When Rosanna Bermejo set out to start her business, Med Aesthetics Miami, about eight years ago, she already had worked in a corporate career for 13 years and had run a physician’s office for another six years. She had advanced degrees in business and finance. Friends wondered why she didn’t just return to Corporate America.
That would have been easier. But Bermejo had a burning passion for wellness and helping people and also wanted to build her own business.
After extensive training and offering some aesthetics services through another office for a little while, Bermejo opened her doors to the public in 2012. Med Aesthetics Miami, which opened initially in the University of Miami Hospital and now has two locations, offers state-of-the-art and scientifically based wellness and beauty technologies and procedures.
“I absolutely love what I do,” Bermejo said. “When I was in Corporate America I got all the degrees you can think of — I got an MBA and two post-graduates in finance because I always go all the way. But it lacked a soul and I felt empty doing it. But when I moved into this business, I felt it had a soul and I was helping people.”
At her offices, “we do wellness and rejuvenation skin care treatments for women, men and teens who want to improve their image for a better life. I do laser hair removal, peels, facials, skin tightening, body contours,” she said. “I also love the creativity process involved to figure out what’s the best product or technology to bring into the business and to my customers. There is a little of everything involved.”
Still, it wasn’t easy in the beginning – starting from scratch, one client at a time. In the early years, the biggest challenge was cash flow, Bermejo said.
“I used every single government program out there, and even went to a tarot reader who told me that you are going to have a mentor come into your life.”
She did. Shortly afterwards, Bermejo connected with Florida SBDC at FIU, the small business development center within the university’s College of Business that offers free consulting services. SBDC consultants helped her with many aspects of her business. “SBDC is a like a board, they have different people for different things,” she said.
To ease initial cash flow challenges, she applied for a loan and received funding from the Miami Bayside Foundation, as well as a loan from the Black Coalition and grants from the City of Miami. A former boss from her corporate life also lent her some money. “I always had my guardian angels.”
Once cash flow was under control, the focus turned to growth. One SBDC at FIU consultant helped her with branding the company’s personality and image, as well as marketing and advertising on all channels, including social media. “Marketing is key for any business,” said Bermejo. “It helped me make money even in the slow season.”
Another consultant helped her professionally revamp her website, which she had originally built herself. Still another SBDC at FIU consultant helped her develop human resource polices and strategy: “Her input was invaluable in helping me get rid of bad employees and retain the good ones.”
Business began to flourish, and Bermejo invested in more equipment, added services and opened her second location, in the Coral Gables Medical Plaza, in 2017. By this time she had also gone back to college for her registered nursing degree.
“Everything worked out beautifully, I just have to keep growing and following the course.”
After starting with just one laser hair removal machine in 2012 and “me, myself and I”, Bermejo now is hiring her fifth employee and has expanded into body contouring, advanced skin treatments skincare and more. She has begun to present her techniques at nursing associations around the country. “I want to keep bringing in the latest technology and the latest equipment at affordable prices to make beauty available to all, not just a few.”
What’s next? She wants to finish her bachelor’s degree in nursing, continue learning the latest technologies and teaching and making presentations around the country.
“Maybe I’ll.keep opening offices, who knows?” said Bermejo. “But I never look back — you learn from the past but you have to keep going. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner and create and build.”