Dr Lucy Holloway set up her own beauty business after a career in accident and emergency medicine. She has entered Gabella Aesthetics into this year’s If We Can You Can competition, and talks to BQ about the inspiration behind going into business.
What did you do before setting up your business?
I am a senior doctor specialising in accident and emergency medicine. Before setting up Gabella Aesthetics I was working full time as an A&E registrar throughout the North East and further afield.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I love the fast pace buzz of A&E, it involves me helping people when they are at their most vulnerable. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the job I didn’t have as much time as I would like to spend with my patients. In addition, working a full week of 12-hour shifts was becoming unmanageable and I was afraid of burn out.
I set-up Gabella Aesthetics to support my other passion; inspiring self confidence in others by helping to support clients with their skin health. I believe that your face is your most important asset. If you have a skin problem that affects your face, it can be detrimental to your self-confidence.
What makes this business different?
Our tag-line is “Doctor delivered beauty”. We specialise in natural, rejuvenating, complexion enhancing and anti-ageing treatments. We go against the grain by providing delicate enhancements to make our clients look “the best for them”. The aesthetic industry is highly unregulated and we hope to shine through the competition by offering safe, quality, research driven treatments. No big lips or frozen faces here. We want our clients to leave the clinic with a spring in their step and a new-found skin confidence.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
I love the name “If we can you can”. I am 30 years old, I’m married, I am a senior Doctor, I run my own business and I have just been signed to several modelling agencies at the age of 30. I’m just your average girl with a lot of drive and passion for what I do. I want to be a role model for young people, I believe that anyone can follow their dream and I want to spread the word!
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
Gabella Aesthetics has many plans over the next few years. A Dr Lucy product range, an aesthetics academy and franchising.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Seeing my clients smile after their treatments, having a positive effect on the local economy, and collaborating with other small businesses on projects that support local community organisations.
What has been your biggest challenge?
As a doctor with no business knowledge I struggled at first with charging my clients money. I love to make people smile and feel good about themselves, and asking for money doesn’t come naturally to me. The first few clients I forgot to charge, and sometimes I struggle not to give things away for free.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
I received a large amount of advice and support from local business. I have been overwhelmed by the encouragement and support from my clients. We have received support from ARCH (Business Northumberland) in the form of workshops.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Just do it! But don’t be fooled, it is a rollercoaster ride. Good days are amazing, and bad days can get you down. Keep your focus, and your dream for the future and you will succeed. Become an expert in your field, gain the trust of your clients and they will keep coming back.