After surviving the tragic loss of her two children, husband and mother within a four-year span, Body Sculpting Expert Nikki Payne has embarked on a mission to change lives by spreading the message of “creating wellness from the inside out’. Nikki encourages women of all facets to develop a holistic balance in their lives and through her latest business venture ‘Vain Bodies by Nikki’, she’s created a platform that inspires both physical and financial wellness.
Licensed as an Esthetician since 2013, she has owned a cosmetic spa in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta which offered a variety of non-surgical services to help women achieve physical health. Years of servicing clients allowed her to discover “gaps” in the body sculpting industry, one of which being that there were not many wholesale products or equipment vendors within the USA. Her company, Vain Bodies, now allows small business owners the opportunity to purchase equipment, accessories and wholesale products at affordable prices with fast shipping, low minimums and high profit margins. Her efforts provide the launching pad that beauty and wellness professionals need to survive the pandemic and thrive for years to come.
To learn more about this innovative wholesale program for entrepreneurs visit: www.vb-wholesale.com or www.vainbodies.com.
First, we commend you on your amazing strength and willingness to turn your pain into purpose! — How do you manage your grief and what has life been like trying to stay focused on goals?
Thank you so much. My grieving process is much better than in previous years because I have learned to set boundaries for myself. In the past, I felt obligated to speak at every event that was presented, but found that while filling everyone with motivation, I was left feeling empty and depressed. Now there are certain months/dates that I do not speak about what happened to my children. Setting boundaries has made my grieving process much smoother.
What has your support system been like throughout the past few years?
My support system has been great over the years but mostly comes from people on social media that I have never met. Not to say that friends and family are not supportive, but oftentimes they were so supportive that they were handicapping me. My social media supporters push me to do more, encourage me to be successful in my business and they hold me accountable when I don’t do something that I told them that I would. I love it.
How did you get your start in the beauty and wellness industry? And specifically body sculpting?
I never intended to be a body sculptor. I only went to esthetics school because I pawned my car title and was in the middle of a foreclosure. My theory was that if I enrolled in school I could get an overage check from a student loan to save my house. It did not work out that way but worked as God planned. I got into body sculpting specifically as a result of being depressed and wanting to be isolated while in school. Machine treatments were the only services that allowed me to be In a room with a client alone, so I thoroughly learned each machine and became the expert in the school.
When did you know you wanted to be a business owner as opposed to working in the traditional setting?
I have a unique a circumstance, which causes me to need flexible downtimes. Traditional jobs would not always be able to accommodate me, so I started my own business so that I could still have income but have the flexibility to take time off.
What was it like starting a cosmetic spa in Buckhead in 2013? — Did you have a mentor or someone you were inspired by?I graduated from esthetics school in 2013 but did not take the leap to start on my own until 2018. In the beginning I rented a room from a friend for $75 per week, so my upfront cost was very low. That allowed me to save money and purchase new equipment. I never had a mentor, but I followed so many fantastic people on social media that collectively they all mentored me through their ebooks and courses.
What have been some of your proudest moments throughout this journey?
My proudest moment was from a breast cancer survivor that had loose skin from the rapid weight loss caused by chemo. She called weeks after her service and said “Cancer took my hair, my body and almost my life but I have them all back now. Thank you.” I have never felt so proud to help someone.
Can you tell us the story behind your brand name, Vain Bodies?
Lol. Vain Bodies actually came from a random person I was talking to at a store. I told a man about the business I was going to open one day and he said “Women are vain, so you will make a lot of money doing bodies”. I looked up the definition of the word Vain which is “having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth” and after reading it I said “yes that is it”.
How did you know you wanted to become a resource for other professionals to get their equipment; business to business rather than business to consumer?
Business to business happened as a result of Covid and opportunity. I was in a good position when Covid hit because I had a lot of inventory. Many could not do the same because most companies had high minimums, commitments and long shipping times. I saw an opportunity to help others supplement their income while also producing income for myself. I still sell to the consumer, but B2B is my main focus at this time.
What has business been like for you during the pandemic and do you have any quick survival tips for other beauty business owners?
My business exploded during the pandemic because almost everyone gained weight during the lockdown. My products basically sold themselves. My survival tips for others would be:
#1. One stream of income should be non-serviced based whether digital or physical.
#2. Try to have a product that clients would want to purchase more than once (if possible).
#3. Have your payments processed through a processor (example.. PayPal or Square) vs cash because once you establish a good transaction history with them they will begin to offer you loans if you need Capital for your business.
What’s next? — And how can our readers best connect with you to stay in the know with your works?
I am not entirely sure what is next at this time because I always wait for God to lead me. You can visit VainBodies.com or connect with me on Instagram @vainbodies_bynikki & @nikkis_payne.