Skin deep: Business and bloodlines

By Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – If you ask Aberdeen native Abby Lann when she became interested in her career, she will give you a very specific answer, not the general vagueness associated with following dreams.
“I fell in love with skin care when I was 13 years old,” Lann said. “When I was 13, I had my eyebrows waxed for the first time and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Lann has brought her love for skincare to Apple’s Skincare and Spa, her recently opened business in Aberdeen. Lann said she wants to help people have better skin, something her mother, Joan Lann, said she tried to teach her girls at an early age.
“I always encouraged all of my girls (twins Kirby and Leslie and Abby) to take good care of their skin,” she said. “Abby just seemed to have a knack and passion for it – it was her gift.”
I’ve got you under my skin
After graduating from Oak Hill Academy in 2008, Lann attended Skinatics School of Esthetics in Birmingham where she became a licensed esthetician – someone that specializes in skin care, facials, waxing and application of makeup – after graduating in 2009.
“The state of Mississippi only requires you to have 650 hours to be licensed, but I completed 1,500 hours,” Lann said. “This allows me to work almost anywhere in the United States.”
Lann then trained under Melissa Rushing at Bella Derma Organic Skin Spa in Columbus, where she said she started to truly develop both her passion for skin care and her skills as a professional.
“I learned a lot about organic and natural healing while working for Melissa,” she said. “I brought a lot of that to Apple’s. I sell makeup that is not tested on animals and I use products that don’t contain harmful chemicals. Basically, I just want to help people. I do skin care – I’m not a doctor and I can’t write prescriptions or anything like that. I can only try to help people have better skin and make suggestions as to how they can take better care of their skin.”
According to Lann, one of the more popular services she provides is the ability to do spray tans, which she said has become a big hit.
“The spray tan is very popular right now in Aberdeen,” Lann said. “This is a natural, chemical-free spray that I apply. It helps you to not burn in the sun and it helps for a more even tan. There are no tanning beds in Aberdeen to my knowledge, so this gives Aberdeen residents a different option when it comes to tanning for the summer.”
It’s a family affair
Opening Apple’s was not only a personal dream for Lann, but it may have also been her inherent destiny. Lann is the sixth-generation of the Lann family to own a business in Aberdeen, a tradition started by her great-great-great-grandfather, who opened Lann Hardware in Aberdeen in the 1800s. However, Lann is not only the first woman in the family to own a business, she is also the first to venture outside of the box – the hardware box.
“This is just something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m glad I was able to keep the family name going in business and I think it is cool that I’m not selling hardware,” Lann joked.
Lann was named after her great-grandmother, the mother of longtime Aberdeen businessman Walter Lann Jr, and she said her spa also was named for her namesake.
“My great-grandmother’s nickname was Apple, so that’s where I got the name for my business,” she said. “I am very fortunate that my entire family has been very supportive of this from the beginning.”
Taking a chance
With the national economy attempting to pull out of a recession, opening a business in 2010 could be a huge risk, especially opening a business in Aberdeen, where political and economic strife are prevalent. But according to Lann, Aberdeen was the only choice when it came to locating and opening her own business.
“Aberdeen just seemed the best place for me,” she said. “People know me here – it’s my hometown. I wasn’t nervous about opening a business in this economy because it’s what I love to do. I don’t worry about the money and things like that – as long as I am doing what I love to do, then I’m already successful. The money will always come if you are doing what you love to do.”