The founder of The Face Place MedSpa has been dealing with more than the usual level of challenges during lockdown - but staying relentlessly positive.
Where are you on lockdown and who are you with?
I have a beautiful house in Ponsonby, right on a park, where I live with my two female flatmates. One of my flatties has been spending Level 4 with her new boyfriend, so it’s just me and Shareen – and the teddy bears we’ve popped in the windows!
How are you all doing? Do you need any help from the outside world?
We’re doing pretty well, staying positive, and looking at how we can use this time to get healthier, fitter and mentally stronger. We’ve downloaded Gaia, Mindvalley and Les Mills On Demand, I’m tapping into online yoga and qi gong - my faves are YoQi on YouTube, and Escape Haven’s Class Pass. We are eating healthy meals from my recipe book ‘Grow Younger With Great Food’, taking our supplements, walking in nature, and doing green juices every day! I have been attending radiotherapy treatments the last couple of weeks (only a week to go!) and started the hormone blocking medication Tamoxifen as I had breast cancer surgery on 28 February. Other than that, we are pretty set up!
Are you still working, and if so, how?
Yes, as CEO of a business with over 25 full-time employees it’s been a very busy month! We had already made the decision to close the clinic just before Jacinda announced the L4 lockdown, as our priority is the safety of our clients and team. We have kept our whole team busy with meetings, webinars and ongoing training, and are really excited to be offering virtual consults from next week! Our new virtual consults will be available for skin, sexual rejuvenation and injectable treatments, allowing us to provide you with information about your options, education about the different treatments and complete the necessary paperwork such as consent forms, meaning safer shorter appointment times (focused just on your treatments) when we reopen our face-to-face business at Level 2.
At level 3, it’s now appropriate for us to provide online skincare orders, which can also be supported by our virtual skin consults if you have any questions or concerns with your ‘lockdown skin’. Keep an eye out here.
Watch this space for some exciting new developments! We are renowned for leading the industry with innovations, and will hopefully have some game-changers to launch once we reopen!
What will this situation mean for your business, and how can the community can support it now, or when a little more normalcy returns?
Like many businesses, we have had zero revenue for the last month in Level 4, however we have not been idle. Our team has focused on training and upskilling, as well as coming up with new and innovative ideas so that when we reopen for Level 2, we have so much more to offer our new and existing patients. It will be a different way of practising to what we are all used to, so we have been preparing to make it as safe, easy and low contact - but still high quality and high care - as possible.
We’re excited for Level 3 next week which means we can finally ship our medical grade skin products! We are taking orders now, so go to our webstore if you need to top up your skin products! If you have specific skin concerns, or if you want to order Vitamin A products, you will need to book a virtual skin consult with one of our team to ensure these highly active products are introduced in the best possible way to your skin, in order to minimise the risk of a skin reaction.
Once we reopen, we will be flooded with a backlog of appointments, so we ask for your patience with a waiting list for appointments. We are exploring ways to organise priority bookings for those who want them - we would love to see all of you who feel like the stress, fear and worry has aged you or affected your confidence!
What are the main things you’re doing to stay occupied/positive?
It’s actually been really busy! We’ve been really proactive with some new and exciting ideas I can’t wait to launch. When this all started, I put my hand up to work on the Covid frontline if needed, as we were expecting the health care system to be flooded. I’m so proud of NZ that the early and drastic Level 4 lockdown prevented us from the horrific scenarios experienced overseas in Europe, China and the US. I’m also secretly a little bit happy that I could focus on improving what we offer to our clients, rather having to look after dead, sick or dying people - which I always found heartbreaking when I did hospital medicine.
My flattie and I have essentially been in a ‘Home Health Camp’, with a great daily routine to keep improving our health and resilience, so we come out of this experience even better than before. Early morning meditation, yoga/dance/qigong/body balance, a morning walk, taking supplements, green smoothies, morning meetings with my team, fasting until lunchtime, healthy food, working in the afternoons, radiotherapy, a bit of evening work, personal growth videos, reading and chatting with friends at night, and healthy amounts of sleep! My aim for the lockdown period for me personally, for our team, and for our business is to not just survive - but thrive!
What are you finding to be the biggest challenge and how are you handling it?
I miss hugs! As a social creature I find I need to connect with people regularly. I love my alone time if I can still connect with people on the daily. Regular virtual meetings with my team helps (and also gives me purpose), as well as connecting with friends around the world for virtual dinners, Friday night drinks, and my favourite - I did a ‘morning rave’ on Sunday with friends of mine in Palma who had a Saturday night dance party with a DJ!
Do you have a project or lifestyle change that you’re planning to get underway in this time?
I live a pretty healthy lifestyle normally, but our ‘home health camp’ has just kicked it up a level! My main project has been looking at new and exciting innovations for the business, and putting the logistics in place for those. I feel very blessed to have such an incredible team who have really looked at this time as an opportunity to grow, develop, up skill and think outside the square!
What’s your favourite home beauty treatment or habit?
Without the in clinic treatments, I know it’s even more important for me to be using my homecare skin products properly, to maintain the health or glow of my skin. Our team has created a private VIP Skin Care Facebook group for our existing skin clients where our Skin team answer their questions... I’ve been enjoying some of the discussion on how to maximise your ‘lockdown skin products’ on the chat in that!
A book to read I’ve just read both ‘ The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and ‘Cilka’s Journey’ – related books by the same author. It really reminds us of the resilience of humans and what we can survive through, and makes what we are currently experiencing not seem quite as challenging.
A site to visit Escape Haven’s 6 week retreat, class pass and free mini-retreat- A slice of luxury Bali retreat in your living room! So proud of my friend Janine Hall who launched these as a world first ‘virtual retreat’ - look them up on IG @escapehaven