IN THE COMPANY OF: Dr Lynda Allman and Jo Banks, the Harrogate medical aesthetics and skin specialists

The Harrogate Advertiser speaks to Dr Lynda Allman and Jo Banks, the medial aesthetics and skin specialists at HGface in Harrogate.

Q: In a nutshell, what does your company do and how did it start?

A: We met each other 28 years ago and have been great friends ever since and we started talking about working together long before we took the plunge.

We both come from medical backgrounds in dentistry and in nursing and we have many years of experience between us and have developed a passion for facial aesthetic treatments along the way.

The Harrogate Advertiser speaks to Dr Lynda Allman and Jo Banks (pictured), the medial aesthetics and skin specialists at HGface in Harrogate

When the time came for us both to step away from our long-established careers, we both wanted to take our skills and experience in a new way.

We set up HGface to provide patients with non-surgical rejuvenating treatments for the face and skin using professional, ethical and safe methods and techniques.

Q: What's the most surprising thing about it?

A: On the surface (excuse the pun!) our business is all about Aesthetics and Skin, although in reality, it’s so much more than that.

What we really love about what we do is the impact it has on people’s confidence and wellbeing.

The science and psychology is fascinating and to see how treatments enhance the wellbeing, confidence and lives of our patients is fabulous - what a privilege.

A good deal of confidential ‘life’ discussion goes on within our four walls-that is a therapy in itself.

Q: What do you do?

A: In a nutshell we deliver confidence and improved wellbeing.

The fact that we are of a certain age means we can offer a service that’s very accessible to women and men who, like us, wish to enhance their face and skin as they get older in a very natural way.

We offer a range of treatments starting with the basics such as and effective skincare analysis and advice through to medical aesthetics such as micro-needling, dermal fillers and removing skin blemishes.

We are based in Windsor House in Harrogate, so don’t have a high street presence, which makes us more discreet.

Q: How did you end up here?

A: It’s been a long journey to end up here and HGface has become our new career when other people our age may be thinking of retirement!

Lynda ran her own dental practice in York for over 20 years developing special interests in cosmetic dentistry, headache and jaw pain management, treatment for anxious and phobic patients and of course facial aesthetic treatments which have been a passion and a large part of her practice since 2008.

“Facial aesthetic treatments are such a natural fit with dentistry.

"Analysing the facial features and achieving harmony and balance is second nature in our day-to-day practice and I have years of experience in understanding the complexities of facial anatomy and in carrying out fine detailed work to a very high standard.

"I treat my aesthetics patients with the same professionalism that they would expect from my dental practice”

Jo trained as a nurse and previously worked as a health visitor and, more recently, a practice nurse, before training in skincare and aesthetics.

Health and aging well has been an integral part of life and work for decades.

A lifelong interest in health and nutrition along with a lot of studying has reached a natural conclusion within HGface.

We feel like we’ve found our true passion and niche in life which brings together all that health and wellbeing experience and puts it to really good use in a way that supports women and men like us who want to make the most of the skin they’re in.

Q: If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?

A: We’d probably be in the garden.

We both love gardening and have spent a lot of time over the years in our respective gardens bringing up our families, sharing our lives and talking about the future.

It’s wonderful to have turned all that friendship and nurturing into a new venture.

Q: What motivates you?

A: What really drives us is the positive impact we have on how people feel and we meet some really lovely patients, both men and women.

We take them on a journey which sees them grow in confidence and radiance as their skin improves and they feel more comfortable with the way they look.

We’ve both worked in healthcare for a long time and so we understand how much physical and mental wellbeing are intertwined.

The wellbeing side of things is incredibly rewarding and that’s what inspires us.

Q: What one thing do you wish you had known when you started out in business?

A: To trust our instincts.

We have talked about doing something together for years and it wasn’t until this later stage in our respective careers that we seriously thought about changing direction.

We should have made the leap sooner.

Q: What excites you about business?

A: The adventure never seems to stop.

Since opening our clinic less than a year ago we have already moved into bigger premises and recently we teamed up with a third friend and colleague, Dr Ruth Brady, whose involvement has added a whole new dimension.

Having Ruth involved has energised us in a completely new way. Ruth is renowned in her field, having worked on Harley Street and is a multi-award winner in advanced facial aesthetics and non-surgical facial rejuvenation techniques.

Ruth’s involvement hasn’t changed what we do day to day but it has transformed what we can offer to patients and that’s really exciting.

Q: What is your pet hate in business?

A: We’re not huge fans of business language.

We would never call our patients “clients” for example, it just isn’t us.

Q: What advice would you give to people just starting their careers?

A: Be honest and true to what you believe in.

For us, moving into facial aesthetics at our stage in life felt natural and authentic because we had the life experience as well as the medical knowledge to understand how our patients wanted to feel and where we could make a difference.

Q: Who in business do you most admire, and why?

A: Sara Davies from Dragon’s Den because she combines business success with a down-to-earth attitude and approachability.

She’s also a Northern girl like us and Sara was a great sport in Strictly Come Dancing.

Q: What moments of your career so far stand out?

A: Setting up in a new field is a huge achievement.

Facial aesthetics remains a completely unregulated industry (although this is hopefully about to change) so we took it upon ourselves to gain a number of industry accreditations which are focused on safety and standards.

Having both worked in the NHS we understand how important regulated standards are for anything that involves patient care and we are very proud to have achieved important accreditations to give patients confidence.

We are all SaveFace Accredited Practitioners, fully trained and insured with more than a century of experience between the three of us.

We think that makes us quite unique.

Q: What sets your company apart from the competition?

A: Age and experience.

It’s what makes us accessible to people who might not normally see themselves in a skin clinic.

Q: What is the most difficult challenge your company has faced? And what challenges are you experiencing at the moment?

A: Setting everything up whilst we were still working in our other careers has been a challenge and given us the opportunity to team up with new people.

Luckily, we have worked with some fantastic local businesses and fellow businesswomen like Katie at Blossom Online who did our website and Liz Wild at Wild & Co Accountants who has helped us get our start up business finances in order.

Q: Have you got a five-year plan for the company?

A: Oh yes, Liz our accountant has made sure of that!

Q: Why is it good to do business in Harrogate?

A: The professional community is completely awesome – and friendly.

We couldn’t have done it without the support of the great team of people we’ve met along the way.

You can find HGface at Windsor House, Cornwall Road, Harrogate, HG1 2PW.

For more information about HGface, head to https://www.hgface.co.uk/ or call 01423 589100.