Clinic of the Month
I am so excited to introduce you today to Dr. Alyah Karim from Thrive Wellness Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thrive Wellness Clinic in Vancouver is a multi-disciplined clinic. This clinic boasts two naturopathic doctors offering acupuncture and also, aesthetics.
What did the business look like before Dermaviduals?
I didn't really have a focus on skin at that time. I had been exposed to the Dermaviduals products and I was very interested. But at that time, I was still doing a general naturopathic practice, not with a direct focus on skin. After Pastiche Training is when I really learned about how to apply that skin knowledge. And actually, what I was seeing in my patients in my general practice was as we were treating some internal things, and I was getting them on some topical things, their skin was just changing right before my eyes. So, I sort of developed this reputation for treating skin, and that's when we just turned into this full-blown skin clinic. We applied the naturopathic principles to treating skin and the results speak for themselves. We've just been growing ever since.
Today, we'll still treat people with IV therapy, and we can boost their immune systems, we can boost their energy levels, but ultimately, they're coming in to treat their skin but we can do a lot of other fun things at the same time.
And I love that about your business model because we do know that there's such a tight correlation between the gut and skin and the hormones and skin so that they can have that full portfolio of help in one place. It's really spectacular.
We like to find the root cause of what's going on. A lot of people come in and say the treatments they've tried, they work... temporarily. But, when we address internally what's going on, reducing inflammation, healing the gut, getting them on the right products, we see long term sustainable change for them.
Are you surprised that people don't realize how related these lifestyle choices are in relation to their skin conditions that they're suffering with?
Completely. But the most rewarding part is that I get to educate them on that. When someone comes in totally blown away by the questions I'm asking and wondering why I'm doing all these things, then we make some small changes to their lifestyles, and they see the results, it's that light bulb that goes off. When people have that moment, it's probably the most satisfying thing for me.
I also think that you're a really good educator. You just have a beautiful way of scientifically explaining it, but also breaking it down in a way that is easy to understand as well. And most importantly, focusing on the actual steps that need to be taken in order to get that end result that's desired. I do have to give kudos to your team as well, because I know that when you were away on maternity, and your team was just executing everything, as per normal. You have this amazing leadership quality as well that just brings a team together, and that is very important in business.
When I found out that I was going to have a little one, it was important for me to make sure the whole team was speaking the same language. I did set up some extra training with you for the team and just made sure that we were all on that same knowledge level because me stepping out would mean that anyone could take over my patients and the treatments. And anytime anyone had a question about anything that was going on, I would just say, you know, call René, she'll be able to help.
I think that it's so important in any business that every member of the team really understands the vision, the mission, and the process, and the protocols. I was super impressed, not just with your implementation, but your team's execution. We did try to check in quite frequently because we're here to support our people.
Do you remember the day that you decided to switch things up and bring Dermaviduals into the door? What has the impact on your business?
I remember the time when it started to transition. It felt really easy. I felt like I had a lot of your support. And if it felt very natural to go in the direction that we did at that time.
So, starting at the beginning, having the Pastiche imaging machine has been probably one of the most important things that I have done in my practice because, in that initial skin consultation, it gives us a starting point. It gives us beautiful images, it allows us to see patient progress, we can customize protocols, we can track progress, we can see results over time. When patients can see that and follow this journey with you and they can see what you're seeing through these images, patient retention is better, the compliance is better, with at-home care and with coming in for their treatments regularly. So having that teaching point for the patients was key in getting that patient base growing and key in keeping your existing patients happy and satisfied. And then once you get when you have that imaging, you can do the customized treatments and you can do the customized at-home protocols. You're watching skin change before your eyes, and patients are seeing it too. They're transforming as people before your eyes. It’s not just their skin, but their whole personality changes by the time they have their skin where they want it to be.
Yes, that's one aspect of the work and healthy skin pursuit that I really love is almost seeing the caterpillar become a butterfly, the increased confidence that people get when their skin is in a healthy place. That's the one of the most rewarding things in our industry to me. If you can really help them be confident in their own being, there's nothing that brings me more joy.
My customers don't even have to refer people, people are just seeing them change. And I'm getting phone calls saying can you help me? It's growing the business significantly.
That is my favorite kind of business growth - the organic business growth. Having real conversations or real people is where the magic happens. - Rene
When you brought in Dermaviduals, were there any surprises for you? And even in the bigger picture for your business, becoming so focused on skin, what was the most surprising thing for you?
They were all pleasant surprises! What I really appreciated was how committed people were to the products and the treatments based on it being very customized to each person. I had been putting people on protocols even before, and people would sometimes falter off. But when I brought in the imaging and the Dermaviduals products, that shifted. Once people are on those products, they do not want to come off of them. They love the products. And without having to remind them, customers were booking future appointments and ordering refills. They wanted their treatments and their products exactly at the right times. And they were all following their protocols very, very specifically, which I had never seen before. So that was very surprising in a very good way to me.
One of the objections that we get quite often when people are considering bringing Dermaviduals in is the long list of products - it is such a big line. So, in all honesty, was the learning processfor you and your team more difficult or easier than you anticipated?
It was much easier than we anticipated. That being said, I do have a background in botanical medicine as well. But I think what made it super easy was having the team to discuss it with. Having those ideas bounced around and coming to a decision as a team for specific cases, made that learning curve very easy for all of us to get on the same page and to be able to use the actives appropriately.
And we keep the manual, all your training materials and we have a little cheat sheet that's up in the lab. So, there's a whole Dermaviduals section in the lab so we can quickly refer to them if they have any questions. It seems overwhelming at first because of the number of SKUs, but the application is quite easy once you do understand it yet.
What advice do you have for somebody thinking about bringing in Dermaviduals?
It's sort of a no brainer. There's no question that bringing these Dermaviduals products in has boosted my business and has boosted the loyalty to my business. Once you're trained, you have the Dermaviduals products, and you're prescribing them, it is something that is going to increase your income just because you have the products there. But also, that patient satisfaction from the results from these products will get you those good reviews, get you those patient referrals, and will grow your business significantly. Putting the investment in and to Dermaviduals was the best thing that I have ever done for my practice.
And I have to say that during those few months that we had to be closed this year, our retail did not dip because we had our patients who were coming back for their products, for their treatments, sticking to their protocols. That speaks a lot to Dermaviduals because people were very religious about using their products. From a business perspective, that's, you know, you couldn't ask for anything more.
And the other thing I need to say about Dermaviduals is we have had experience with a lot of other medical-grade products, non-medical grade products, and things you can get over the counter. But the quality of the Dermaviduals product is top-notch. The patients that have tried everything come in and once they're using the Dermaviduals products, they're blown away by the products. Dermaviduals is one of the best quality products that I've ever seen.
If you are thinking five to ten years from now, what is happening in your future?
That is a great question. I'm not about having 100 clinics all over the place. I love my little boutique clinic and Point Grey. But I think I’ll focus on growing the team and maybe growing the space a little bit. Having the ability to get more people in for the medical facials for the Corneotherapy treatments, having that really strong group of practitioners that can sort of run the place for me and I can focus on doing the skin consults and getting the products to people
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I just can't stress enough how Dermal Systems and the products, the quality of the service, and the support that we've had, how much that has impacted my business. We were a very small clinic when we started and I had no idea what I was doing. Coming across you guys was really the key to having my business turn around and become as successful as it has been. So, a lot of thanks to you guys for that.
Connect with Dr. Alyah and the team at Thrive Wellness Clinic on Instagram at @thrivewellnessclinic, their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thrivewellnessclinic/. There is also a lot of blog posts and information on their website at www.thrivewellnessclinic.ca.