The Business Of Beauty: Alarna Longes + Philippa McCaffery
Alarna Longes has come a long way from her days as a receptionist at Clearskincare Clinics first clinic in Edgecliff – now one of Australia’s largest group of skin and laser clinics.
Originally started in 1997 as Caci Clinic, by Dr Philippa McCaffery. Clearskincare Clinics ever growing demand for skin products and treatments thrived. When Longes joined in 2004 and saw the potential in what McCaffery was offering to her clients, she absolutely knew this business was meant to be grown.
Having just gotten back from a three year stint in London, Longes states ‘When I started with Philippa she had an exercise book and a pencil to take bookings, 3 rooms in a run down medical centre to see clients and not a scrap of marketing material yet we were fully booked every day until 7pm. I knew this was a business I had to be a part of and see where I could take it.’
Alarna’s entrepreneurial, marketing and operational skills combined with Philippa’s clinical passion and business experience formed a strong team, which in the last 7 years have opened another 21 clinics around Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Not only has Longes opened 21 clinics with her business partner Philippa but she also has three boys, the eldest being born just before opening her first clinic in Bondi Junction. ‘Having my first baby while opening my first clinic made me much more focused on setting up strong systems and management tools which helped to keep the business on track when I wasn’t there. I believe it gave me the confidence to open more clinics after I successfully ran Bondi Junction without having to be there 80% of the time.
With a Bachelor of Media up her sleeve, Longes initially focused on a career in communication and also dabbled in the theatre studying acting. Longes work experience started when she was 15 at McDonald’s and credits her understanding of the importance of systems to her first job. Working in small businesses and hospitality gained knowledge ad experience systems and infrastructure combined with good customer service has now lead to her ability to grow her business from two to 21 clinics across Australia. Working her way up as receptionist, to Managing Director, she has established Clearskincare Clinincs as the largest Skin and Laser clinic in Australia, delivering high-quality and affordable beauty treatments that are changing the lives of Australians.
Longes’ business goal is to take Clearskincare treatments and products to the world, “I love that this business boosts peoples confidence and makes them feel good about themselves, this business gives me the opportunity to do just that”.
“I have structured my business around creating a welcoming, stylish & professional environment with a solid focus on customer service and affordability. I want people to come into one of my clinics feeling they have had the best available treatments and enjoy the best possible experience, without walking away feeling like they’ve over spent”.
Clearskincare Clinics treats on average 3,000 clients a week all over Australia offering the latest effective and affordable treatments offering treatments for Acne, Acne Scarring, Pigmentation, Sun Damage, Anti-Ageing and Laser Hair Removal. Their weekly growth and turnover is in the region of ***** and Alarna and Philippa has plans to expand into the UK, Hong Kong and USA early next year.
One of Clearskincare’s greatest achievements to date is the discovery and introduction of the exclusive new treatment SGA (Permanent Pimple Removal) into Australia, offering Acne sufferers the drug-fee alternative to permanently get rid of pimples and acne. Alarna and Philippa also developed a new concept of treatment for the skin called ‘SKIN GYM’ which enables everyone the chance to receive all the treatment they have available for a low monthly fee. Alarna states ‘It is really important to Philippa and I that these treatments are affordable for everyone to have access to. We understand how bad skin can affect people lives and these treatments can change that’.