Career Q&A; How This Dermal Therapist Went From Business Owner To Brand Founder

The beauty industry is filled with opportunities to push the boundaries and Gabrielle Singh is making the most of it.

From graduate to business owner and now brand founder, Gabrielle has forged her own path in the industry that started in an unexpected way. Those unfamiliar with the day-to-day of a dermal therapist will think a psychology degree is an unusual place to start your career. But for those in the industry, you’ll know that it creates the perfect foundation for creating valuable experiences for your clients.

After completing her degree, Gabrielle knew she wanted to help other women deal with the emotional side of their skin struggles, as well as the physical side, giving them the tools for confidence she didn’t have through her own skin challenges. So, she gained her Diploma in Beauty therapy and later a Graduate Diploma in Cosmetic Dermal Science then set out starting her own clinic, GC Skin Boutique, where an empowering culture is the priority.

Since, she has gone on to launch her own cosmeceutical skincare line, Cosmology. How does she find her balance? Through determination, passion and faith in the strong community of women she’s building.

How did your career as a Dermal Therapist get started?

Gabrielle Singh, founder of GC Skin Boutique and Cosmology

I suffered from chronic acne when I was younger and this affected my confidence and self esteem extremely so skin has always been a very emotional topic for me. I know first-hand what it can do to someone’s confidence. I really wanted to help others because I felt when I went through my teenage years trying to deal with acne I wasn’t educated and it really affected me. Having glowing healthy skin brings out the confidence in everyone and if I can give someone back that confidence then I am doing my job properly. And to be honest it brings me so much joy hearing from people how much I have changed their lives.

I also have two daughters so I love that I can educate them on the true essence of beauty and self confidence as this has always been my philosophy with GC Skin Boutique. I am so proud my daughters can grow up around such an environment.

What led you to opening your own business, GC Skin Boutique? 

As a new mum, I didn’t want to miss out on watching my daughter grow so I wanted to create a life that gave me that freedom and flexibility. I also was very passionate about creating a work place that was delightful and welcoming for not just our clients but also for my staff. The beauty industry should be about encouraging other women and boosting their self esteem so I wanted to create a community that is uplifting and empowering for both clients and my staff. I wanted people to be apart of a world that I wanted to create that I truly believed was for the good.

Why did you decide to create your skincare line, Cosmology? 

The idea for Cosmology appeared after years of working with different skin concerns, treatments, and products, trying to find an effective combination of formulas and routines, allowing clients to visibly see improvement on the appearance of their skin. I just wasn’t wowed by any skincare brand that I had previously used or worked with. So, I decided to create my own. I wanted to be 100% confident with what I’m recommending to my clients. The idea was originally just to be sold in my clinic and then I thought if I am going to all this effort why limit myself to being just sold in clinic so I chose to take Cosmology online as well.

Can you tell us what the formulating experience was like? What were your goals, what did you enjoy the most and did you face any unexpected challenges? 

This was definitely the fun part! Being able to work alongside a skincare developer and formulator to bring to life my vision in a skincare product was just so surreal. I still pinch myself today at what I have created and the feedback I hear from customers and how much I have helped them. My goal was always to bring not only a top-quality skincare range but also education to my customers. Results come quickly from a client using the correct product for their skin so if they are educated properly they will choose wisely which will in return give them the incredible results we have been seeing.

It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing throughout the process. I faced many challenges at the beginning that I even questioned myself as to whether I was meant to be on this journey. My packaging was probably my biggest issue. I did change it a few times, trialing different packaging with different consistencies and stability. My products are highly active so I need material that was going to hold up with the products inside. You will also see something on a screen and love it and then when you are looking at it in person you don’t get that same feeling.

At the start I was only going to launch with 10 products and I just couldn’t stop. I was forever wanting to add more to the collection! This then also dragged out the time because I wanted to launch with a complete collection. I also launched in the middle of a pandemic which made it hard as I had big dreams for my launch and marketing and unfortunately could not do what I had originally planned.

How do you balance managing your clinic and Cosmology? 

It’s not easy, that’s for sure! Sometimes I ask myself, have I taken on too much with my clinic, my skincare and the new clinic underway and opening really soon. But I remind myself why I am doing it. I have built a community of beautiful women and I am so proud of that. I also think about the life I am creating for my babies and hoping to be an inspiring role model for my children.

I have had to recently step back from doing treatments so I could manage a little better, but like anything over time we adjust and make it work. That’s the beauty of being a woman!

What tips do you have for other Dermal Therapists wanting to take the next steps in their career and follow your path to becoming a business owner? 

If you want something, then go for it. You will always question yourself; it’s natural for us to feel fear but if you have a passion for it and truly believe this is what you are meant to do, you will succeed.

Put a plan together, do your research and the best thing about beauty is, it is a market that is forever growing. But most of all, I really emphasise to have patience when growing a business. It takes time! The first few years are the hardest but oh how rewarding it is when you pass the hard times and see all your hard work being recognised.

I also recommend if you are looking and really considering it to reach out to other business owners who have done what you wish to do and ask them for advice. I am always giving advice to women who are wanting to start their own business or even just someone wanting to get into the beauty industry and I am always honoured when someone asks me for my advice. The more knowledge you know beforehand, the more prepared you are.

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