Making people feel beautiful for a living isn’t just about fixing their skin. It’s about helping them find out what they want to look like, but also who they want to be.
Nurse practitioner Maegan Griffin founded cosmetic dermatology practice Skin Pharm in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2017. Her blend of empathetic customer service and social media marketing saw it grow faster than she could have imagined, and she added a skin care line and two more clinics in Atlanta and Dallas.
As a young female founder in the male-dominated pharmaceutical skin care industry, Maegan has dealt with plenty of condescension, but she’s never let it stop her from pursuing her plans. Having witnessed her clients’ happiness when treatments work, she understands that beauty is more than skin deep.
“I look at us as more than a cosmetic dermatology practice, or more than this beauty brand we’ve become,” she says. “We’re really in this health and wellness space, and potentially even in the mental health space.”
On this episode of SUCCESS Stories, Maegan talks to SUCCESS’s Madison Pieper about finding the courage to get started, setting boundaries with social media, and accepting that there is no balance as a working mom (and why she’s totally OK with that).
Don’t be afraid to start.
The first step of a new venture is always the hardest, especially if you want to do everything perfectly from the start. Planning becomes a cocoon: You convince yourself that you have to do X, Y and Z before you officially take the plunge—which allows you to put off the actual “doing” part.
The secret to turning your dream from an idea into a reality is that you have to stop planning and start acting—even if you haven’t quite got your head around it yet. All that time you’ve put into making plans has built a foundation, and at some point you have to stand on it to learn where the strengths and weaknesses are.
When Maegan launched Skin Pharm, she wasn’t exactly at zero. She’d been building a customer base for years while providing aesthetic medicine treatments. She held off on taking the leap and starting her own business until doing something much harder (giving birth to her first child) made her realize she was far more capable than she was giving herself credit for. She and her husband ran the numbers and decided to go for it.
Dreams are good fun. But that’s all they’ll ever be if you don’t do what you need to do to make them real.
Social media is a tool that cuts both ways.
Social media is a marketing goldmine for up-and-coming companies like Skin Pharm.
Maegan used platforms like Instagram to first grow her own client base, and then to build the brand. In addition to the content posted on Skin Pharm’s account, customers regularly create and share photos and videos with their friends about how much they love the company’s services and products. That user-generated content helps get the word out in the most organic way and bring new customers to the brand.
However, Maegan advises being careful with your social media use. Many people have to use it for their jobs—but set boundaries. You can post throughout the day, but turn it off at night. She also recommends turning off your likes, so you don’t get into the pattern of feeling down when one post doesn’t get as much attention as another.
“The biggest thing that I try to coach people on is to make sure that [social media] doesn’t measure your value,” Maegan says. If she starts to feel pressure from too much scrolling, she puts down her phone and takes a bath or goes for a walk.
Social media has its moments. Choose yours judiciously.
Moms, give yourself a break!
There’s no such thing as a balancing act when you’re juggling family and work. All you can do is your best, and if that means some things don’t come out perfectly, that’s OK.
Maegan credits her husband Brad and the support of their family for the fact she has the capacity to run her business and be there for her three young children. It helps that she’s accepted that her family life will flow into her work, and vice versa. It’s a system that works for her, and if she occasionally forgets something or makes a mistake, she’s not about to berate herself for it.
Just like the cookies that are a little burned on the bottom, or the handmade Halloween costume with the slightly uneven hem, our mistakes are always most obvious to us. Instead of noticing the flaws, focus on what you achieved and don’t sweat the rest.
“You realize that just getting by is fine. Your ‘just getting by’ is probably crushing it,” Maegan says. “It absolutely is possible to do it all, I think we just need to show ourselves some grace.”