Welcome to the Chamonix blog this has been a long time coming but better late than never! Chamonix opened its doors in 2008. I remember researching into what was the best time to open a business and the research said, never open a business before Xmas or during a recession. So we opened in December 2008. Two weeks before Xmas and during the worst recession we had seen in years. By the January I would sit at the desk and pretend I was on the phone when the bus pulled up outside the clinic. Then I realised if I invited people in for a coffee and made them laugh then they would stay here and people outside would think we were busy. Somehow it worked, but of course it wasn’t that simple, we also did a large number of networking events, advertising and in fact I used to joke that I would go to the opening of an envelope if it meant it got me in front of people. So eventually everything that I was putting into the back of the pipeline started to drip out of the front….
Over the first year of trading, I would get up in the middle of the night almost to go to business networking events that started before most people were out of bed. These meetings were all over the North East of England. At these meetings, you would have to stand up and pitch my business. I focused mainly on telling people about colonics as people find poo and toilets fascinating and whatever I said always got a laugh! For example, if a plumber pitched his business I would say I also unblock pipes and it always got a laugh. So people started to talk about us and talk about the crazy lady who does colonics. We had an open day and over 200 people attended. This was such a shock but amazing and the day flew over, I can remember standing in the colonics room and there were all of these people asking questions about their bowels, unreal. From this, we got loads of bookings and we were up and running. I heard about different business initiatives that Gateshead council where running so I joined all of these. One of them was a “Dragon’s Den” experience which was such good fun, stressful but worth every minute. The evening chronical came and did a big piece about us and so we got our first advertising. I won £2000 worth of marketing, this got our logo designed and a marketing plan. I did a 16-week business course and got money that I bought products with. This got us started. This all sounds like everything was easy and plain sailing but it wasn’t. There were times when I was struggling, despondent and wanted to give up…
At the time that we opened Chamonix I was still working full time within the NHS. I was a ward Sister and had over 50 staff to manage. I also had another business that I was running and working on so needless to say I was running rapidly towards total burnout. However I just kept moving forward. If you want things to change in your life then you have to put in the effort and you have to believe that it will work. I would let nothing get in my way. I used every moment of every day to full effect. Even lunch was on the move. Not a healthy life style, but you do what you have to do.
Chamonix because of our efforts began to grow. Over the first few years we began to get busy. I resigned from my Sisters post and went back to being a staff nurse. Then began to reduce my hours until eventually I left the NHS altogether. Even though I no longer work with in the NHS I am still a Nurse, I’m still on the NMC register and I revalidate every 3 years. People often don’t understand that people who work as Cosmetic Nurses are still registered nurses.
So Chamonix was up and running, in fact at times it was galloping out of control. I took on more staff and began to build up a strong knowledge base about what I do. However Iv always had the rule, if I wouldn’t have the product put in me then I wouldn’t put it in someone else. Patients safety has always been my utmost concern.