Before starting a clinic in Chico dedicated exclusively to treating acne three years ago, Tatja [pronounced “Tah-jhuh”] Renee, 42, led a colorful but scattered life. She held dozens of jobs, from Butte College teacher to circus performer, and finally found the career she loves and calls “the job of my life.” For more on Renee’s offerings, visit her website at www.916skin.com
Why did you have so many jobs before?
I’ve always been kind of a gypsy. I’ve held about 70 jobs and always got bored and moved on. I’ve done things like performed in the circus for Club Med on the high rope, trapeze and danced in their cabaret. I also taught anatomy at Butte College for three years. I’ve always been all over the place, scattered and undriven.
What brought you to the acne-treatment profession?
Eight years ago I got my master’s in biology and minor in chemistry through Denver University. After that, on a whim I went to aestheticians’ school and got my license five years ago and I absolutely love it. It’s not even like a job, it’s more like my hobby. This is the first steady job I’ve ever had.
What do you like best about your job?
It changes people’s lives. My best clients are the ones who’ve tried all the other programs. There’s nothing I love more than winning someone’s faith by helping them. I see the bounce in their step, the boost in their confidence and the big smile on their face. One man had acne so bad he never smiled or dated. He was depressed and suicidal over it. He got clear of acne within three to four months and became a completely different person—happy, bright and positive. I often break down and cry when I see clients get clear.
Why do your methods work so well?
It’s the attention and comprehensiveness of my program, which includes a delicate balance of peels, topical products and hormonal and nutritional advice. No prescription medications or invasive procedures. There are nine internal causes of acne, and I customize my treatment for each person. I guide them through close communication.
What are your other interests?
I love animals. I rescued my dog, Wiley, when he was abandoned and emaciated. I give specials if clients donate to the Humane Society, and I’ve helped get 10 cats adopted, mostly through my clients.