Credit: Courtesy

When Skin Deep opened its doors in 1980, the concept of buying beauty products in an inviting, boutique-style space was practically unheard of. While sisters Nina, Tina, and Gina have been partners from day one, they attribute the idea — and the name — to their mother, Evelyn, a widowed mother of five (there are also younger twin brothers, Henry and Herbert). 

“Our mother wanted her daughters to start a business that would be recession-proof,” said Nina Meyer, the eldest sister. “And she was right, because sometimes people, especially women, when the economy is challenged, or there’s serious issues involved with finances, they still want to buy their lipstick.”

“It’s true,” says Tina Hasche. “They’re not gonna give up their lipstick and their lovely products and their little gifts and things that make people feel good.”

Skin Deep CEO Tina Hasche | Credit: Courtesy

While none of them had retail experience to begin with, the family was friends with the owners of San Roque Beauty Supply (once near Harry’s Plaza Café in Loreto Plaza), and when Tina was 17, their mother insisted that she work there.

“I think you told our mother, ‘I’ll do it for one year,’” laughs Nina.

“I said I’d do it for two years. And I’m still doing it 40 years later,” laughs Tina.

“Our mother was very forceful,” says Nina. 

She was also very insightful. The business, still in its original State Street location near the San Roque Post Office, expanded from one storefront to two and eventually to three, as well as adding a professional salon to the beauty products, which allowed them to offer many lines that were exclusive. They also purchased a boutique, Finishing Touches, and expanded their retail and gift section exponentially.

“I think in the last 10 years, with the decline of small business in general, we are a destination for gift giving — year-round,” says Tina. Lines out the door are not uncommon during the holiday season, especially when people were finally allowed back to shop in person after the pandemic. 

“When people come to shop here … they enjoy the experience of coming to a store where they feel comfortable, where they know they’re going to be given a lot of personal attention,” says Nina. 

With more than 40 years in town, many young women have worked at Skin Deep. “It’s a little bit like a finishing school,” says Nina, who trains the customer-service staff. “They learn how to talk, how to interact, how to dress, tone of voice, all of those little things.” 

She shares that a retired professor whose children worked there “told me, ‘My daughters learned more working at Skin Deep in terms of work ethic and communication than they did in college.’ And I thought, ‘What a nice compliment.’”

Credit: Courtesy

But after more than four decades, the sisters are ready to retire and hoping to find a buyer to carry on the mantle. It’s a great opportunity for the right person, says Nina. “Our landlord has committed to a very, very attractive rental or lease agreement for a new owner.”

The outpouring of support from customers has been very gratifying, say both women. And while they are eager to retire when their lease expires at the end of June, they are also willing to work part-time to train a new team if desired. 

“It’s such a lovely opportunity for the right person, mother, daughter, two sisters, or people who have been in this kind of business before,” says Nina. “It does take someone with retail, and hopefully a little salon-savvy to carry on the legacy of the business for our customers.”

“There’s so many things that we would do if we were a little younger and not at this point. And so there’s a lot of opportunity for the future,” says Tina.


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