A beauty clinic in Quezon City wins the loyalty of its customers, including millennials, even without spending for giant billboards along Edsa and other major roads.
“We don’t have a billboard along Edsa. So how do we compete? It is through referrals or word of mouth,” says Anne Lorraine Sia, the chief executive of Clara Skin & Body International Philippines which has a 198-square-meter clinic at the second floor of Sunshine Boulevard Plaza on Quezon Ave. corner Scout Santiago and another 60-square-meter facility in Greenhills, San Juan.
Sia’s group holds the master franchise in the Philippines of Clara International Beauty Group, a 41-year-old Malaysian company which was the first in the world to formulate herbal skin care for different climates. The Malaysian company which started as a beauty salon in 1977 and established by Dr. Clara Chee, grew to become one of Malaysia’s largest face and body centers.
Clara International has 50 beauty centers, research and development centers and beauty academies in Malaysia. It has manufacturing plants in Malaysia and China and is also present in many countries in the Asia Pacific region.
A client of the beauty clinic where Sia used to work attended one of the exhibits in Malaysia where Clara products were on display. “That client became our boss when she brought Clara to the Philippines and we became industrial partners,” says Sia.
Clara Philippines combines Clara International’s Asian care expertise and European technology to provide holistic treatment, according to Sia, a 37-year-old mother of two.
“We have a good advocacy which is to use natural products that have no side effects. If you use the correct products and the correct machines, there will be no side effects,” says Sia, who helped establish Clara Philippines in 2003 when she was only 23.
“I worked for another beauty clinic before I started with Clara. Although I graduated from college with a Marketing degree, my first job was in a skin care center and I was trained as a skin consultant,” says Sia who recalls growing up with pimples as an adolescent.
She says when she helped establish Clara’s Philippine unit, she began personally using Clara’s natural products which eventually cleared the pimples on her face and made her skin glow. “My friends noticed it and I recommended Clara,” she says.
Sia says while herbal products are slightly pricier than other beauty products, the benefits are much more extensive. “All of our products are from plant extracts,” she says.
Services offered by Clara Philippines include facial treatment, skin whitening (Luminous White 4D from Slovenia), skin rejuvenation, warts removal, tattoo removal, cavitation treatment, needle-less mesobheraphy, buttocks firming, abs tightening, hair removal and eyebrow natural look. It also offers solutions for melasma, age spots/sun spots and freckles.
“We are backed up by science, especially nanotechnology,” says Sia. She says that in Malaysia, Clara has developed customized formulations of Halal-certified herbal cosmeceutical skin care. She says Clara’s five main treasures include gentle face wash, cleansing fluid, special blue lotion, hydratant concentrate and LD clear cream.
Sia says while the price point of Clara is a bit higher than other clinics, Clara offers more intensive treatment. “Our facial treatment costs P1,800, but it takes two and a half hours. We don’t do short cuts,” she says.
“But to provide more accessible services, we offer face and neck diamond peel for P700. We also offer whole face warts removal for P750, regardless of the number of warts,” she says.
“We have 100 plus products at Clara. We have different products for different needs—for oily matured, or dry matured, or young skin range. We are honest,” says Sia.
“We treat ugly marks, redness, sensitive skin or aging skin. At Clara Philippines, we also invest in new technology such as non-surgical facelift,” says Sia.
Sia says while Clara Philippines has only two branches, they are in talks with potential partners to put up branches in Binondo and Fort Bonifacio. “The plans are still on hold because we don’t want to sacrifice quality. What is important is quality, more than the commercialized thing. We want to see the heart of our partners,” she says.
Sia says aside from effective herbal products, Clara Philippines also invests in high-end, state-of-the-art machines. Its Quezon City clinic has two dermatologists, six nurses and a physical therapist who attend to the needs of about 15 patients a day on average. “We have clients from as far as Rizal or Bulacan. Some of our clients have been with us for more than 10 years. When some of them leave to try other harsh products with instant effect, they eventually come back to us when they realize that their skin is healthier with us. We make skin glow and healthy because of our herbal formulations,” she says.
“At Clara, you can achieve healthy skin, with no shortcuts. You achieve healthy skin in conjunction with anti-aging. We will exceed what you expect. If your problem is wrinkles around the eyes, we will also make your skin glow. At Clara, you can age gracefully,” says Sia.
Sia says beauty centers have become an essential part of modern society. “People have become more open to it. It is no longer considered a luxury. It is a necessity,” she says.
Sia says among Clara’s clients are males and millennials. “Our male patients represent about 20 percent to 30 percent. They used to accompany their wives, but when they saw our services, they also became our regular clients and some of them returned to the clinic even without their wives,” she says.
She says millennials who are aware of the benefits of organic products also come to Clara’s two clinics. “They used to come to the clinic as children accompanying their parents. When they grew up and got employed, they now come on their own. We are surprised they are spending thousands. Millennials are the next generation clients of Clara,” says Sia.
On what sustained the business of Clara Philippines, Sia says it is more about passion and the desire to help. “I have faith in what I do. We started slow and I thought we were gonna close in 2009. But we could not disappoint our clients who believe in our high-quality products. We invest in the best machines to earn the trust of people. That is what sustained the business,” she says.
Sia says it is important that she loves what she does. “Our heart is to help, solve thousands of problems as much as we can,” she says.
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