agnostic so it is hard to keep track of. For LiveLoveSpa, we fly as a big group 5-6 times per year, so we book travel based on the best rate rather than based on the airline.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? 

LM: 1. Noise-cancelling headphones. 2. A neck pillow. 3. Drinking lots of water. 4. And the 4th tip is my atoxelene wand from Intraceuticals that I carry in my purse and rub on my eye contour to keep it moisturized and prevent puffiness.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now.

LM: I don’t own and ipod and I don’t list to music on my phone…

AP: What book are you reading right now?

LM: Contagious by Jonah Berger. I read it on my phone… It’s a book about how things go viral.

AP: Quote to live by.

LM: “Everything you can imagine is real” by Pablo Picasso.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve?

LM: When people complain about something all the time yet never do anything about it.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get?

LM: I usually wake up at 6:30 am and I try to get 5 to 6 hours of sleep.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry?

LM: The people and the amazing relationships I have.

AP: Least favorite thing.

LM: There is really nothing that bothers me about this industry… at least not yet (although I have been working in beauty for about 9 years)!

AP: Who is your mentor?

LM: I don’t really have one mentor. Instead, I have a lot of people that support me. I ask a lot of questions of a lot of people, and luckily they all help me along the way. I am lucky that I have a job that gives me access to a lot of owners and high-level managers who provide input and feedback.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today.

LM:  Think of your overall career or entrepreneurial strategy. You can always change course, even many times, throughout your career, but thinking from a high-level about what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what you want to do is like your guiding star.