Isabella Loneragan is one of Sydney’s best and most experienced skin therapists offering expert acne, rosacea, pigmentation plus cosmetic and anti-ageing treatments. She’s also recently qualified with Yakov Gerschovich in Paris in Advanced Facial Sculpture Massage, and the Buccall Massage, which features in The Intrinsic Facial Experience at The Dermal Diary.
Understanding that trust between client and therapist is one of the most crucial aspects of skin therapy. Isabella has made beautiful complexions her business, building a solid reputation in the cosmeceutical, beauty and dermatology industries, as well as the plastic surgery industry both in Australia and overseas. Her 12 years across all industries is evident in the results she provides.
So how has Isabella and her wonderful team coped with the recent challenged of COVID-19?
Check out our interview as we talk business, beauty, and finding a new normal …
Firstly, and most importantly, how are you and your staff doing during this time?
We are doing well. I had a baby in December so I’m viewing it all as “the gift of time”, as I was planning to go back to work in May. But now I’ve been able to spend more time with my baby! Sadly we had to let our two wonderful therapists go and one has subsequently left the industry to get a job due to the financial strain that is COVID-19.
But the other is looking forward to returning to her role with us when we reopen the clinic. However, on the flip side, we’ve employed another fantastic therapist – so that’s really positive!
How long have you had the clinic? And how did you get started?
It’s 5 this year! I started it after 4 years in Dermatology and identifying that there was a huge gap in the market for those that had major skin conditions like severe acne and rosacea that needed treatment alternatives to medications like antibiotics and RoAccutane for acne.
10 years ago it was just accepted that the only option was medication for most skin conditions but it’s now much more common for patients to choose the non-medicated route. I opened the business from one room working 3 days and 3 nights a week – as I had to have another job to pay the mortgage. I lasted 10 months before dropping the other job and opening full time!
I can see you now have Remote Consultations – how does that work and what can clients expect?
We’ve actually always had remote consultations as an option. However, I designed the remote consults as people in regional areas weren’t able to access my type of business offering, so they’ve always been very popular for those who live outside of Sydney. However, we made some tweaks in light of COVID-19 and rolled them out for all clients
Now let’s discuss the products! What are some of the ‘must-haves’ from the range?
Ahh the products! Alongside giving facials – they are my greatest passion! The must-haves are … all of them! When you design your own range there’s no such thing as ‘a selection of must-haves’ because I designed every single one to solve a problem and just had to have them all!. I guess you could say my favourite moisturiser in the range is ‘It’s All Here’ as it’s very advanced in its technology, full of peptides and is a hybrid moisturiser and anti-aging serum!
As a business owner, what advice would you give for anyone wanting to start a business, and how to survive adversity like what we are going through?
This is such a tough question. I think the best advice I can give anyone starting a business is to assume it’s going to be all-consuming. Don’t think you can open a business and just work your 9-5 5 days a week. You end up eating, sleeping and breathing your business. I remember I was about 1 year in and I was working in the clinic 7am till 9pm 5 days a week and most Saturdays.
You need to commit your entire life to it to make it work. I’ve met a few people that have opened and just hired a manager and then been surprised when it didn’t work.I find the best way to surviving adversity like COVID19 is to give back to your community and to those that have chosen to spend money with your business in the past. For example on the day the government shut us down we decided to have a huge sale so everyone had the right skin care to get them through it.
We weren’t sure if we were even going to be able to sell products so best have everyone stocked up. At the moment I am also giving away free “Skin plan catch-ups” for all of our existing clients. They would normally be coming in for facials and getting help with their plans then – but considering they cant, this way they still get the support they need, but at no charge. It brings people hope and gives them back control over their COVID-19 skin.