Kristina Dennett – Churchill Aesthetics

Kristina owns Churchill Aesthetics here in Newtown. I have to admit, I was a little awestruck when I first met her, this woman has presence! She is the perfect blend of strong and gentle and I knew immediately that this and her quiet grace would be the focus of the portraits I would create for her.

You can read more about Kristina, in her own words, below.

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Tell me a little about what you do for a living?

I am a doctor with over 20 years of working in the field of general practice in Germany, Switzerland and Australia. I always had a strong intereste in skin, skin health, surgical procedures and women’s health. Not only have I worked extensively in the Australian hospital and general medicine system, but I have continuously furthered my knowledge in my fields of special interest. I hold fellowships in general medicine in Germany and Australia, advanced certificates in dermatology, skin cancer surgery and dermoscopy as well as a range of special qualifications in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine. My professional time is currently divided between being part of a a dedicated skin cancer doctor team and providing aesthetic services in my own boutique cosmetic clinic “Churchill Aesthetics” in Newtown, Ipswich.

Why did you start your business?

My strong interest in skin, skin health and anatomy has encouraged me to undergo special training in skin cancer medicine and skin cancer surgery. Consequently, this has raised my interest in aesthetic medicine and I am now providing a range of minimal-invasive procedures and treatments with the focus on enhancing, not changing my patients beautiful natural looks.

What has been the biggest challenge or fear you have had to overcome in business and how did you manage it?

The cosmetic-aesthetic industry is rather overwhelming, not only from a patient’s perspective. Being a solo practitioner with an ethic conscience and working in professional field that’s producing innovative treatments on a regular basis, I am on a continuous mission to ensure I am providing safe and effective treatment options. My motto is: primum non nocere – first do no harm. This demands undergoing frequent skills training and establishing a close relationship with my patients to review effectiveness and long term results of all my treatments..

How do you achieve balance between relationships, work and personal needs (or kids, family and time out for yourself)?

This can be a challenge as it’s literally “all hands on deck” in the clinic most of the time. We try to fill our “free“ time with as much family activities as possible and that pilates course is still top of my to-do list!

How did you prepare yourself to start your business?

I have worked as a medical professional in a variety of health systems in Europe and Australia. Whenever the opportunity presented itself to upskill, to add to my knowledge in theory and practice, I have grabbed it with two hands. Knowledge is power. Skills gained can’t be taken away. Never stop learning! Having worked in the safety of being employed or subcontracting, opening my own business was a leap of faith. Trying to stay grounded and sensible in set up and investments has paid off as we were opening in the aftermath of COVID in a very uncertain economic climate. Pleased to say we are doing well!

How do you know when you are ready to do something?

I have worked as a subcontracting doctor in clinics most of my career and after many years of insight, observing business strategies in the health sector and witnessing some mistakes, I felt ready to start my own clinic. I love being in charge and having control! The courage of running a business is paying off and I should probably give myself more credit for my conservative business approach. After all, I want to be round for a long time! Slow and steady wins the race…

What have you put in place as a reminder to nurture your soul?

Honestly, that’s been an area of total neglect recently. 2023 has been an challenging year for me personally. I felt our photoshoot was a very needed and great way to remind myself that I am important myself. It‘s been the start of turning a corner and 2024 will surely be a year of great progress.

In the beginning, how did you attract your first good clients?

Oh, I think I was very naive and just tried to put out the word. I have never had a Facebook or Instagram account in my life, what a learning curve! My very first patient still comes to see me on a regular basis and her trust in makes me really happy. Most of my patients are word of mouth or social media referred and I am so pleased to see that I have a great number of loyal returning patients as well as happy patients “sharing“ me with their family members and friends.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I split my professional time between my roles as a skin cancer doctor and cosmetic practitioner. I have dedicated skin cancer check days and one day a week, I perform skin excisions and advanced procedures only. In my own cosmetic clinic, Churchill Aesthetics, and I provide a range of aesthetic treatments. Both areas of work require a broad set of clinical as well as theoretical skills and no two days are the same. I make sure to spend a “morning routine” with my teenager though and we will have dinner as a family every night. Evenings demand some admin work and preparation for the next treatment day. I have become a bit of a social recluse as I am surrounded by people all day, so meeting with friends or going out for a concert are super special.

What do you love most about what you do?

I am in the privileged position to actually heal and make some troubling health problem go away or at least better. That’s the best and most rewarding part of my professional life. Finding a melanoma and removing it, priceless! Giving a patient the fresher look they have been dreaming of, amazing! I love the interaction with my patients. The biggest pleasure is getting to know them, understanding not only their medical but also a bit more of their personal history. There is nothing better than building a personal connection with a patient. I love working with people!

Who are your biggest role models or influencers that have impacted your career?

In my time as surgical registrar, I worked in a hospital with a rather small team of doctors. To this day I feel extremely grateful for a professor, and head of the surgical department, encouraging me to persue my medical career. I cherish his handwritten letter to me upon completing my rotation to this day. I have met a small group of extremely generous, non-judgemental doctors when coming to Australia and I have learned so much from them. I am eternally grateful for taking me under their wings.

If time, money and resources were not an issue or concern, what would you most want to offer your clients? 

I would love to see everybody having timely and affordable access to health care and skin cancer checks! The cosmetic industry is constantly re-inventing itself and I feel we are moving away from the “filling“ to the “preventative“ era in aesthetics. I am always working on providing better options for my patients to slow down ageing and to improve skin health. Exciting times ahead!

What do you want your clients to experience and feel during the program/process?

I want my patients to feel comfortable, well informed and in charge of their treatment choices. My philosophy is to empower to make good health and aesthetic decisions based on solid information about risks and benefits. I want to build a base of trust where you can ask me about everything! I don’t want my patients to feel pressured into treatments resulting in disappointment or regret. There is nothing more rewarding than to enjoy a long term professional relationship with happy patients!

I am a person who… “has strong principles, deep empathy, is loyal and cares a lot about each an every one of my patients and friends.”

How do you feel valued by your people around you?

I feel deeply valued by my husband and daughter. I have a circle of very good friends who give me unconditional support and I am eternally grateful for them cheering me on.

What do you think you need to possess or own to be viewed as successful, valued and recognised?

Nothing springs to mind, really … I am quite pleased with everything I got!

How do you think you need to be seen?

I would like to be seen as a health professional with integrity, doing the right thing for my patients and their health. A doctor with ethical standards, empathy and commitment to your care. I would like to think of myself as being a loyal friend you can count on unconditionally.

How do you feel recognised by others?

I have a few very nice colleagues in the cosmetic industry I love having an open exchange with. Being an international medical graduate, I have experienced a fair few hurdles since coming to Australia and it has made me work even harder on adding and refining my professional skills set. I have become a bit of a collector of diplomas and certificates and I love adding to them! I cherish appreciation from patients, my biggest motivation!

What do you need?

First and foremost, I am a medical professional. Running a business is a huge challenge and I am getting better in setting up an ever expanding network of professionals helping me to build my dream (thanks for the fantastic portrait photo shoot!).

What’s next for you and your business?

We are currently adjusting to newly imposed regulations by TGA on all aesthetic businesses in Australia. So there is a bit of change to our website and social media presence and we are confident that this will not cause too much confusion to our existing and new patients. We are always investigating ways on how to expand our treatment options with focus on skin health and better anti-ageing therapy. Our mission remains providing safe and effective treatments to our wonderful community!

How has working with me helped you?

I loved our photo shoot as I clearly was the focus and centre of it! For someone with a rather introverted personality, I feel this has been an great way to open up. A truly wonderful experience!

Hi there! I’m Amanda Waschevski

I AM A HEADSHOT AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN IPSWICH, QLD. I help people be themselves in front a camera.

Amanda Waschevski, Ipswich Portraitist

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