This month our cover girl is Elite Clinic’s glamorous owner Emma Heaney. Local Women meets the business woman who is determined to help women feel amazing about themselves.
As one of the country’s leading aesthetic practitioners, it’s Emma Heaney’s job to make people look good.
But, although the Derry business woman is renowned across the UK and Ireland for her work on facial aesthetics and rejuvenating treatments, this is not what motivates her.
Rather it is helping women – and her many male customers - to feel good about themselves that is at the forefront of Emma’s business model.
Emma’s passion is to give people confidence and help them deal with issues, often very personal to themselves, that may be holding them back in life.
Indeed Emma started her company Elite Aesthetics on Trench Road after being inspired to help her mu Margaret Doherty, who is also her business partner, deal with post operative scars that she was left with after surgery for cancer.
“This business is about looking good of course but that was never my motivation,” mum-of-three Emma explains. “I love to help people feel good. To help them build their self-esteem and deal with physical issues that they have maybe been hiding for years.
“Often people come to me thinking there is nothing anyone can do. I love finding solutions.”
Emma was nurse, midwife and health visitor in her former working life when she became interested in aesthetics work.
She saw the way non invasive treatments could be used to deal with scarring and was so impressed that she started attending training courses in London to hone her skills.
And when her beloved mum Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer and herself suffered scarring that she found distressing to deal with, Emma was able to help her using her new found skills.
“Mum’s diagnosis was a massive turning point for all my family. I am so close to her and she has always been the rock and driving force of our family.
“To watch someone you love suffering is awful. But mum was so graceful and brave during her treatment. She never complained and all I wanted to do was help her deal with the physical side effects when she was given the all clear.”
Emma worked with Margaret on the scars left behind after surgery. As someone who has watched a loved one deal with cancer, Emma is extremely empathetic and will find an individual treatment for each patient. She is constantly researching the subject and bringing the latest advances in treatments to her salon.
For Emma, there is nothing more important than family. Although originally from Leeds, she moved to Strabane as an 11 year old schoolgirl.
Happily as the ‘wee English girl’ in her class she didn’t experience any bullying but was welcomed by her new schools mates. She loved her school days and was a hard working, diligent pupil who went on to train as a nurse, following in the footsteps of her mum.
Mum’s diagnosis was a massive turning point for all my family. I am so close to her and she has always been the rock and driving force of our family.
Despite a slight trace of her native Yorkshire accent, the North West is now very much her home. She has lived happily in Derry for over 20 years with her husband Jim – who she met on holidays in Gran Canaria despite him being from Derry.
The couple share three children James, 16, Ethan, 11 and Lucas 10 and, although life as a working mum and business owner is hectic, Emma makes her family a priority.
The summer months are dedicated to family and she takes off as much time as possible to travel to Alicante where they have a holiday home. She enjoys spending quality time with her children and husband as well as her mum and her dad John, who she describes as “her hero” and a “true legend.”
But Emma admits she is a bit of a workaholic and finds it difficult to let go completely - even when she is on holiday she answers emails and likes to keep an eye on things back home.
Emma counts herself lucky that she enjoys her job so much and last year she finally made the leap and resigned from the NHS. For many years she was juggling both jobs and now her sole focus is on Elite.
With her medical background, she spends much of her time researching new treatments. She is particularly interested not only in scar work on the body but in treatments for acne and facial scars.
She is also a medical trainer for Natura Studios - one of the UK and Ireland’s leading aesthetic distributors.
“I thrive on hard work and I especially enjoy the aspect of my work where I can help people. Acne is of particular interest to me. Both from a skincare perspective and the treatment of the scars that it leaves behind.
“Acne is a huge problem for so many people. Not only is it horribly painful but it leaves people feeling terrible about themselves and lacking in self-confidence. I have seen clients coming into the clinic with their heads down, hiding away from the world. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help them. Dealing with scars and acne in particularly is a journey and I am privileged that my clients let me lead them on their journeys.”
As she prepares to celebrate her 46th birthday, Emma is a great advert for her own business and personally tries all the treatment available at Elite.
“Being allowed to work with someone’s face is a massive responsibly and I take it very seriously, I wouldn’t do anything to someone’s face that I wouldn’t do to my own.
“I try out all the treatments and bring the best ones to the clinic.”
But Emma has one quality that makes her stand out from other aesthetic practitioners.
While she is qualified to do a vast number of procedures and in fact trains others in new techniques, she prides herself on her professional restraint.
“Professional restraint is my number one rule. When someone comes to me for a consultation I always make sure to be completely honest with them, which is not always what they want to hear!
“As a business woman running an aesthetics clinic, it might sound strange but sometimes the best treatment is no treatment at all.”
If you would like a consultation with Emma contact Elite Clinic. www.eliteaesthetictreatmentclinic.co.uk; Unit 1, Glenaden Business Complex, Trench Road.
Out & About
Getting ready for a night of fun and celebrations at the Europa Hotel on April 13
Out & About
Brides and grooms-to-be from around Limavady enjoyed a bridal fayre where they met wedding providers from across the country.
Wedding of Stephanie Brownrigg, Leeds, West Yorkshire and John Ralphs, Derry