After enduring both the tragic death of her father and a grueling schedule on the frontlines as a hospital nurse at the start of COVID, Emem Obot found a renewed sense of meaning as she built her non-surgical aesthetic practice, Elite Practitioner.
Before his death, Emem Obot’s father was overwhelmed with work demands. He was a nurse just like Emem. When Emem recognized similar patterns in herself–thanks to 12-hour hospital shifts and working two jobs–she knew it was time to make a change.
In early 2019, Emem became intentional about transitioning into the type of medical work she really enjoyed. So, she started Elite Practitioner, a business that offers medspa services like Botox and injectables. While she appreciates the importance of traditional nursing and still provides a range of privately-contracted nursing services, Emem’s business now enables her to prioritize her own wellbeing and strike a better work-life balance–just as she suggests her clients do.
It hasn’t been an easy career transition from full-time nursing for Emem, though. In the beginning, she had to juggle her independent contract nursing work with all the demands of starting a business–demands like building clientele, taking courses to gain expertise, and finding a physical space to practice.
To strike a manageable balance, Emem has had to be strategic in her decision-making. While expanding her business during the COVID pandemic, Emem couldn’t offer onsite services right away since few people were venturing outside. However, that time allowed her to focus on boosting her expertise and building out a physical space for the business.
Searching online for an affordable space for kick starting her business, Emem found a single room in the heart of downtown Chicago–with a larger office just across the hall that would be ideal for servicing clients. Emem was able to occupy the smaller office while the larger space was prepared for her to welcome clients when businesses opened back up.
And so she began to grow her aesthetic services.
Fast forward to 2022, Emem has set a goal to grow her clientele–those seeking Botox and fillers and those seeking more holistic services like B12 shots, manual lymphatic drainage, and wood therapy–and grow her staff. She’s planning to hire nurses with previous injector experience and flexibility enough to scale with the business. Although she started quite small, her goal is to “grow, grow, grow.”
Clover’s been a significant part of her growth already. Emem won a Back2Business grant for black and minority-owned small businesses through Fiserv, Clover’s parent company. As part of the grant, she was set up with a Clover Flex device.
Thanks to the device’s portability, Emem can process payments wherever she needs to–whether from her client’s treatment room or onsite as she administers concierge COVID tests, for instance. She likes that Clover gives her the flexibility to adjust the cost of services. For example, when she books COVID testing services for private parties, she’s able to adjust the cost in the event a different number of people show up for testing than was originally scheduled. Additionally, Clover’s virtual terminal comes in handy for gift card credits–Emem frequently offers a gift card for first-time services.
While Emem continues to offer private contract nursing services through Elite Practitioner, she hopes to grow her aesthetic services enough to sustain her business completely.
If she could offer advice to her younger self, she’d say: “‘Do your research and stay the course.’ I definitely built the business by myself, and I do the best I can to make it great. And this is just the beginning.”
After all, what is more beautiful than a sustainable lifestyle?
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