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Making the Move to Medical Esthetics

Contact Author Brooke Schleehauf
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Janna Ronert of Image Skincare

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Janna Ronert’s career changed course when she moved from her work as an esthetician and on the front lines of esthetics to beginning her product line, Image Skincare. The Florida-based company uses clinical products to connect esthetic clients with effective skin care and well attitude.

Skin Inc. spoke with Ronert in an exclusive interview to discuss how estheticians can make the move to medical esthetics. 

Editor’s Note: Catch up with Image Skincare at Skin Inc’s Face & Body Southeast spa expo and conference in Atlanta from October 7–9, 2017.

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Skin Inc. (SI): After working as an esthetician for several years, what inspired you to start your product line?

Janna Ronert (JR): The inspiration was the three P's—better product, creating a more passionate, esthetician-driven brand, and really creating the most professional organization we could. Being an esthetician, I saw a lot of great products out there, but I thought there was a big void and a need for a clinical line that was affordable that delivered the results that people said what was on the bottle.

"I think the power and the passionate ability that estheticians have to deliver that heartfelt educational selling aspect was a need."—Janna Ronert, Image Skincare

The other void was a need for estheticians to be educating and selling this product, not just salespeople because of the power and the passionate ability that estheticians have to deliver that heartfelt educational selling aspect was a need—and that's what we did.

SI: What insight do you bring to the company as a professional in the esthetic field?

JR: I know what clients want, what the time frame of which they expect the product to work, and I know what treatments clients want in order to really change their skin and to make the desired result.

And the price point—I grew up on a farm in Nebraska and value was everything. It wasn't necessarily what the product cost, but what you could get for the product and what it did. [At Image] we try to put together a whole regimen of four products: cleanser, anti-aging, sunscreen and a nighttime cream that you can get all for around $150—value is very important to us.

SI: How would you say the medical spa industry has changed since you started your line?

JR: I think that the whole clinical aspect has really changed. I do believe that the wellness definition has become more holistic, and it is not just about pampering, but the overall wellness of the client or the patient—from skin care to injections, ingestibles, lifestyles and an education around stress and how that plays a part on the skin. So I think the change has been extremely positive. 

For the consumer and the customer that walks in a med spa today, they have so many choices … it's not just not a product, it's a very holistic 360-degree approach. And I think that's fantastic for the end user today.

"The most educated estheticians generally are the most successful, because education creates confidence, and confidence creates trust in people."

SI: Would you say that you learned anything about the medical esthetics field after you started your line?

JR: I worked in [the field] for close to 15 years in the medical realm before I started the line, so I had a very diverse background where not only was I an esthetician, but I was an educator, I had the opportunity to be a distributor, I ran a practice of plastic surgeon/dermatologists, so I kind of had a little taste of all that goes into it.

It gave me a good perspective of what a med spa was looking for in relation to how we can help them grow their business. Because I've been on the other side, I had a very interesting perspective of what a company's expectations were to be a really world-class vendor.

From that perspective, it was very helpful, and I think that [Image] can offer a client a very turnkey solution, with a lot of professionals behind them to help them grow their practice. And that's our job, right, is to help them grow their business? That's why we provide products.

SI: What advice would you give to an esthetician that is thinking about getting into the medical spa industry?

JR: I would say, education, education, education

The most educated estheticians generally are the most successful, because education creates confidence, and confidence creates trust in people. When you build a group of very trusting patients or trusting clients, your business will absolutely grow because people trust you.

SI: Besides education, what is something that you wish you knew while you were developing your products?

JR: Building a company, the most important thing is having the highest-quality teammates—the most professional, the most educated—and I think if I look back I probably would have really focused on not quantity but more quality.

I had a very clear vision of what I wanted in the bottles. From a standpoint of understanding people, and maybe that goes back to understanding myself … I probably would have aligned myself with people that I really had that sense that they had that clear vision, and that only comes from experience and education. … I think that was a big learning curve for me—the people portion, hiring the right people.

"Building a company, the most important thing is having the highest-quality teammates."

SI: How can an effective skin care regimen at home affect a client's experience in a spa?

JR: It still goes back to the big E's—the big education. The most successful spas, med spas and doctor's offices are those that are going to have the most educated, passionate people behind it.

Because [a client's] experience of going to a med spa and getting a real program … [and] when they come back in and they see those changes, and then clinician or esthetician can augment it with treatment … it's an “aha” moment for clients.

When you can blend those two together is when you have a client for life, and you not only have them, but you have their grandmother, their daughter, their sister, their cousin; it's a real trickle-down effect. That's where I see is the real heartbeat of what's important to the growth of the med spa business.