Aerolase Success Story
Becoming Your Own Aesthetic Business Owner
Inset Data Points (Practice at a Glance)
Business: AAC by René opened May 2020 with one LE and a medical director
May 2020 ROI: $37, 600
July 2020 ROI: $57,800
Looking to the future: Wants to live out her dream of owning and operating an acne clinic
René Shewalter, LE and Owner of AAC by René in Reading, PA, has been in the skincare industry for more than two decades working alongside plastic surgeons for most of her time. Her expertise, passion for her patient’s well-being, and laser-driven results drew a loyal patient following. In early 2020 when the surgical partners decided to return to a hospital setting, she found herself in a predicament and opportunity to open her own business. Four months after launching her new business, she credits her passion, commitment, and light-based therapies for extreme clinical and financial success.
First of all, the Neo Elite works. That’s the first thing anyone needs to know. It’s pretty easy to sell treatments to clients when you know the laser will work on them. The results give me the confidence to offer the treatment to anyone, and it’s my assurance of its effectiveness my clients can undeniably detect. I’m not in sales, and I don’t give sales pitches. I have zero background in business. I love what I do. I want to help people, and it goes from there.
I don’t think my journey into buying my first laser is much different from others
“I used to rent lasers when I was working in the plastic surgery office. We could rent a few platform devices and single-treatment systems when we needed it during the month. It was a routine I got very comfortable with, but it was a lot different navigating that model when I started looking for myself. I gravitated to the Aerolase Neo Elite because no other single system could treat all the different conditions I was used to treating.”
“I was so used to platform-based devices, but when I started looking into the cost, maintenance, and actual overhead, it would be to own one, I was relatively afraid. But, I was comfortable with the devices. I trained on them, and I knew how to get results with them. It was a sticking point for me that I wouldn’t call complacency, but in a manner, it’s getting in your way because you become a little oblivious of better options and better opportunities. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Aerolase at an advanced training course that I saw how much of the older devices I was accustomed to.”
“I still had to see the results. Yes, there are pictures to refer to, but, to me, seeing is believing. Acne was the first thing that drew me to the Neo Elite. In the demonstration, I brought my son, who was starting to have issues with acne. He loved it, and I can’t say how lucky he was in the timing of me demoing the device. That was great, but what I needed to see results for was facial rejuvenation. I was skeptical, I was used to seeing immediate results with q-switched rejuvenation. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I saw the same results immediately after the treatment like I was used to. It wasn’t until all these people I had previously treated with the other device called me up the next day that I had that ‘aha’ moment when they all said they looked into the mirror that morning and said they saw such a dramatic difference. I knew then it wasn’t just the immediate effect we were getting, but the results were getting better by the day and then on. It’s like a shrink wrap effect for your pores. I was blown away. At that moment I wasn’t just confident I’d deliver results my clientele was used to. I knew I’d do even better for them.”
There have been better times to open a business
“Opening a new business with a brand-new device I didn’t have years of training on was intimidating enough. In May of 2020? It was a totally new world, but I had my medical director, a relatively loyal patient following, and it just felt like a ‘now or never’ time to do it. And so I did. Fortunately, the majority of what I needed to be aligned went extremely well for my business. I started slowly with a small client base and relying on Aerolase to support me with any clinical or administrative support I needed. The company support has been incredible from my local manager, Debra, to their trainers, and even corporate staff. They’ve been here for me.”
“My clients have been my blessing. I’ve had so many referrals – it’s been ridiculous. And, all by word of mouth. It was all about the results I was giving them with my laser. I’ve had a loyal following but could not have predicted the impact a new laser would have on them, influencing my growth. In August, my new office manager pulled me aside and said, ‘You’d better think about getting an assistant soon because you’re not going to be able to handle this soon. You’re going to be working 12-hour days, seven days a week.’ And, honestly, I could do it but to be able to have some R&R will be nice!
“Still, it’s a thrill to know my business is thriving. Money isn’t my ultimate motivation in doing what I do. It’s knowing I can maintain my business and grow month over month because the laser is incredibly comforting. Opening in May with a single rented room, I was able to make upwards of $40,000. In July, I’m breaking $60,000. The money is a big bonus, but being able to maintain a business of giving my clients results they feel empowered by is what I love.”
Personal passions run true
“The entire reason I am in this business is helping people. My own experience with severe acne in my late teens drove me into a passion for skincare, which turned into a passion for facial rejuvenation and lasers. At that time, I wasn’t able to afford a dermatologist for my acne. I went to a skincare workshop and was fortunate to learn about certain products to clear my skin. That journey is why acne is such an important part of what I do and want to accomplish with the Neo Elite. I know the feeling of trying to cover it up and feel your self-esteem drop because of it. I don’t want anyone to feel that way when I know there’s help. I’d love to open an acne clinic for underprivileged people in the future.”
“Plus, I love trying new things with the laser. In the spirit of helping people, one of my former co-workers had chronic psoriasis on her wrist, right where she would wear a watch. I knew the Neo Elite could treat psoriasis so I asked to treat her. I said, ‘I’m not going to charge you, I just want the photos of your results.’ She sent me a picture the next day, and it had improved so much. The day after that, the lesion was gone. You can imagine how special it makes me feel to deliver those types of results.”
“I’m also extremely excited about being able to treat skin of color. There is a large Latin and Dominican population I work with – they are thrilled, and I’m just getting started.”