Meet Your Driver: Stephanie Aleman

Stephanie Aleman - Jul 27, 2023
Illustration by María Jesús Contreras

I started driving with Lyft because I wanted to have money to travel. Then COVID happened, and that wasn’t possible. So I decided to use the money to make another dream come true.

I’ve worked in the medical field since 2004, in a nine-to-five job. But for many years, I really wanted to open up a medical spa and be my own boss. In 2020, using the money I saved from driving, I felt ready to make it happen.

I started by learning how to perform two noninvasive body contouring procedures. After I completed some classes, I bought the equipment I needed and began taking clients. I worked out of my bedroom in San Diego, which I set up like a clinic. 

Initially, I found clients just by word of mouth and social media. Business took off. At one point, my brother came to me and said he’d been dreaming that I had a job for him. So he and I began working together. Within six months, we outgrew my apartment and moved into a bigger space. Then we outgrew that space, too. 

Clients began asking us to offer more services, like facials or laser treatments. I would say, “We’ll look into it, do some training, and then we can go ahead and offer it.” Now we offer dozens of services. I think it’s important to listen to what people want. 

I hired more employees as the company grew. I kept driving with Lyft, and one time one of my passengers gave me some hiring advice. He said, “Hire someone who’s smarter than you. Yes, it may be expensive, but they’re going to bring you more money in the end.” So what did I do? I hired smart people. Today, I have ten employees.

My dream is to continue to grow my business. I envision moving to an even bigger property, adding more services, and having free events like yoga or Tibetan sound bowl healing. I also want to have spaces that teachers can rent. I’ve already talked to a couple of realtors about my options. Eventually, I would like to expand to different places in the United States.

This business is not easy. It’s not a fairy tale. I have good memories and bad ones. Sometimes I miss just being an employee, clocking in and doing my job, not having to worry about things like payroll. But I truly love what I do. When I come into work and when I leave, I often look around and think, “Is this real? Is this mine?” I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished.