Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics continues to be a growing sector of the health and wellness industry. We had the opportunity this month to speak with Aundrea Ritchie, founder of Aundrea Nurse Inc, about what motivated her to start a business in this innovative industry. We also learn how her desire to help others and to strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives powers her entrepreneurial spirit and have not only made her an expert in Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics but an ambassador of the entire industry.
When Aundrea Ritchie, then Trevors, was growing up in Miramichi, New Brunswick, a career in Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics and being an ambassador for the industry and profession was the furthest thing from her mind.
So, Ritchie’s journey begins when she leaves high school and her hometown in northern New Brunswick to obtain a psychology degree from St. Thomas University.
“I soon realized once I completed my degree, I was going to need do something else for a career and the medical field and nursing had always been in the back of my mind,” Ritchie went on to say, “I have always had a strong desire to help others and to strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives. So, in 2008 I decided to continue my education and went back to school and on to receive my Advanced Standing Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of New Brunswick.” It does not take long when speaking with Ritchie to understand that she is driven and very goal orientated as she was able to complete her nursing degree in two years rather than the usual four.
After graduating from UNB, Ritchie began her career as a cardiac and mental health nurse before being introduced to the cosmetic side of medicine and said that she “Immediately knew it was my calling.” Ritchie herself has suffered through skin issues her entire life from the time that she hit puberty and has personally seen the impact that these procedures can have on your own personal heath and wellness and the confidence that it can give clients.
Ritchie recalls a particular trip to the medical spa for a treatment when she noticed a doctor in the spa that day. She began to ask questions and uncovered that the doctor was performing Botox and filler injections to patients, now remember that this was over eleven years ago so this is not something that you saw everyday. Ritchie began to ask questions to get a better understanding of the services that were being performed by the doctor and with many hours of additional research uncovered that these were all procedures that could be administered by a registered nurse, and as they say the rest is history. Ritchie has been a registered nurse now for almost elven years. She has devoted over ten of those years to the cosmetic side of medicine as a Cosmetic Aesthetic Nurse Specialist and a trusted ambassador of the profession and industry. She said, “I have been extremely fortunate to learn from and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and nurses from all over the world which has given me the experience needed to be at the top of my field.” Ritchie is always learning and focuses on keeping up with the latest innovation and products in this very evolving industry and was quick to tell us that, “My learning journey is not over as I am currently doing my master’s degree in Nursing at Athabasca University.”
Ritchie is very honest with her entrepreneurial journey; she has always known that she wanted to be her own boss and have the freedom to make her own choices professionally and for the brand that she founded. She points out that, “When I first told people, both in and out of the medical field, that I was going into the cosmetic side of medicine full time I was laughed at. Most had images of Joan Rivers in their heads when speaking of Botox or cosmetic aesthetic and
thought that I was making the wrong decision to leave the hospital and the job security that it offered me as a registered nurse.” Ritchie goes on to say, “You have to remember that this was eleven years ago, so I understand their concerns however, it has been one of the driving factors for me to educate people on the benefits of this industry.” As for the business itself Ritchie admits, “I am not exactly where I want to be yet with my business and career, but I do feel like I am headed in the right direction.”
When we asked Ritchie, what inspired her to start Aundrea Nurse Inc and start building her own brand? She was quick to respond, “I saw an opportunity and wanted to jump on it. I figured this was my chance to start my dream of owning my own business in an industry that I was and am extremely passionate about and that I could make a difference.” She goes on to say, “It is exhilarating and a little scary to have the independence to build your own brand however, if you are going to put your heart and soul into something and dedicate your life’s work into it, then it is an added benefit that you are proud of something that is your own. Ritchie still considers herself as a new business owner, as she only started Aundrea Nurse Inc in 2017 and she will be the first to say that she feels like, “I am just getting started on my entrepreneurial journey, but the brand is starting to develop to have its own identity, meaning that people are asking for the services of Aundrea Nurse Inc when they are visiting the spa.”
Ritchie sits on the board of the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Speciality Nurses (CSASN) which is a group of six aesthetic nurses who bring evidence-based education to their over 190 members across Canada. They organize cadaver labs, lectures, guest speakers and regular meetings to keep their industry safe for their patients, which she added, “is always our number one concern.”
The Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics industry is continuously evolving whether it is procedures themselves or the products available. It is a truly innovative industry. Ritchie says, “Thankfully I work with a great team of people who are all career driven individuals. Together, we attend many different trainings, Nationally and Internationally to stay on top of the most up to date information. This industry is evolving quickly so it is crucial that we are always educated.” Now it goes without saying that these days information and training sessions are happening via Skype or Zoom, but they are happening as people are looking for the services and want the most up to date products available regardless of the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic or not.
Trust us Ritchie is not going to let a pandemic stand in the way of her goals and meeting the needs of her clients. Just this year, she and her fiancé were to get married in Jamaica. Well, COVID-19 might have stopped her sun-soaked wedding plans and their trip down south however, it did not stop the marriage as her and her fiancé, Andrew, tied the knot at the courthouse. She is however looking forward to getting into her dress for another ceremony once gathering restrictions are lifted due to the pandemic and the “Atlantic Bubble” opens back up.
It is this type of dedication and passion that Ritchie and her Aundrea Nurse Inc brand is known for in the industry both with her peers and with clients. Her professional integrity, honesty and expertise is why her client base continues to grow. Ritchie’s expertise lies with injecting neuromodualtors along with dermal fillers on the face and body of her clients. She also offers microneedling with PRP (platelet rich plasma) for scar revision and hair regrowth. Ritchie’s clients tend to be women however, saying that, it is becoming increasingly more common for men to also have these procedures done as most clients are looking to enhance their natural features. Clients are usually around 40 years and over, but some are also younger. However, what they all have in common is that they are looking for professional advice and nonsurgical options to help with the aging process. Ritchie added, “The most common request I get is looking natural. A lot of people are misinformed when it comes to injectables, when in fact many of your friends have these services done, but you just can’t tell. That’s when you know that it’s been done correctly, by someone like me,” Ritchie says with a laugh.
A lot has changed in the industry and the way that it is viewed because of the work practitioners like Ritchie. Today most clients are looking to enhance their natural features to feel more confident. Ritchie is quick to point out that in our current world when “instant gratification” is wanted that clients needs to understand that this it not a one and done procedure or process. It is an ongoing health care regiment that is an investment in your body over time. As you would not expect to hit the gym for a couple of hours and come out with a marathon ready body, you should not expect anything different with cosmetic aesthetics.
When we asked Ritchie where she saw herself in and her business in ten years. She responded, “Hopefully, I will be a nurse practitioner in the next three or four years which will give me more options in my field of aesthetic medicine, but I never plan to stop learning more about the industry or business in general.” She also goes on to say, “I hope to have expanded my portfolio with injectables and gain more autonomy in my practice.”
As a small business owner and dedicated professional, Ritchie understands the power of confidence and how that can transform you personally and business wise.
To learn more about the services offered by Aundrea Nurse Inc or to book an appointment visit their site at https://aundreanurse.ca/
by Lee Ann Atwater