RGN and business woman, Bonita Matthews, is the Company Director and Clinical lead at Portrait Aesthetics. Portrait Aesthetics is a non-surgical augmentation and skincare clinic.
After a lengthy career in nursing and safeguarding, Bonita Matthews dreamt of opening her own Aesthetics clinic, but for a long time, the draw of self-employment wasn’t strong enough for her to walk away from a secure career.
However, in 2017, Portrait Aesthetics began life as Bonita’s part time business, fitting clients around work and scheduling appointments at evenings and weekends.
As her client base grew, so did her confidence and in January 2019, Bonita took the step of leaving a successful career and committed to Portrait Aesthetics full time.
Initially setting up her clinic at home, Bonita quickly found her client base growing and within a couple of months knew that she would need to find an alternative solution. However, finding the right place presented potential challenges; renting a traditional high street premise can be expensive and inflexible.
Although Bonita is highly experienced in her field, she considers herself still relatively new to business. Going forward, Bonita needs to identify her skills gap and ensure she has the support in place in order to grow her business and her knowledge.
Torbay Business Centre is a contemporary, purpose built office building close to the centre of Torquay with 29 offices, two meeting rooms and a large networking zone. The Centre offers a comprehensive service to tenants including dedicated parking, free meeting space and business support and is principally suited to early stage businesses.
Bonita approached Torbay Business Centre after driving past and seeing the space advertised outside. She moved her business into the Centre in April 2019, one month after making the initial inquiry.
Bonita said: “Torbay Business Centre has provided me with an affordable and flexible space for my practice. It’s centrally located and even on a bus route, perfect for many of my clients.”
“Although the space was initially set up as a traditional office, it was no problem at all adapting it to my needs. Heather, the Centre Co-Ordinator, was really helpful throughout the process and I couldn’t be happier with how the space both looks and feels.”
Bonita has also taken advantage of the free business support available on site at Torbay Centre and has enrolled on the fully funded ERDF Growth Support Programme. This funded business support will provide Bonita with up to 12 hours of business support.
Bonita continued: “The Centre allowed me to take the next step in growing my business, but because of the affordable rates and flexible lease terms, it didn’t feel like taking a safety – it felt exciting!”
“The community here has been so supportive, it doesn’t feel as though I work by myself. There’s often a workshop or seminar going on in communal areas – I always attend when I can”.
Since residing at Torbay Business Centre Portrait Aesthetics has grown and has allowed Bonita to differentiate between work and home. The Business Centre helps give Bonita’s business a credible base and the 24/7 access allows her to be flexible around her clients’ needs. Benefits such as dedicated parking and a secure intercom system also help Bonita feel confident in her offering.
Bonita now plans to open another part time clinic in Poole, and hopes to take on an employee to assist in business support.
Heather Burton, Torbay Business Centre Coordinator said: “It has been fantastic to see Bonita and her business grow. Bonita has completely transformed the office space and has made it work for her business perfectly.”
Business Advisor Kim Thornton said: “It’s been a real pleasure working with Bonita; we always welcome Centre tenants to utilise us Business Advisors. Her passion for her business and her professionalism are outstanding. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Portrait Aesthetics.”
To find out more about Portrait Aesthetics find them on Facebook.
To see how Torbay Business Centre or ERDF Growth Support programme can help you and your business visit www.tda-business.com