Face to Face With Tracy Brennan, Kalologie Skincare, Los Angeles
By Abby Penning
Posted: April 14, 2008, from the December 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Tracy Brennan’s inspiration for joining the skin care industry initially came from a somewhat unusual place—her two young sons. In 2002, after a quick succession of pregnancies, her skin began acting up with sporadic breakouts and pigmentation problems. But finding the right solution was proving to be a daunting challenge.
“In researching my options, I found there was just so much information—and misinformation—out there,” says Brennan, a former advertising executive. “The department stores certainly are not equipped to address any medical skin care concerns, and a physician’s office traditionally is not open for lunchtime, evening and weekend appointments—times that professional women and busy mothers need most.”
Unable to find a consistent, reliable way to navigate through all the skin care choices available—and knowing other women must be having similar problems—she began to envision a facility where clients could have all of their questions answered under one roof.
“I spent a lot of time in the beginning doing industry research, creating the business model and finding out what people are truly looking for,” says Brennan. “I found that many people really are wanting that one-stop, convenient alternative to all those other places; a place where the necessities are combined.”
Energized by the dynamic and continuing progress of the skin care industry, she also found that advancements in health care could add an exciting new advantage to her business. Partnering with the father-daughter dermatologist team Marvin Rapaport, MD, and Vicki Rapaport, MD, and more recently with Talia Emery, MD, Brennan knew the enhanced credibility associated with having physicians on staff would be a good way to set her skin care center apart.
Another aspect that helps her business stand out is in the area of customer service. Team members who lacked knowledge was one of the major problems Brennan encountered when seeking her own skin care solution, so she wanted her staff to be well-trained, well-informed and passionate about the work they were doing.
With the homework done and the groundwork laid, Kalologie Skincare opened its doors in Los Angeles in 2003. Kalologie, meaning “the study of beauty,” combines the values of Brennan’s business model with a place to experience the kind of rejuvenation hard to come by when running to different skin care locations all over town. Once at the center, clients are able to partake in a range of treatment options, including wrinkle-reducing injections, medical-grade peels, laser hair removal, facials, waxing and brow shaping, as well as learning answers to all their skin questions. And, with convenient evening and weekend hours, people quickly caught on to the Kalologie way of skin care.
With the popularity of the LA location growing, Brennan began to think bigger, and, in 2006, she and her husband raised more than $2 million to help extend the company. Two overseas locations soon opened in Japan, and Brennan’s attention is again turning stateside.
“We are really looking to have a national presence,” she says. “We just opened our third location in southern California, and are researching 20 markets around the country where we hope to launch sites. We’d like to have 10 additional locations up and running by next September.”
But expansion doesn’t always come easy. “Allowing the necessary growth while remaining true to the business’s core values is of great importance to me,” says Brennan. “We want to have franchises, and not a chain, for that reason. Locations will be physician-owned, and that way, the physicians can supervise the location with the utmost expertise and lend their credibility to the retail side.”
The creation of a signature skin care line is also one of the next steps for Kalologie, helping to further brand the skin care center and provide even more answers for clients. “I really enjoy the creativity that is involved,” says Brennan. “From the product formulation to the packaging to the marketing and advertising, its a challenging, involved process.”
Through it all, she sees a key factor of the centers’ success as the availability of solution-oriented, customized, effective treatments for each and every client. With a combination of business savvy, thorough research and a deeper understanding of clients, this skin care professional has developed a franchise that is right on target, helping people find their perfect skin care regimens without having to jump through hoops. And all of it began with Brennan being a client herself.