Jessica Biegel and Sachi Morris left jobs in upper management to bring an LA favourite to the Canadian market
Jessica Biegel and Sachi Morris left jobs in upper management to bring an LA favorite – a cold laser skincare treatment – to the Canadian market.
Written by Alison Joutsi
After being burnt-out from the rat race in the Toronto business scene, Biegel and Morris quit their software management jobs and pursued their passion for skincare. Together, they invested in a new piece of technology and learned a new skill set from celebrity skin care guru Lea Elgard before opening The Freeze Clinic, Toronto’s first cold laser clinic of its kind, which is located on Danforth Avenue.
The clinic, which has been in business for over five years, is best known for its cold facial, a treatment that uses a non-invasive, low-level light therapy to brighten their clients’ skin. Each treatment is customized to meet each client’s unique skin conditions, from acne to more mature skin issues. What sets them apart is their focus on treating every client’s condition on a case-by-case basis through a customer-oriented approach to understand each client’s unique needs.
“We spend an hour and a half with our clients to gain a better understanding of each person’s lifestyle,” says Biegel. “This helps us customize each session to effectively treat their unique skin condition.”
Here, Biegel and Morris talk about leaving behind their cushy jobs, finding the right person to work with, and anticipating clients’ needs.
On leaving their first careers:
Sachi Morris: We were both always very interested in skincare and very passionate about facial treatments and products. This passion, combined with our dissatisfaction in our current jobs, was the push we needed to take a leap of faith and use part of our savings to start The Freeze Clinic in our basement.
Jessica Biegel: This was a very difficult decision. We gave up our salaried positions, regular workday hours and invested in a new piece of technology, as well as the training needed to bring this cold laser to the Canadian market.
On being risk averse:
SM: Our dream is to open another location in the west end of the city. Although we are considering the franchise model, our business plan reflects our personalities. We are not big risk takers, and I believe this has worked to our advantage.
JB: We could have opened a few more clinics by now if we wanted to, but we felt more comfortable taking a cautious approach to ensure that our business model worked. Being risk averse has ensured that we have never had to rely on outside investors to fund our business.
SM: We have additionally created our own product line as an alternative revenue stream. The line consists of four natural and organic products to help extend the results of each treatment. We have created a Microdermabrasion Facial Polish, a Marine Toner, a Hydro-Gel Collagen Mask and a Vitamin C Serum.
On having the right business partner:
SM: Jess and I were good friends before we were business partners. This was important because we knew we had a good working relationship.
JB: We did lay down some initial ground rules and had contracts in place. We developed a contingency plan in the chance that something did not work out. This gave us the confidence to make choices together.
SM: One important lesson we have learned is to never take things personally. We talk to each other 1,000 times a day, and if one of us is having a bad day, we don’t take this personally or hold a grudge.
JB: We each have very clearly defined roles. I am more the day-to-day staff manager, and Sachi works more on the back-end and handles all of the business marketing. However, we are both in the clinic and are very involved with our clients. We also support each other in each of our roles.
SM: Even though we have hired and trained a team of five aestheticians, we still do the treatments ourselves in order get to know our clients. How else would we be able to anticipate client needs and innovate our offering?