February 28, 2023 by Shannon McIntosh, Manager

Turning ambition into a beautiful business

Welcome to this month’s edition of The Bright Side. Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Natasha Sangra, one of our clients at Baker Tilly Catalyst. She took her business, The Beautox Bar, from bold idea to successful reality through plenty of hard work, planning and determination. Let’s dive into how she did it.

Passion and purpose

Originally, Natasha hadn’t planned on starting a business. With a nursing degree and experience working in healthcare, she hadn’t realized cosmetics could in fact be a part of nursing ⁠–⁠ until her passion was sparked by seeing others working in the field.

With the spark ignited, Natasha began researching required courses to become qualified to perform beautox (the aesthetic use of Botox injections) and started applying for jobs. However, due to lack of experience, she initially encountered rejection. Undeterred, Natasha researched what she needed to do to start a business and networked with others who had been in her shoes.

She established her own social media page, which became the catalyst of growth for her nascent business. Next, she took a leap of faith in herself and toward her goal by going on unpaid leave from her hospital nursing position. This allowed her to focus on her business, while providing a cushion in transitioning to the uncertainty of being an entrepreneur. She hit the ground running, becoming the first person to bring mobile beautox parties to the Calgary area. Over the past few years, her business has grown and evolved into the success it is today.

Overcoming hurdles

Of course, it wasn’t easy. Like many entrepreneurs, Natasha encountered several challenges in her business journey. Moving from stable employment to running her own business took courage and overcoming self‑doubt. With passion and purpose guiding the way, she never lost sight of her vision.

Natasha Sangra of The Beautox Bar

As her business began with beautox parties held in a motorhome, Calgary’s climate limited her to operating during the warmer months ⁠–⁠ that’s not too many around here! Clients also found it difficult to gather a group together where everyone needed procedures done at the same time. Consequently, the demand for individual appointments became evident.

Natasha rose to the challenges by adapting her business to align with her clients’ needs. She prepared a dedicated room in her home for individual appointments, ensuring the space met all requirements. Another challenge was the numerous rules set out by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Specifically, stipulations prohibit those in the beautox industry from posting prices or offering discounts, and do not allow injection procedures to be done at one’s residence.

With safety top of mind, Natasha reviewed the rules and continually monitored for changes to keep her business in full compliance with best practices. She also found there are many cosmetics service providers that bend the rules or just don’t follow them. Natasha held true to her principles, ensuring she did everything the right way, without cutting corners.

One of the most challenging parts of the business was growing her clientele. Some weeks were more successful than others, but even when it seemed like business was slowing down, she remained confident. Indeed, having endured the challenges of the pandemic, she feels her business can survive just about anything.

Advice for entrepreneurs

One key piece of advice Natasha shares is to not compare yourself to others. This really is important because, as an entrepreneur, you must recognize it’s your unique journey and it may not always go according to plan. It will take a lot of time and dedication, perhaps more than you originally thought.

Natasha also recommends allowing yourself a transition period to help deal with the fear of jumping from a stable job to running your own business. This will help manage the fear involved with becoming an entrepreneur and the risks that come with running your own business.

Another piece of advice she has (my favourite): get a good accountant! Perhaps I’m biased, but it’s so true. A qualified accounting professional can help you decide when it’s best to incorporate, how to structure, develop future plans and more. When it comes to lawyers and accountants, Natasha found you get what you pay for. It’s worth finding a trusted advisor who can give you meaningful advice throughout the process.

Ultimately, the best advice Natasha has is simply to go for it! Take the risk. At the same time, be sure it’s something you’re passionate about because that way you will be determined to make it work no matter what. Recognize it takes time to build a business. Just stick with it and believe whatever challenges come your way, you’ll figure it out and overcome them.

Last but not least

Since Natasha began her business, she has gone on to further her education and learning, completing her master’s studies and becoming a nurse practitioner. This demonstrates yet another important aspect of building a successful business ⁠–⁠ never stop investing in yourself. You are your most valuable asset.

I hope Natasha’s story inspires you as much as it does me. Remember, you are strong, brave and resilient. With the right planning and advice, you can build something beautiful. On that note, see you next month for more of The Bright Side.

Manager, Client Advisory at Baker Tilly Catalyst, Shannon McIntosh has overcome anxiety, insecurity and depression to emerge as a voice of empowerment, helping clients and colleagues exceed expectations and break new ground. In The Bright Side, she taps into her specialized experience working with non‑profit businesses and her passion for helping organizations that support the community to offer enlightening tax, financial and business guidance to help replace self‑doubt with self‑belief.

Meet the Author

Shannon McIntosh Shannon McIntosh
Calgary, Alberta
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