Lisa Maric

If you’re willing to put in the hard work and the time, anything is possible.


Lisa Maric is the proud Owner of Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House in Calgary, Alberta.

Growing up in a Montreal working-class family, Lisa Maric learned early on the importance of hard work. From shoveling snow to mowing lawns, Lisa figured out at a young age that she wanted to be a business owner and received a lot of support from her loving father and brother. After moving to Toronto with her family, Lisa kept busy with school during the day and a bartending job at night. She even spent a while working for her father in the printing industry.

After moving to Calgary in the late eighties, Lisa met her husband and started a family. Once her two boys were old enough for school, Lisa re-entered the workforce, this time in the Oil and Gas service sector. After excelling in this industry, Lisa retired looking forward to spending time with her family and exploring her passion to work with rescue dogs.
Still full of energy and now with a newfound passion for the Calgary social scene, Lisa founded Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House. Using all of her exciting and inspiring experiences from around the world, Lisa has turned Distilled into a buzzing social space that offers up a unique experience for the residents of Calgary.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I’ve always been interested in small businesses and the vibrant and exciting atmosphere of Calgary was a perfect fit. Despite successfully owning several other small businesses over the course of my life, running a coffee shop was something I’ve always wanted to do. Not just a coffee shop, but one that was cool and chic with a wide selection of local products and great coffee grinds. My coffee shop dream came to life in the amazing Marda Loop community and eventually became Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House. It took a lot of hard work and determination and the process has been incredibly rewarding.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

An owner always wears many hats. There isn’t really a typical day for me and I often find myself doing a number of different jobs throughout the day depending on what’s going on. From serving customers to ordering supplies and taking care of more administrative tasks, my days are very busy! I find that a great way to be productive and organized is to make lists. Prioritize what needs to be done first and work your way through the list as you go about the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I try to make everything a very collaborative process at Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House. I work with a great team and new ideas are run by them for feedback before being implemented. I also encourage others to come up with ideas. Never underestimate your staff!

What’s one trend that excites you?

Social media is a trend that’s very exciting for me and other small business owners. It allows us to share what makes us unique and helps us to standout. You can reach far more people through social media now than any other mediums.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I encourage my staff to share their thoughts and ideas. They’re on the front lines every day and see clearly what works and what doesn’t. If you surround yourself with smart, passionate individuals, running a business becomes far easier and more fun.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Where I am now is a result of everything that’s happened to me and I wouldn’t change a thing. I would say to just keep going because everything will turn out okay!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I wouldn’t say that nobody agrees with me on this, but I think that you really can accomplish anything you put your mind to. If you’re willing to put in the hard work and the time, anything is possible.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

If you’re in the business of serving customers, hire a professional photographer for a day or two to capture the unique aspects of your business. Capture what sets you apart from the competition and keep your image consistent. Professional pictures of your business and staff go a long way when it comes to marketing.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I created Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House with the idea of doing something unique and different. We’re a one stop shop for friendly gatherings over coffee, spa and beauty treatments, and parties. We offer something special and new to the Calgary community and we do it with a passion. People recognize this and business is great!

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As an entrepreneur, there are always failures or mistakes here and there. It’s important that anything you do wrong becomes a learning experience and you adapt, change, and improve so that it doesn’t happen again.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There is always plenty of room for new equipment and technology when it comes to beauty treatments. We recently started using a Venus Versa machine to provide skin rejuvenation treatments and it’s been going really well. When it comes to skin and beauty, there is always room for new technology and I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I spent recently went towards the Venus Versa. It’s truly a great machine!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

It may be basic, but Microsoft excel is an indispensable resource. It’s great for tracking absolutely everything for my business and it helps me to stay organized.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling. It’s hilarious but also a very moving read that tackles a lot of issues that women face today.

What is your favorite quote?

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”- Walt Disney

Key Learnings:

• Embrace collaboration in all aspects of life
• Don’t be afraid to rely on your staff/ colleagues
• Become involved in your community