Limerick Business Leader: Catherine brings laser-like focus to customers’ skincare

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

 Businesswoman Catherine Waters founded Complete Laser Care, Cecil Street, which is marking its 11th year in business

 Businesswoman Catherine Waters founded Complete Laser Care, Cecil Street, which is marking its 11th year in business

Businesswoman Catherine Waters founded Complete Laser Care, Cecil Street, which is marking its 11th year in business.

Tell us a little about Complete Laser Care

Complete Laser Care is a laser skin clinic, initially based in O’Connell Street until we relocated last year to a new premises in Cecil Street, which is going really well. We specialise mainly in skin and laser treatment. We use pharmaceutical products. So it’s all about what is going on in the body topically. There are two people employed in the company. It opened in 2007, just before the crash happened. We had a tough few years, but we managed to survive. We are a results-driven clinic specialising in a wide range of laser and skin treatments using high quality products and treatments to improve or correct a skin concern. We don’t believe in a hard sale we pride ourselves in exceptional customer care with a discreet environment and personal touch.

What does your role entail?

My role in the business itself is that I oversee its day-to-day running. I’m very hands-on in all aspects of the business. We do everything from concentrations to treatments. We afford one-on-one sessions. We’d have both male and female clients who we would treat.

Where were you born and raised?

I’m originally from Cahir in Tipperary, where my parents still live. I moved to Limerick when I was just 20 years old. Now I live in Castletroy with my husband Geoff, and my two children Teagan, 7, and Cian, who is four.

What is your educational background?

When I completed school, I did not know what I wanted to do. So I decided to go straight into work. However, I always had a passion for the beauty industry, so I decided to go back to college, Pembroke College in O’Connell Street Limerick. I have a Cibtac and Itec diploma since 2000 in cosmetology. I’ve trained in advanced laser technologies in London, as well as Start your own Business Course. I’ve continued to upskill in advanced skincare courses , and was a finalist in the Network Limerick SME category in 2018.

How did you get to where you are today?

I went on to work again in this industry in Limerick City. An opportunity came to work in a laser clinic. At the time, laser surgery was not well known. People were sceptical about it, it was a very expensive treatment to get. But I decided to go for it, despite having no experience. I got a job at a laser and skin clinic in the city. I was with them for three-and-a-half years, managing the place, and this is where I got my experience in laser and skincare. I went onto train in laser hair removal, all the skin treatments, anything to do with laser. It was completely new.

What made you want to go into business alone?

I saw an opportunity, and I had the experience, so I felt it was worth the chance to bite bullet and go out on my own. I was very passionate about it. With that kind of work, it’s more results driven. You learn an awful lot compared to what you would with other businesses. It was a big step going into business alone, but I felt I had carved out a niche. It was very interesting, you’re constantly learning all the time. New things are constantly cropping up, and you’re always thinking ahead.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Every year, when you work in business, you must set yourself goals. Every January I sit down and go through what has worked in the last year, and what hasn’t worked. If something hasn’t worked, it’s not the end of the world. I figure you have to try something once, and if it doesn’t work, just move on. Every year, I am always thinking ahead. With the cosmetic industry, it’s after booming again. People are starting to spend a bit more again. A lot of the next generation have gone big into their appearance, a lot more than they would have been a decade ago. So you constantly need to upskill and educate yourself the whole time. We have something in the pipeline this year – I cannot say too much right now, but it will be exciting! Watch this space!

In business and life, who do you admire?

One person I admire is Norah Casey, as a female entrepreneur. She has been through an awful lot in life herself, and she seems a very sincere person. She’s done everything from Dragon’s Den to Hello magazine to everything.

Since opening my business, I have to admire anyone who is trading. From working as an employee, I never realised how hard running your own business can be. Everything you do, you have to do it for your livelihood, and you’re never really switched off.

When you go into business alone, you have this idea that this is going to be great – you’ll do your own hours, and something you love and your passionate about. But it’s not the case.

Are you guided by any particular motto?

I have two mottos: One is no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up. The other one I like is that you should never regret anything in life. If it’s good it’s wonderful, if it’s bad, it’s an experience.

Away from work, what are your pastimes and hobbies?

I have spent so much time in my job because of the hours that I do. You’re so involved in your business that sometimes it’s hard to get that bit of time for yourself. When I do, I like to spend time with my family. I have two young children, and I like to spend as much time as I can with them when I’m free.