Local business owner Lorin Cumberbatch founded Skin Studio 226 in Long Island, New York. Today, she works in her hometown of Delta Township at her second location: Skin Studio 211, named in honor of her late grandmother.
After moving back to Delta to support her son through surgery in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic kept Cumberbatch in Michigan for longer than she planned. When she struggled to get hired due to state-wide staffing shortages, Cumberbatch started working on opening a new location.
Cumberbatch said the pandemic gave her the opportunity to focus on exactly how she wanted to move forward. She spent her time in quarantine comparing booking systems, comparing prices and finding and ordering products, she said.
“I already had experience running a business, so I already knew the kind of mistakes I had, the kind of things I wanted to change,” Cumberbatch said. “Quarantine really helped me because I got to be able to sit down and focus.”
Cumberbatch said she loves the community of Delta and the opportunities the area has given her. She said she plans to expand further and open more locations. She said hiring from within is very important when opening new stores.
“I don’t want to franchise it because I still want it to be people who work here, I don’t want anyone to be able to just buy into it,” Cumberbatch said. “I really want people to put in the footwork first, then get a store.”
Assistant Manager Jazzmin Evans said she hopes the business will expand outside of Michigan in the next few years. Evans, who has worked at Skin Studio 211 for almost one year, said she thinks the team has built a really strong bond since opening.
“I think we finally have something solid here,” Evans said. “We help each other out, we laugh a lot together and I think that makes it so much fun to work here.”
Alyssa Misner, an esthetician for Skin Studio 211, said she loves everything about her job. Her favorite parts are the people she works with and for, she said.
“I love that I am now building clientele,” Misner said. “I just love the overall atmosphere of this place. We are basically like family.”
As a young Black woman, Cumberbatch said she takes full advantage of any of the many available resources to help minorities. She said she receives a lot of support from the community.
In 2021, Cumberbatch worked with artist Mila Lynn to create the Black Book Drive, a program that raises money during Black History Month to purchase children’s books featuring Black characters. In the past two years, the program has provided over 300 books to the Greater Lansing area.
“We just really like to be in the community,” Cumberbatch said. “The community pours into us so much, they allow us to have a job, so it’s only right for me to give back as well. Whether it’s my time, whether it’s a gift card, whether it’s anything. We are always trying to give back as much as possible.”