A passion for helping people and a personal commitment to work-life balance are the driving forces behind a dynamic business that Chrissy Thomas has built over the last 20 years. With two locations in Gwinnett County and a team of 30 employees, About Face Skin Care offers clients a range of nonsurgical, medical aesthetics.
Thomas got her start in skin care as a Registered Nurse in the plastic surgery unit of Children’s Health Care of Atlanta where she worked as the charge nurse. But when she started her own family, the long and fluctuating hours of that role did not allow for the work-life balance she valued. She moved to a private practice for adult plastic surgery where she cared for the nonsurgical skin care clients. “I fell in love with the process of helping people nonsurgically and helping people figure out how they wanted to age,” says Thomas.
When the surgical team retired, Thomas was given the option of maintaining the skin care portion of the practice, which was seen as a side job to bridge her to the next role. But Thomas carved another path, growing this side of the business into a vibrant entity with thousands of clients. “I did a ton of research and poured myself into finding ways to help my clients. The timing was good because new treatments were becoming available to effectively treat skin conditions with virtually no downtime,” she says. “I personally had terrible skin growing up and had seen firsthand how my skin could be so much fresher. I loved sharing this with clients.”
About Face has performed more than 50,000 aesthetic treatments and is nationally ranked in their industry. Thomas’ husband joined the business in 2010, running the administrative side and playing a key role in their growth.
Thomas has learned important lessons while growing About Face. She advises other entrepreneurs to study the demographics of their market thoroughly. “Make sure you understand the needs of the population in that area and be sure you’re able to address those needs,” she notes. “Then, give it your all.”
Another key to Thomas’ success has been creating a positive culture in her company. “Patient satisfaction is very important to us — second only to patient safety. And patient satisfaction is not a problem as long as employees want to come to work and stay excited about what we do,” Thomas explains. “We can train the skill set as long as employees have a positive mindset and thriving attitude.”
Thomas says that her involvement with the Gwinnett Chamber Chairman’s Club has been highly beneficial to her business. “We’ve grown our network and been able to meet business leaders who have similar business models and similar challenges. We can exchange good advice and help each other. It’s a great fit for us,” she adds.
Thomas’ enthusiasm and heart for others can be seen throughout her business and especially in a program she developed for clients going through cancer treatment, which often limits skin-care options. “When a client is undergoing cancer therapy, it’s a challenging time for them. We want to help our clients continue to feel good about the way their skin looks and give them a brief escape from the disease. We created a program called SideStep, named for the temporary hiatus they’re experiencing, to give them a safe space where they can benefit from certified oncology aesthetics — for free.”
The program is funded by donations from other patients along with a match from About Face.
Thomas derives incredible joy from seeing clients happy with the services she and her team provide. “When I’m working in the room with a client and see a smile, that brings me peace and joy. I love seeing people happy.”