Tell us a little about your business?
At River View Clinic, I aim to provide dynamic information regarding the ageing process. It could be as simple as ensuring patients have adequate sun protection to aesthetic interventions, cosmetic surgery, and most recently hormonal support.
Dynamic Ageing by Beverley Ashton allows me to combine all of these aspects, offering a wide range of services. It is a multi-passionate approach to ageing. Like fingerprints, we are all very unique, that is why it is at the heart of the service I offer, to always create bespoke treatment plans.
My practice has evolved over a decade by carefully listening to what Patients really want. Although my journey began in the late 90s when I was fortunate enough to work with Botulinum Toxin (botox) in the medical environment. Then with over 25 years of experience in the medical field, I have developed an interest in Aesthetics and Research. Therefore it was only a natural progression to start my own business in 2009. I was so excited but told I was ‘crazy’. It was the middle of a worldwide recession. Leaving an amazing and constant salary was seen by many as a foolish decision but yet I have always listened to my gut feeling.
After creating a successful aesthetic practice, my patients kept asking ‘what is next’. I have established a professional link with one the largest Aesthetic Clinics in Central Europe, Prague. I wanted to ensure that patients could receive a fantastic After Care service whilst in Prague and on return to the UK.
However, I soon released that external ageing was only a small part of the ageing process. Due to my Mum’s catastrophic side effects, thought to be through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), I wanted to investigate a safer alternative. I came across the Marion Gluck Clinic in London that specialises in the Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and was immediately drawn in. I have been trained in London and decided to further expand my business, now not only offering Aesthetic Treatments, AfterCare, but also Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and the first Male Health Clinic in the North East. My speciality spectrum has therefore shifted to both internal and external health.
In the recent months, I have expanded further as the first practice in Sunderland to offer vitamin infusion to support declining hormones, build immunity and as a recovery intervention for athletes.
What is the most rewarding aspect of running an independent business in the region?
The benefit is the wonderful ability to make your own decisions, very quickly. You could go for a walk and realize that the direction of your business needs to change, or reconsider its focus, and you can do that without having to ask for anyone’s permission.
The North East is such an exciting place to be from a business perspective. For me it’s still an untouched area and I feel so fortunate to be part of the growth in this region.
And what are the key challenges?
As a business owner you will always, at some stage, ‘hit the wall’. It may be due to burn out, tiredness or the intensity of self-employment. It is then vital to remember that this is when the true creative process occurs, as it is at this stage that a change is inevitable.
I remember clearly starting my business in the middle of the night…it was highly symbolic of how hard I was going to work.
I have 100% respect for anyone who is self – employed. It has been one of the biggest challenges of my life but I believe it is worth the investment. I continue to strive for the ‘balance’ which I believe is also vital.
In a post-COVID world, how have you adapted your working practices?
I have gradually and carefully adapted my practice, first and foremost by listening to government guidelines, e.g. regarding limiting numbers of Patients in the Clinic. My Patients supported me from the beginning of lockdown, as I have expanded my online support system.
I have often feared that from an outside point of view, having a multi-passionate approach to ageing may have looked chaotic… However being self-employed during this pandemic, such diversification within my business has ultimately saved me.
What are your short and long-term objectives?
– launching an exciting new service Vitamin Infusions this Autumn, to further expand the internal ageing of my patients.
– getting to know BIC businesses and even more so, becoming a part of the community in the North East.
– remember the golden piece of advice I was given ‘ start before you’re ready’. I took that on board, as with any project, you are never truly ready and each new project will take you longer than what you initially intended it to.
– continue to truly listen to Patients, addressing recent needs.
– remember to take time off, as reflection is such a golden nugget. I find many business owners rarely take the time to really focus on what they have achieved and how far they have come.
Lastly, I want to continue to grow Dynamic Ageing by Beverley Ashton, and establish my practice as a Clinic that Patients love to come to and are excited by. But ultimately, I want a Clinic my parents would be so proud of.
How does the North East BIC support your business plans?
Just to give you some context, I was brought up on the river Wear. A stone throw away from where my new business is now located. I have signed my lease on March 19th 2020 (4 days before lockdown). The BIC staff have been amazing, and I believe it was the best business decision I’ve ever made to join the North East BIC. I have felt 100% supported by everyone from the beginning.
In the future I’m hoping to be an integral part of the business networks created at the BIC. In my short time here, I have experienced support with printing, business advice, but also regarding local grants available to support businesses due to COVID-19.
I know I’m going to love it here, I’ve come home, my gut feeling tells me I’ll continue to grow my business and be part of North East BIC for a very long time.
To find out more about River View Clinic, visit their website.