Lumina sees bright prospects in beauty and wellness trend
Perhaps girls have a new best friend.
Bojie Lazaro, who has been running a jewelry business with his wife Madel for two decades, observed the “shift” among his class A and B clients.
Diamonds may be forever, but these days, women would rather spend their money on the quest to stay young and beautiful.
“They realized their body was their best accessory,” Lazaro said, adding “they would rather have a healthy body than show off fancy jewelry.”
So with the help of his long-time friend, plastic surgeon Dr. Edmund Mercado, the Lazaro couple, together with Joyce and Andrew Dee, put up Lumina Skin and Surgery Center in 2011.
What sets the facility in South Insula Condominium along Timog Avenue in Quezon City apart from other clinics and wellness centers in the metro is the “personalized service” it offers, Lazaro claimed.
“We don’t just provide whatever technical services clients need. We want them to have a complete experience,” he said.
“From the moment they step in, we don’t just give 3-in-1 coffee, we treat them to premium drinks and we know them by their first name,” he added.
Lazaro said it’s in the little details that their “client-friends” experience the warmth of the staff.
Since clients are treated as friends, surgeons tell them up-front that “Angelina Jolie lips, for instance, won’t complement other facial features,” he said.
Doctors share the owners’ principle that treatments and surgery should enhance “God’s gift” and not transform an individual, Lazaro said.
“We want to make them feel better about themselves, not look like a totally different person,” he added.
By establishing rapport, they’ve been able to foster loyalty. “They keep coming back,” he said.
Building long-term relationship with customers is the secret to a successful business, whether merchandise or service, said the 44-year-old businessman who started selling gold and diamonds in his early 20s.
The Lazaro couple’s jewelry shop at SM North EDSA in Quezon City, which was named after their first-born, “Fiona,” is still doing well despite the perceived shift toward wellness and skin care services.
“I’m proud to say that we have a lot of clients that have become our ‘kumare (friends).’ Their children also buy jewelry from us,” Lazaro said.
“We have established relationships not just to close the sale,” he added.
Both industries are “trust-based.”
There are a lot of factors affecting the quality of diamonds that are difficult for laymen to grasp, so they rely on your word, Lazaro explained.
“If they find out that what you said is not true, then definitely you would not be able to keep them,” he said.
Same with skin care and surgery, clients need to be assured that the result of the procedure won’t be like the “epic fail” makeovers circulating online.
Lazaro said they value competence and have invested in expensive equipment and the latest technology to give their client-friends and family their money’s worth.
Lumina medical director Dr. Mercado is a member of the American College of Surgeons.
Meanwhile, dermatologist Dr. Bambi Uy is from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital and a Philippine Dermatological Society member.
They’ve also hired registered nurses with a background in dermatology to assist the doctors.
“We don’t want to be embarrassed,” he said.
Although “business is okay,” Lazaro admitted that competing with big names such as Belo remains a challenge.
One advantage is Lumina can ride on the popularity of the services.
Celebrity endorsers, however, are invaluable to clinics in the country, he added.
“This is really marketing intensive… pass by Edsa and 50 percent of the billboards are advertising skin care clinics,” he said.
Lazaro said Lumina planned to step up its game by tapping a celebrity endorser with whom its clients, mostly women aged 35 and above, can relate to.
Lumina focuses on the “older women” market looking for age-defying surgeries like eye lift.
“Women want to stay younger longer,” Lazaro said.
And that presents a business opportunity that Lumina is taking advantage of.
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