What adaptations have you made over the years to stay relevant in the industry?
As the industry started to grow and change focus with new technologies, I learned to layer procedures and treatments, such as microdermabrasion with peels and laser. This technique became my signature strategy in setting myself apart. Instead of abandoning something I felt was really beneficial, I incorporated the modalities to achieve a higher level of results for my patients. I also follow a holistic lifestyle and attend many seminars for higher education and better living with Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Andrew Weil. I am an avid reader, I love to meditate, and am curious about how to do things in a superior manner.
What advice do you have for someone planning to start a career in this field?
I think many people believe that this job appears very glamorous (and it is), but disregard the fact that it takes enormous dedication to be successful. You could say that about many fields, but it is going to take years to grow a book and build a reputation of integrity and good character.
Who or what inspires you?
My mother. She was a single mom who taught me that hard work and focus is a basic necessity in success, but that you should never give up on your dreams and that taking risks are worth the rewards. She was entrepreneurial in the way that she committed to a vision that was bigger and greater than the tasks at hand.
What is the secret formula for the success of Avery Graham’s products?
My love for technology and innovation, Mother Nature’s decadent discoveries, and an admiration for luxurious beauty is my creation and vision for Avery Graham Skincare products. I think you will find them graced with nobility, just as I see nobility in each of my patients.
Here is more of our chat with Elizabeth
How long have you been in the aesthetics industry?
I have been a clinical aesthetician for 25 years and founded Avery Graham Skincare 20 years ago.
What credentials do you currently hold?
I am a licensed clinical aesthetician and am certified in laser hair removal to do fractionated laser resurfacing, IPL, and skin tightening.
Which honor or achievement are you most proud of?
Trifecta, Nightly Resurfacing Serum, won Best Serum of the Year for 2016! I combined microencapsulated retinol with acids (glycolic and lactic) that I use in my treatments to develop a time-released formula so patients can receive full resurfacing benefits without experiencing the irritation or downtime that is commonly associated with retinol products. It is happily known as the sleeping tight serum. I created a new category for advanced serums.
Which of these roles taught you the most or had the most impact on you and how?
Upon reflection, my journey began when I was a little girl volunteering as a candy striper at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. I would make beds, aide the nurses, and help patients to feel their best. I knew then that I wanted to help people and I am proud to say the place that inspired me now carries Avery Graham Skincare. It is ironic how life’s journey can lead us back to what originally inspired us. Following your heart or passion is always what serves us best.
Has there been a constant theme that has led you from one point to the next throughout your training and career? (as in asking questions, reading certain material, etc.)
Mastering the phase that you are in, always being aware of new technologies and innovations, and deciphering the needs of your patient leads you to mastering the next level. If you are a person who wants to grow and likes challenges, you will somehow find yourself much further along because you take those smaller steps along the way instead of doing what is safe and comfortable.
What characteristics or skills set you apart from your peers and enabled you to be so successful?
Dedication! I believe the devil is in the details; this trait has served me well, considering that my goal was always to make one patient happy at a time. The success of the patient is determined by more than just a clinical treatment. Mastering the techniques, customizing their homecare routine, and treating the patient as a whole is what built my boutique concierge practice. Avery Graham is a lifestyle, not just a product.
Do you have any regrets, or is there any one thing you can point to and think, “I wish I would have done that differently” or “if only I had known then what I know now” that you can share with the readers? Please explain.
No. I have always been a risk taker and wanted to lead the pack instead of follow.
What has surprised you most during your professional journey?
When I first started, convincing people to take good care of their skin was a challenge. It was considered a practice for the rich and the famous and not a priority. Now, I am encouraged to see so many people wanting to take better care of themselves.
What are the greatest pressures, strains or anxieties in the work?
Trying to juggle it all. I have an extremely busy clinical practice. I am the founder and creator of Avery Graham Skincare and I have a wonderful life. Being focused on all of the moving parts to keep up, while growing and enjoying the journey, can have its moments. But, with every challenge and hurdle you conquer, it gives you more strength and endurance to move ahead.
How did you decide that your current career is the right one for you?
This career just always felt like a calling for me. Engaging in meeting new people, solving an acne problem or a concern, or just helping patients to feel better about themselves has always given me a great amount of inner satisfaction and joy. This career is really a one-on-one experience that is fulfilling every day.
How and where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything. Although I love the suggestion of paying it forward, following the golden rule, and being surrounded by leading surgeons, I get the most inspiration from my patients and loved ones.
What do you see are upcoming trends in the industry?
Layering modalities, which can also translate into products (such as Trifecta Resurfacing Serum). This technique is where I got the idea to combine active ingredients in a single delivery system for a big impact. Patients are on the go and want their results as quickly and easily as possible. This movement is an area that Avery Graham Skincare has mastered.
Is there a particular moment or procedure where most professionals go wrong? What could they alter for a better result?
Not evaluating and talking with the patient about what their current regime consists of, as well as their medical history. A perfect example is Retin-A, which can alter the skin care or laser treatment significantly.
What do you believe separates the best establishments from the rest?
Educated and skilled practitioners and a feeling that the patients are cared for by the establishment. The environment should transport them to a place that is soothing and better for their well-being.
Do you have a signature treatment or technique that your clients love – a classic of sorts? What makes it so loved?
I sure do, but you would have to come and see me to find out!
What is the one piece of advice you give to every client you see?
My first priority as an aesthetician is the health of my patients. Therefore, I always first ask whether they have had their yearly skin care check. I have a responsibility to take care of their skin and not just in how it looks.
Do you or your company support any particular causes or charitable organizations? If so, who and why?
We support many charities and fundraisers throughout the year. Two of my favorites are the annual Gary Papa Run, to fight prostate cancer and support the great men in our lives, and the Junior League of Philadelphia, to address food insecurity in the city (with special attention to the children). I just love that these young women are moving and shaking their way to make a difference.
You wear so many hats in this industry. What is your secret to keeping life in balance and enjoying the journey?
The age old adage that you must take care of yourself before you care for others is true. Fueling and feeding your own enthusiasm and spirit will in turn give you the resources to fuel and feed others.
Do you have a company or personal motto by which you live?
Yes. “The decisions you make dictate the life you lead.” This statement is my reminder to choose carefully. Each little step has the power to transport you to a bigger dream and everything matters along the way.