An illustrious woman with a superior business quotient
Breaking gender barriers and climbing the business ladder with sheer determination, Shelley Clayton, owner of Ageless Aesthetics and a nurse practitioner, joins an illustrious list of women who are making a mark at a global stage.
At a professional level, she has always been interested in aesthetics. However, she thinks as a nurse, those jobs are extremely difficult to find and even harder to get without a ton of experience. She began her nursing career in the emergency department while attempting to find a job as a nurse injector for years. In 2014, her life was turned upside down when her 16-month-old son tragically passed away in an accident. “It was the absolute worst thing a human can experience. After taking some time to grieve, I knew going back to work would have to happen, but the ED was no longer her home. The sights and sounds would bring me back to my son’s death and it was difficult to be my best self,” she laments.
She decided it was time to leave and pursue the dream of working in Aesthetics. Knowing that if she failed, it wouldn’t be a big deal because she just survived the worst thing life has to offer a person. Channeling her grief into her business helped her survive and do something positive with time instead of feeling sorry for herself. “I wanted to make my son proud of his mom and show my daughters that you can turn your dream into a reality with hard work,” she says.
Shelley being a bold, fierce, and confident personality, chose entrepreneurship over a job. After working in a plastic surgeon’s office when she was younger as a receptionist, she knows how intimidating and stuffy that environment can be. She wanted to create a place where she could feel comfortable, like at a friend’s house. A relaxed, friendly, and warm environment for all anti-aging treatments from the basic facial to injectables with specialists that care about the person. She describes her office as fun, full of laughter, friendly, and amazing professionals with the best training available.
Her company offers customized treatment plans for everyday women. She comments, “This is not a ‘real housewives’ office where their clients leave looking overfilled and fake.” They take their clients’ real concerns such as pigmentation, pores, or wrinkles, and help them with in-office treatments, home care, and education. Her company is unique because they don’t focus too much on the newest or the most expensive treatment. “We are honest and treat our clients in the most natural way possible while we keep aging at bay. The best result is when no one knows what you had done,” she adds.
While drawing attention towards her challenges, she says, “As a first-time business owner, everything has been a challenge but every day I learn more and more about how to be effective in my role as a practitioner and a business owner.” She mentions that time management is the biggest hurdle for her, as it’s difficult to averse to patient care which is her passion to focus on the business itself. For her, learning to release control and delegate more has been difficult but necessary, especially as they now have two office locations. Her team is a bunch of smart minds, and hard-working women who keep her on track and make sure everything runs smoothly. She said her team is inevitable and she could not survive without them.
They recently opened their second location in Indiana. She says that she would like to get that location built up and then work on their next expansion, possibly in Indiana or even another state. Her family resides in Florida, so she says that her dream would be to open several offices in the Naples and Bonita Springs areas.
She believes that stress is a part of life, some good and some bad. “I remind myself that the stress that comes with being a business owner is a blessing and I am so fortunate to do what I love every day,” she expresses. She meditates to slow down her brain when she feels overwhelmed and makes sure she takes time for herself occasionally. “Traveling is what I love the most, so I try to take little excursions to reward myself for the relentless work I do,” she says.
She thinks that in the aesthetics industry, advocating is the best marketing tool. Ensure your clients are thrilled with the treatment and as a result, they will refer their friends and family to you in the future. Her rank one marketing tactic is to treat each client like they are an influencer because they are! Besides, they also do social media, google ads, and local community promotions.
While sharing her thoughts on women’s participation in the entrepreneurial world, she says, “Women are essential to all industries. We are as driven, hardworking, smart, and effective as our male counterparts and can bring a different perspective. Women are truly becoming some of the most innovative and creative minds in business today. I encourage all women to take to leap towards entrepreneurship if that is a dream of theirs. It’s scary but so rewarding at the same time!”
Shelley Clayton has achieved various milestones and navigated her business toward great success. Starting in a 100-square-foot room, Ageless now has 2 locations and 11 employees. She bagged multiple accolades over the last several years including, the ‘Aesthetic Everything Industry Award’, ‘Top Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner’, ‘Top Women in Aesthetic Medicine’, and ‘Top Women Business Owners 2020’. In 2022, she received, ‘Champion of Women by Aspire Business Group,’ ‘Top Business Owner of the Year in Aesthetics’ and ‘Top 3 Medical Spa in Indianapolis.’
In her opinion, one of the keys to success is to never give up. She expresses, “There will be a lot of times it feels like you’re failing, or it won’t work but you shouldn’t give up. Another is to never stop learning and improving your craft. We are never done when it comes to mastering our skills and technique, no matter what we do.”
“Lastly, I think surrounding yourself with supportive people benefits you tremendously. It’s not going to be easy, your support team can keep you motivated.”
Her golden advice to someone starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur is to find a mentor to help and guide you. Having someone that has already been down the road can be wondrous. Learn from everyone you can, even people that are in different industries because you never know what you don’t know. “I would say ignore your competition and focus on doing the best you can. If you spend too much time trying to do what they are doing, you lose sight of your mission and values. Stay true to your dream and don’t let anyone stop you from achieving it!” she concludes.