Irish Women In Business - Irene Trowell, Galway Laser & Skincare Clinic
Athenry woman Irene Trowell is the Managing Director of Galway Laser & Skincare Clinic.
She founded the company, which is the first dedicated laser clinic in the west of Ireland,in 2007 and specialising in treatments including laser hair removal, medical microdermabrasion, glycolic skin peels, photo rejuvenation for broken veins, and laser tattoo removal.
We caught up with Irene for a chat about her decision to found her own company, how she manages to keep up to date with the evolving innovations in skincare and why her business is anything but superficial.
Tell us a little about what you do…
At the Galway Laser & Skincare Clinic, we offer a variety of different services from laser hair removal to the most recent anti-ageing technology of radiofrequency skin tightening. Anti-ageing treatments are most popular with us and most of our treatments aim to improve the quality and appearance of the skin.
How did you get to your current position?
I started working in a Galway Beauty & Laser Clinic as soon as I finished college, I got great training and I had a real interest in the laser aspect of the business. Over my four years, I progressed to managing the clinic and got a real insight into the day-to-day running of a business. I felt that mixing laser and advanced skin care techniques didn’t sit well alongside the regular beauty treatments and that a dedicated laser clinic would work well in Galway. Taking the knowledge I gained, I decided to go it alone and the Galway Laser & Skincare Clinic was born!
What is your typical working day?
We start taking appointments at 9.30am so I normally have my first client then. Days can vary but it is great that we offer a variety of different treatments so we are never doing the same treatment all day. The time flies during a busy day as we normally have back to back appointments.
I usually bring lunch with me (unless I am meeting a friend, going out for lunch is a most welcome treat!) as I normally use lunchtime to catch up on emails, organise orders etc. My working day normally finishes between 6pm and 8pm, depending on appointments and paperwork. This is not my favourite part of the job!
Why did you choose your current career?
I think I fell into this industry rather than choosing it! I originally studied science at college, with my favourite subject being biology. I have a great curiosity to know how things work but college life was not for me so I considered other options and decided to take a beauty course to tie me over until I decided what career I wanted to follow.
I was very lucky that the first place I worked in had a real focus on training and upskilling all the time and before long, I was hooked on learning more about the skin and how all the technologies worked. It was lucky that I was in a clinic that offered more than just beauty treatments as I was never the best at those!
What are the biggest challenges you face in your career?
The main challenge we face at the clinic is keeping up to date with the ever changing world of anti-ageing treatments and techniques. Thankfully I am a little obsessed with the whole aspect of ‘the skin’ so even in my downtime, I find myself reading articles and whitepapers about new up and coming treatments.
The other challenge we face is competition. I think this is a factor for every business in every sector and we have the philosophy that good customer service and a consistent quality of treatments will hopefully keep our clients coming back.
What are the most rewarding aspects?
My favourite part of the job is meeting people and seeing the changes they experience over the course of their treatments. For me, this is the most rewarding. I am sure some people consider a lot of what we do quite superficial but as I say to my clients all the time, “we do these things for ourselves to make us feel better, not for the benefit of others”. A woman suffering from unwanted facial hair growth can be very conscious of the issue and this leads to low confidence and self-esteem. Over the years, I have seen many personalities change as the problem improves. It is great to offer a service that makes people feel better and more confident about themselves and their bodies.
Could you ever see your work taking you away from Ireland?
Personally, I cannot see myself leaving Ireland. I am well settled here and I love Galway too much to leave. However, there is great scope to travel within the sector itself as it is a worldwide industry.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
“Everything happens for a reason.” This is my motto for all aspects of life. When something doesn’t go to plan or I feel things aren’t going my way, I try to go with my gut instinct and normally when you look back on situations you can see that it always works out for the best.
What has been the one ‘pinch me’ moment of your career so far?
I have had evenings in the clinic where, after a hectic week and a list of clients waiting for appointments, I stop and think ‘wow, I created this’. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People may think that we rub cream into your skin and it’s all about the pampering but here at the clinic, all the treatments offered are results driven. I am not a really a ‘girly girl’ so I was happy to leave the traditional beauty treatment to the experts and there are lots of great beauticians in Galway. Our focus is on achieving results and improving the skin concerns presented, even if that means a little discomfort for a short time. It is worth it, I promise!
What is the biggest mistake that you think people in your chosen sector make?
That is a difficult question to answer as everyone makes decisions that they feel are the best for their business. However, I feel it is most important to maintain good customer service and this includes honesty with clients regarding expected results. I feel clients appreciate our honest opinion and it’s also important to continue to offer quality treatments without cutting corners.
Describe what you want to achieve in your career with one sentence.
I want to look forward to going to work every day. As long as that is the case, I am happy.