Why I do what I do
Reflections from Sonata’s VP – Liz Janowski
Five years ago, when I started working with my husband at Sonata, I didn’t understand the fullness of what we could offer our community. Prior to working with Sonata, I was a teacher and felt I could only do my best work when I was serving others. It seemed so superficial to spend my days focusing on the exterior and the superficial.
I wanted to love what I did. I wanted it to light me on fire.
At first, I worked on what I knew I was good at, which was caring for others. I am good at caring for my staff, and I am good at modeling what good care looks like towards our patients.
I created a warm and comfortable physical environment. I put out apples and flowers. I worked on what we said to people and how we said it. I started having us follow up with every patient, sending thank you notes, remembering birthdays, and acknowledging people who were celebrating or suffering.
And slowly, the business started to shift.
I helped my husband, Dr. Janowski, be able to shine and share his gift and skill with more people. I helped him get the opportunities he wanted and needed to be recognized among the most experienced and creative physician injectors in the US. We traveled the country (and Canada) meeting with other physicians we admired – to learn what we could about science, and technique, and business.
My staff grew bigger and more confident. We spent a lot of time growing ourselves and nurturing one another – so that we had more and better energy for the clients. Dr. Janowski received more recognition, accolades, and opportunities. He got more confident and began pioneering things that are truly unique offerings, like threads.
And in the midst of this, I had two babies, we bought and built out our dream office, and I moved from the front of the office to the back.
I used my skills as a writer and artist to design menus and write blogs and webpages.
I grew older, my role shifted. I wasn’t a newlywed or a girl anymore. I was a Mother and a woman. Working here suddenly wasn’t a lark or a thing I would do for just a little while. Running our business became my life. Sonata is my third child. My staff are my sisters.
This business is an articulation of Dr. Janowski and I’s hearts.
And as my own confidence and ownership grew, I started to let my own heart bleed in to the business. I started to let my “outside” interests flow in to my ambitions for Sonata. I care about empowering people, especially women. I care about being good and loving and kind. I care about being thoughtful and intentional in my actions. I care about being a better, more loving and more caring person than I thought was possible.
First, I started sharing some of this with my staff in both my actions and my words. We had coaches and meditation teachers come to speak with us. We cared for one another and supported each other personally and professionally. Team work isn’t a slogan here, it is our ethos. My staff love one another and care for one another. They pick each other up and cheer each other on.
And then, as these things go, my heart grew bigger. I wanted to explore what it would be like to be explicit about love and care to our patients. What would it be like to really SHOW people how much we care? What would it be like to express that love in an explicit way?
And so we started doing it. And patients reflected back to us how much our kindness and care meant to them. It’s like an amazing loop of love from one person to the next.
But, I wanted to get even deeper. I wanted to really understand what was the point of the services we offered. Why did people want to improve their appearance? What were they REALLY seeking out when they came to see us for a tweak or a change?
I sat on this for a long time. I rolled it over in my mind and in my heart. I worked on different language. I spoke to patients. I spoke to our staff. And I am still not sure I have it just right. It’s ever-evolving.
But what I think is that what people want is to reclaim their bodies, to own their faces. People want to reflect on the outside how they feel on the inside.
And, you know what, it is your right? You are the boss of your own body, and the sovereign of your own heart. We see so many people who tell us that they feel so youthful and radiant on the inside – and yet, their face doesn’t match how they feel. And so, they reclaim their face. We see people who love their bodies and exercise and take care of themselves and still have a pocket of fat that makes them not want to rock their favorite bathing suit at the pool – and we can help change that uncomfortable feeling. We can help you feel exactly how you want to feel.
For so long, the aesthetics business has been about two things: (1) superficiality; (2) secrets.
We all think of the overdone Real Housewives when we think of Botox® or fillers. And way too much of the marketing in our industry is just trite, and focused too much on youth, and way too sexy.
But why? Almost anyone can afford to do something good for their bodies and/or their skin. We see people of all ages and all demographics every day. The majority of our patients are not 18 year old starlets wanting to look like a celebrity. And, ideally, as Dr. Janowski says, after your treatment(s) people should notice you look better and more refreshed but not dramatically different.
We hope you feel more confident and reflect that inner joy to the world.
And secrets. So many patients feel that they need to keep their treatments a secret. And you know what, that is ok. It’s your right to tell or not to tell. But my vision is that getting something done just for you, that makes you feel amazing, won’t have to be a secret. You will (if you choose) want to announce it with pride – just as you might announce what a great workout you just had, or a beautiful dinner you treated yourself to. I want to tell all people, every where, it is OK to take care of yourself. It is ok to love yourself. And it it ok to love your face and your body.
You don’t need any of the services we offer, but if you want them, come talk to us.
We will care for you. We will take your hand and meet you where you are at – and walk with you to where you want to be.
It is truly such a daily honor and such a heart-mission to be able to helm Sonata – and to be able to bring our loving kind energy in to the world of so many of you.