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Holly Douglas, owner of Beauty and The Bull spa in Durham, North Carolina, is driven, and this trait is apparent in all the successes she’s enjoyed in the skin care industry. However, skin care hasn’t always been her passion. She attended college on a full tennis scholarship, but its funding was depleted before she had time to earn enough credits to finish her degree. She had to drop out.
During this time she worked as a copier salesperson and describes it as “the most grueling job.” This taste of life without a degree led Douglas to go back to school, with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. After earning her biology degree in 2000 from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, she took a job as a patient coordinator for a plastic surgeon. “At that point, I got sucked into the environment, and returning to school to become a physician’s assistant was out the window,” says Douglas. “I did pre-op and post-op, and the physician had a successful skin care business. He taught me how to sell, and I got interested in skin care.”
In 2002, Douglas left that practice and began managing a different plastic surgery practice that included five physicians. “I did that for several years but wanted to get back into skin. I wanted to be a provider. Everyone else was having fun, and I was sitting at my desk. I worked with clients already and thought I could combine all of that and do treatments, too,” she explains. It was this drive that pushed Douglas to obtain her esthetics license in 2005, as well as multiple laser certifications.
In 2005, Douglas, in collaboration with one of the plastic surgeons in her practice, opened a medical spa that became a huge success. However, due to professional issues between Douglas and her partner, she left the spa and the practice in 2008. The experience was a very disenchanting one for Douglas, who owned much of the expensive laser equipment that was used in the medical spa.
“It took me six months to find a home in another physician’s office. It took me so long because it was during this time that a girl in North Carolina died after a laser hair removal treatment, and physicians were weary of lasers,” she remembers. “I had to recover from my bad business experience, so my job was part time. I needed to heal my wounds and do my treatments.”