This was originally posted on The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd as part of their Customer of the Month series, find it here.
You might be surprised to know what goes on at The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd. When we say that our clients are diverse, we really mean it; we have a variety of interesting and diverse clients that don’t always utilise our space in the way that you might traditionally assume, and that just makes our jobs that much more interesting!
GP, Dr Catherine Williams, from Vale Skin Clinic, is one of those interesting clients, so we stole her away for a 5 minute chat from her incredibly busy day to find out a bit more about her, and the Vale Skin Clinic for this month’s Customer of the Month!
You’ve been working as a doctor for 8 years now, what made you take the transition into dermatology alongside your role as a GP two years ago?
I moved back to Cardiff from Dorchester, where I did my training, to be closer to my family. I initially started locuming (similar to temping in the medical profession) as a GP and wanted to do something extra alongside this. I have always been interested in the skin and how it has a dramatic effect on people’s self-esteem. So I applied to do the Dermatology Diploma through Cardiff University and went from there!
Why the interest in Demalux?
Dermalux is an amazing treatment. It uses various light wavelengths to treat several medical conditions. I wanted something in the clinic that I could use alongside the Aesthetic Dermatology, to help with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis to name a few. This was a good way of combining my medical dermatology knowledge within a private clinic.
It also can help with general skin rejuvenation, plus we use it post injectable treatments, which gives us a unique experience for anti-wrinkle injections and Fillers at the clinic. As it also helps with the healing process and reduces infection and inflammation. Plus, it has won treatment of the year for the past 4 years in the Aesthetic awards and is hugely popular with celebrities!
You can find out more about Dermalux here.
How do your customers find you? What kind of marketing do you do?
Our customers come from far and wide Bristol, Mid and North Wales as we are the only Dermalux machine currently in Wales! Our marketing is mainly word of mouth, however we do advertise in the Penarth View, but mainly keep it to social media via Facebook & Twitter.
As I work 4 days a week (Monday -Thursday) as a GP, I am quite busy as it is. I like to make sure I have the time for my private patients. Cariad Creative is amazing! Katrina (also based in The Business Centre) helps with events etc, she is incredibly creative and useful especially when I come to her last minute!!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my family. My father works in healthcare and set up BUPA hospital in Cardiff, before working all over the world. My mother went back to University at 50 and now has a first class honours degree in fine art and a Masters of Fine art. My brother set up his own business and is doing incredibly well – Vale Veterinary Centre down the road! I have 3 sisters also one is a Dentist, one works as a news editor for the BBC and the youngest is studying Optometry. So my inspiration to work hard is from all of them – they have all worked hard to get where they are in different ways and this encourages me everyday.
Working 4 days a week as a GP and then fitting in your dermatology clients must be demanding, how do you relax?
Relax?? What is that?
No, it is demanding! I have 2 phones and a paper diary which helps though! I also have help from my family and the clients that come for prolonged courses of Dermalux like the flexibility and relaxed approach to the clinic.
I do try & relax – I get to yoga once a week as well as trying to swim a few times a week. My boyfriend is doing the Velathon this year so he is dragging me out on the bike when he can! (albeit when it’s not raining!)
What does the future look like for you? Is the Vale Skin Clinic something you would like to take full time?
I would like to expand the clinic more, however I think it would be by involving someone else ie: a nurse or therapist to be able to do cosmetic treatments when I am not at the clinic.
I have trained for a long time to be a GP and although it’s hard work I enjoy not knowing what may come through the door, but it is nice to have options to increase or decrease time spent in one or the other.
What’s the best thing about being a GP versus the best thing about working in the clinic?
The best thing about being a GP is helping people. It is tough I won’t lie, so the worst is that you come home everyday wondering if you should have done something different, medicine is not an exact science and we are still all only human. The time constraints we have with increasingly demanding complex health issues is unfortunately unsustainable.
With the clinic it is different, I get more time with patients which is nice, but skin is affected by so many different environmental factors it can be unpredictable.
How did you come to The Business Centre?
I was introduced to James via my brother.
The Business Centre works well for me as I mainly work at the weekends so it is quiet and there is lots of parking. This works well for my clients also as it is discrete and private.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start their own business?
If you are passionate about it put your all into it. Seek advice and do your research. Don’t expect overnight success if a business is good it will grow.
Catherine and the Vale Skin Clinic are just one of the many interesting businesses that utilise The Business Centre for business support facilities within our professional serviced office facilities. With conference & meeting room facilities, use of our business address or call answering facilities, we can tailor a specific package for most types of businesses, whether you are starting out working from home or require office space up to 14 people, we have the tailored solution for you! For more information about our business services, click here.