– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Lia Crowe
When Kyla Decker first agreed to begin a skincare and laser clinic with her father nearly two decades ago, she never imagined it would turn into a lifelong career.
“My dad is a family physician, and he decided he was going to expand his practice to include aesthetics. He asked if I wanted to start this with him, and I thought, I’ll do this for a couple years and then go back and do something else,” explains Kyla.
Having recently graduated with a degree in biology, Kyla, who’s always been fascinated with science and the medical side of things, had plans to become a dietician. But as she became immersed in the skincare industry at the medical level, she found she loved it.
“[Commercial brands] market products to us. They smell good, look cute and we want to buy them. But there’s no science backing any of those products,” she explains. “Medical-grade products have scientific, peer-reviewed studies that show they’re actually going to do what they claim to do.”
Recently, she made the leap into launching her own business; she opened Studio Rococo in Uptown last spring with partner Kylee Weber, and is celebrating a successful first year this April.
“We wanted to focus on education and prevention at Rococo,” says Kyla, describing the skincare clinic. “We take the time to go over our clients’ concerns and goals and make a skincare plan that works for them, so they can age gracefully and truly get the most out of their skin health.”
As well as offering medical-grade products and treatments, Studio Rococo also has a charming boutique feel, with cute hats, sunless tanning lotions, bathing suits from Left on Friday, scents, bath oils and more.
As for the number one thing we can do to prevent aging for our skin, Kyla has a fast and emphatic answer.
“Sunscreen! And not going to bed with makeup on. The goal should be that you don’t even need the makeup.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Dolly Parton. She has an inspiring life story from humble beginnings to becoming a strong, independent and confident businesswoman. She has such an amazing personality, with no apologies for her choices—which I admire in a time when everyone seems to be wanting to please—and she’s a true storyteller in her songs and effortless in her singing. (Plus, I’m a country girl at heart.)
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Fresh spot prawns. My husband’s family have a cabin in Jervis Inlet and we get fresh prawns every day when we’re up there. No matter how they’re prepared they are delicious, but I think dipped in butter is my favourite.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
I would go to Europe and bring my family and friends for visits. I have such a great group of friends and family, and I’m the kind of person who believes “the more the merrier.” I’d love to be able to experience that with them. I haven’t explored much of Europe and there’s so much to see. Food, culture, adventures and, of course, shopping!
Unreliable people. When you say you’re going to be somewhere and you don’t show, or you’re late because you’re busy doing something for yourself (aside from when it’s an emergency), it’s not respectful of the other person’s time, and that really bothers me. Everyone has busy lives and could be doing something else as well, but if someone is putting in the effort to be there, so you should too.
Where would you spend a long time
A big lake. I grew up on the Prairies and we used to live on the lake in the summers. I miss those giant lakes where you couldn’t see the other side. You could drive around in a boat all day, not see anyone else, and then you could stop in the middle of the lake and float, take a dip and just enjoy. (With a big dollop of sunscreen all over, of course!)
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
Looking back over this last year, my husband and I just did a massive renovation on our house; I opened Studio Rococo, I’ve managed a family—and it all happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. So I look back on all that, and I’m thankful I’m still excited about everything.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Skin! I’m super passionate about my job and the aesthetics industry, and how much it has changed in the 20 years I’ve been in it. I love learning and also educating people, and I want to support other women in what makes them feel amazing.