Success Stories: Marissa Hawkins & Elizabeth Knapik - Aveda Institute Las Vegas
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Success Stories: Marissa Hawkins & Elizabeth Knapik

Marissa Hawkins and Elizabeth Knapik success stories at Aveda Institute Las Vegas

Members of the staff at Aveda Institute Las Vegas had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Massage Envy Owner, Marissa Hawkins. Our objective was to ask about the success of our students in their careers after graduation and talk about the things she looks for in her employees. One such employee, Aveda Institute Las Vegas alumnus Elizabeth Knapik, spoke about her success and provided some critical advice to help current beauty school students be ready for their careers.

Q&A With Marissa Hawkins

Marissa Hawkins is the owner of six Massage Envy locations in the Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada region. She opened the first Vegas Massage Envy in April 7, 2005 alongside her husband of 28 years, Mario Hawkins. Together they own and operate these six locations to help provide massage and facial services to the local community.

As a business owner, what are you looking for in a candidate?

“We are always hiring excellent estheticians at Massage Envy. We are looking for estheticians who have a passion for skin and making people feel their best.”

Could you provide us with feedback about students that you have hired (ie professionalism, skill set, etc.)?

“I have hired students from many esthetics schools and if I may comment on the students from Aveda that are successful, they seem to be very professional in their demeanor and allow time to grow within our industry because we all know it doesn’t happen overnight.”

You mentioned Aveda Institute alumnus, Elizabeth Knapik, being your star employee. What does she do exceptionally well?

“Elizabeth Knapik comes from Aveda and has really created a great career for herself in the esthetics world. It has been very rewarding to see her grow. I acknowledge her success due to her ability to connect with her clients and listening to their needs. She knows her products well and knows what to recommend to each of her clients. Elizabeth is also our lead esthetician and she has devoted her time to teaching other new and old estheticians the ropes and how to make a lasting client.”

How does this impact your business?

“When we get great estheticians to join our family we are truly blessed. We have the ability to change the way people think about taking care of their skin. Educating and building the relationships is what our best estheticians are able to deliver every time they have the chance to perform a great customized facial service.”

Professional back massage

Q&A With Elizabeth Knapik

Elizabeth is an Aveda Institute Las Vegas Alumni. She has been working for Massage Envy as Lead Esthetician.

What was your experience with the hiring process?

“The experience was very professional. I made sure that I came prepared. My interviewer had me fill out the paperwork for the job position and then went right into the interview. It was a successful meeting and I was hired within a week. This was my first interview after graduating from Aveda School.”

What are salon/spa owners looking for?

“Salon and Spa owners are looking for several things when hiring new estheticians:

  1. Dress for Success – Look professional, smile and be ready to be interviewed, even when dropping off your resume.
  2. Be Prepared – Keep all of your documents such as your resume, referral contacts and licensure with you when going in to drop off a resume or going in for an interview.
  3. Confidence – Have the ability to communicate openly. Do your research on the company that you are interviewing with. This shows both confidence and that you are eager to learn. Be comfortable with customer service and selling products.
  4. Eager to Work – Show that you are wanting to build your career.”


What advice would you give to students?

“You need to have passion about the job and need to care about the clients you are helping. Being reliable is a must, not only for the business but for your clients too. Be familiar with other leading brands so that when clients ask about them and compare the products you are recommending, you know how to answer accordingly. Your success is based on your effort. What you put into the job is what you get out of it.”

What motivates you?

“My passion for helping my clients feel good about their skin and giving them the tools (skin care products) to achieve their goals is what really motivates me. There is no better feeling than when my clients leave my session feeling rejuvenated and their skin looks and feels transformed. Another big motivator is the great company and team that I work with. The management team is always making sure that we have the latest educational training and are always helping not only the estheticians but also the rest of the team to know the products and how to introduce clients to the services we offer.”

How do you get customers to listen to you and your product recommendations?

“TRUST. This is probably the most important thing I can stress to you. You need to build up trust between you and your clients. Without this foundation, they are not as open to buying products and doing the regimens that you suggest. They view you as the professional skin care specialist and listen to your recommendations. Once a client has had an advanced skin care treatment and/or bought products, follow up with them to see how their skin is feeling. Always let them know that they can reach you at the clinic with any questions they have. Staying connected with your clients helps build trust and a professional relationship with them.”

Build Your Future With Aveda Institute Las Vegas

Aveda Institute Las Vegas is dedicated to helping new estheticians and cosmetologists pursue their dreams of working in the beauty industry. As an accredited beauty school, we can even offer financial aid to those who qualify. Contact us today to learn more about Aveda Institute Las Vegas and what you can learn with us!


Aveda is a global industry leader that has a complete education system with dedicated programs for the latest techniques and trends in hairstyling and salon business development to make sure that you are always on top of your game in this industry.