Hi, Tell us your name, what you do, and about your business?
Lovely to connect with you all!
My name is Pia, and I am a holistic skin therapist, wellness motivator, and owner at the award-winning Verve Skin Beauty Wellness in Melbourne, as well as being a recently graduated Naturopath (Bachelor of Health Sciences at SSNT).
With over two decades of skin industry experience, a wealth of training and modalities under my belt, I am continuously growing my incredible passion for optimizing health through the connection of our physical, emotional, mental, soul, and spiritual planes.
Each person we meet at Verve has an incredibly personal and unique genetic and environmental health story that needs unraveling before a really targeted treatment ‘blueprint’ can be identified, and shaped to suit the person in front of us. There’s no ‘cookie-cutter’ approach here!
We can even customize our skincare
Our very talented team is guided by a mission of exceptional service, education, and nurturing care, and together we are constantly evolving Verve’s culture and knowledge base to support our clients to transform and enhance their experience of wellness, glowing skin health, and artful aging.
We love inspiring people to take ownership of their health and aging through excellent education that connects HOW you are where you are, WHAT you can do to create change, and WHY making changes will make a difference.
Our depth of experience and complete understanding of the beauty, skin and wellness industries allow us to focus on delivering what each and every client needs (and deserves!) with our extensive and effective range of in-clinic and at-home care.
Clients love that we offer profound healing connections that go deeper than just skin by incorporating meditation, breath work, sound bowls, and reiki into our treatments. They’re the bomb 🙂
Verve averages about $50k/month at the moment, and this will be growing exponentially now that I am back in full flight and able to concentrate solely on the business – this is the first time in my life that I am not juggling another full-time commitment alongside full-time work and owning a business!
What’s your own background. Were you always proficient in this business, or did it just strike your mind one fine day?
I have had a very interesting journey to get to the point I am now of course! I am 41 and my rich life means I have traversed many highs and lows, surmounted many challenges, and gained many learnings through multitudes of mistakes and successes!
I am thrilled to be where I am right now, and feel the most centered, focused, and powerful than I have ever been before.
My story is an interesting one, with my career in beauty beginning as a seventeen-year-old working in my mum’s business, Verve Beauty Therapy, casually during the year twelve. I was a naughty child, and nearly failed year twelve on attendance – I very unimpressed with school and what it offered me.
Upon completing VCE I dived into a full time 2 year Beauty Therapy Diploma whilst also working full time at Verve.
It was also about this time that I began juggling substance abuse issues – and these have played their roles through all of my younger years as my chosen coping mechanism for a dysfunctional family, and relationships.
The sport was my savior, and I played representative/state league netball for over 20 years – I worked full time, studied full time, partied full time, and played Championship netball. It was a very full-on combination!
When my studies finished I just partied even harder whilst still working 6 days a week, plus my sports timetable. My plate has always been full to over-flowing! From go to work every day of every week I jampacked it in. A significant lack of sleep was normal.
My mum had nearly lost the business when I first started with her (due to some inept accounting that went unnoticed for many years until an audit from the Tax office), and so I had worked harder than anyone else I had ever met from a young age onwards.
Expectations were high, and my family loyalty was so strong I felt I couldn’t walk away to follow my dreams.
My mum had a number of tumultuous things occur in her life, which also bore a brunt on mine. Tough times abounded! However, about 13 years ago she decided to go and study law at uni, and after much discussion, I decided to buy a stake of the business.
At the time I felt a lot was lacking – there was no proper handover, no support, many misunderstandings, manipulation, and a lot of angst, and I battled to maintain any sort of relationship with my mum for many years.
It took me a long time to get over the idea that I had been pushed into someone else’s dream – Fast forward 13 years from when I took over and my mum and I have the best relationship I think we have ever had, after consciously taking time to seek help from various modalities to release my anger, frustration, and resentment and recognize the enormous gifts in the circumstances that I worked through.
I am actually grateful for the situations I managed to traverse, albeit pretty wonkily at times!
I revamped everything about the business after choosing to upscale my learnings massively – basically, all spare time was concentrated around learning various modalities and techniques to amplify skin results and this is where my passion for wellness started escalating!
I went from 6 different skincare ranges to just one, I stopped the old school way of treating with microdermabrasion and peels, and moved fully into a new paradigm.
About 5 years ago I began my Naturopathy degree, which continued to snowball the new way of treating skins and people that I was evolving.
In this time I have also gained certification in NLP, Reiki, Qi Gong, and attended countless seminars and workshops covering just about every single topic of health, skin, and skin treatments.
Now I have finished my degree my focus is solely upon what we offer, how we offer it, and looking at all the tiny ways we can improve each and every day.
What went into designing the initial product? Can you take us through the actual process?
My unique hybrid of high science and high spirituality, combined with our in-depth educational offerings is very unusual. I will take you through our most popular treatment for first time facial clients, which we designed especially to WOW.
We welcome you into our calm space, the sound of angel music wafts through the air and the beautiful grounding plants and crystals just add to the positive vibe.
You take a seat, enjoying sipping on either a delicious water mix or organic caffeine-free tea as you fill out our in-depth questionnaire.
Your answers here are just the beginning of us unraveling your health history so that we know exactly where you are at, discover where you want to be, and map out the ideal plan of how you can get there.
We take your photos with the very latest diagnostic imaging technology, providing you an incredible view of your skin and skin behaviors.
We then break down for you how your internal body systems are affecting your external skin system, and what measures can be taken to start the healing processes required to get you and all your systems back into harmony.
After this eye-opening, insightful and educational journey into your health, we then take you in to your treatment room for your personalized nurturing journey from the skin to within – you have full permission to rejuvenate as we welcome you into your space with sound bowls and sage, connecting you to your breath so that you are fully present, relaxed and calm in your body.
We expertly treat your skin with exactly what it needs, utilizing customized Dermaviduals skin treatment products, specialized massage techniques for your neck, shoulders, and scalp, meridian activation face massage and Omnilux LED Light therapy work beautifully together to maximize cellular stimulation, repair and soothing.
The guided meditation and sound bowl healing we take you on will transform your healing to the next level, and you honestly walk out feeling like a new version of yourself
How is your repeat customer rate like? Can you take us through how you attract and retain customers?
We have fantastic client retention, hovering at around the 80% mark. Most of our business is the word of mouth referrals. We survey our client base to see where we can make improvements, and also do follow up emails and texts.
Now I finally have the time to really focus on marketing and social media we will further expand. We have a humble following on Insta (2.6k) and FB (1.6k) – a lot of room to grow and I think it won’t take long to see us shift up another gear or two over the next 6months.
What is the current situation? How do you see yourself in the next 12 months?
I AM SO EXCITED! After dropping the extra weight, mental pressure, and intense time of the degree, I am keeping my focus steadily upon our growth as a team and as a business.
This will be the first time in my life I will not have extra responsibilities to juggle on top of the business
I will be combining my skin and skin product knowledge, Naturopathy, Female Embodiment Yoga, Qi Gong, Reiki, and mindfulness both in and outside of the clinic.
I’ll be focusing on running workshops for Naturopaths that wish to understand more about skin, and what skin treatments are available that best suit which condition, and also for skin/beauty therapists’ to understand more about Naturopathic principles and holistic treatment.
I will also be working with the general population offering workshops and more specialized week-long retreats combining all the knowledge I have to facilitate their own healing and wellness journey.
As a woman founder, do you see this as only financially uplifting? Or otherwise too? If yes, then how?
As a society coded with long-standing patriarchal pressures and perceptions it is a wonderful thing to give yourself the freedom to follow your own dreams, to not have to fit any mold, to play your own game to the beat of your own drum, and to be unapologetically female.
I love that my path has been varied, run ‘off course’, and come back on, as directed by me. I love that I have created a space that supports the growth and development of other people.
My philanthropic nature is satisfied with our ever-growing contributions to a range of different charities and organizations that I donate to on a monthly and annual basis.
Interestingly I have also surrounded myself with strong, intelligent women, as both mentors and friends, and I love the inspiration and motivation that flows from these connections.
I also love mentoring, teaching, and sharing my knowledge!! I love inspiring and motivating others.
What tools or services did you use?
I have accessed the services of teaching institutions, global and national educators, business coaches plus, and most importantly, all my self-care investments/practices that keep my mind and body on track.
What are your key challenges today? How are you planning to tackle those?
My key challenge is finding the best staff that resonates with all that I do!
I have created a very specialized niche, and so am always on the search for a specialized team member to join us.
I need to continue reducing my ‘on the floor’ hours so that I may more fully focus on my team, the business, and the next projects on my horizon.
Which are some resources, books, articles or podcasts that have been useful to you, and would share with your readers
I think communicating effectively is key to anything in business, so seeking some training with DISC personality profiling, Neuro-Linguistic Programming or similar is imperative.
Simon Sinek and “Start with Why” is a really good thing to keep checking in with, as a leader, as a business, and as a team.
Many times, women feel that businesses are for only for men. What’s your take?
I couldn’t disagree more. There are many conditioned patterns still working within the Australian population, and patterns can, and are, being changed!
There is so much available support and networking opportunities available, whether from national, state, or local level, within the industry, within communities.
Really all it takes is for you to look inside yourself and decide if you have the passion and desire to follow your dreams, your heart, which makes you feel really good.
When you have that, doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, young or old
Looking to kick start your own venture?
Hi! This is Misha
I interview women founders in building profitable businesses??
My idea is for other women to get inspired by these actionable tell-all stories and start their own profitable enterprises.
I am hugely inspired by inspirational interview series starters like IndieHackers, StarterStory by Pat Walls, Failory, SpaceBandits, and have put significant efforts in reaching out to women founders in order to get started.