Subtle Enhancements is a nursing service that provides cosmetic injections including Botox, dermal filler, lip enhancements, and fat dissolving injections in Durham Region and The Greater Toronto Area. Hilary, the owner, is a graduate of Fleming College and is a Registered Practical Nurse. Hilary is trained and certified in cosmetic injections, and holds advanced technique certifications for under-eye filler and lip filler. She provides medical aesthetic injections to both women and men ages 18 and up.
What inspired you to start your own business?
There are two reasons that I started my own business. One was how I felt after the first time I had cosmetic injections. It was an instant feeling of empowerment and confidence, and I knew I wanted to make others feel exactly how I felt that day.
Secondly, I started my nursing career at the hospital, the days were long and often sad. I was taking care of individuals that were forced to be at the hospital due to complex ailments. I knew starting my own business would allow me to take care of clients in a different way. Now, clients come to see me because they want to, not because they are forced to.
What helped you when working with BACD and how did it impact you and your business?
The Business Advisory Centre of Durham has been with me since the very beginning of my business. I was referred to them by another entrepreneur that had highly recommended their services. I started out doing their basic business fundamentals courses, which helped me create a business plan, create a brand, implement successful marketing strategies, and helped me to organize my day-to-day financial operations. From there, I attended several other courses from motivational speakers, to Instagram experts, to story telling courses. I was also able to book 1:1 appointments with their expert staff, who were nothing but supportive and encouraging.
Most recently, I attended their Starter Company Plus sessions, which was a rigorous course that delved deep into how to make my business more successful. After course completion and approval by a panel of staff, I was awarded a grant. This grant will allow me to complete more continuing education, invest in additional marketing material, and bring on a new service for my clients! BACD has helped to grow my business from the ground up and I am forever grateful for all the staff that have been a part of my success.
Tell us about the growth of your business. How many employees, locations etc?
I have been in business about a year and a half and each day I am growing. I initially started with the basics of botox and dermal fillers, but have gone on to learn advanced techniques for both botox, dermal filler, and fat dissolving injections, through several additional courses.
I started out providing cosmetic injections at The Beauty Room in Oshawa, a luxury spa that provides flawless permanent makeup and other medical aesthetic services. About six months later I joined the team at Brooklin Beauty and Wellness in Whitby, a wellness spa that provides hair services all the way to naturopathic doctor visits. Most recently, I have partnered up with Beauty in the heart of downtown Toronto, a picturesque studio that specializes in eyelash extensions.
I will be adding two new services on this year (maybe even three), and will be looking to expand to one more location this year.
What marketing strategies have been successful for you?
I have created a brand that leaves an impression on current and future customers. I believe that branding helps to create value and consistency for customers, and helps to retain loyal clients.
I have found partnering with other businesses to be very successful. By working with reputable spas, it has allowed for cross-posting of services and content to a wider audience.
I have used Instagram and Facebook to promote my services. I found that Instagram ads and Instagram contests have increased my follower count and helped to find new customers.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
You won’t know everything when you start, so ask for help and seek out resources that will help you with areas you are weakest in. If something doesn’t work, try something new until you get it right.
Get comfortable with feedback, it will help to better your business. I do follow up calls with each one of my clients, and learning how to deal with criticism is a vital part of ever small business.