Dear Patients and LovelySkin Customers,
Year’s end is a time to reflect on our team's accomplishments, as well as the incredible support received from patients, customers, family, and, of course, our amazingly dedicated staff.
This year, we worked on three main initiatives to help our customers and the environment.
First, we decreased the size of our standard box, which allows for less use of paper and less waste.
While it may seem like a simple and obvious thing to do, the reason it isn’t common is that it often results in more time packing as some orders need to be upsized. This causes packing to take more time as well as more packers to get the same amount of orders out. It is why Amazon and other e-tailers use huge boxes that are often composed of mostly empty, wasted space. We are proud to have made a change that saves trees, without inconveniencing our customers.
Second, two website specialists joined our team whose primary focus is user experience. Our valued and appreciated customers will see the fruits of their labors over the next year, with a streamlined and improved process in many areas of the website.
Third, we changed our mail services to USPS and UPS alone. We took UPS SurePost off of the list of options we offer for shipping as our analysis showed that it led to unacceptable issues in delivery speed for certain zip codes. So far, USPS and UPS are working much better together and, though our costs are higher for this combination, it is wonderful to be seeing considerable improvements in both customer delivery times as well as scores for time of delivery!
There were many noteworthy happenings during the year.
We experienced significant growth this year as we continued to add new staff members, patients and customers at the LovelySkin store and website. We currently reach well over 1.5 million customers. Growth came from many areas, including new customers, as well as from new brands that we were able to bring on due to our standing in the field and reputation for unparalleled customer service.
Our customer service team continued to excel, winning the Bizrate Platinum Circle of Excellence Award for the 8th time in a row! We never expect it, but always appreciate your votes of confidence.
Once again, our burgeoning customer service team outgrew the space, causing us to add desks and figure out ways to make sure calls were answered efficiently. Over the holidays, many employees from the medical clinic (and yours truly) helped during these busy times and it was enjoyable to chat, text or write to customers from all over the world.
My wife, Nancy, and I also packed orders for 10 hours alongside the warehouse staff on Black Friday weekend. This gave us a chance to see the dedication and hard work our staff brings to the job each and every day to get your orders to you speedily and correctly. If any of my orders were packed incorrectly or imperfectly, I do apologize! Nancy was much better than me!
The newest additions to the LovelySkin website
We added thirty new hair care, cosmetic, tool and skin care lines, including, but not limited to Moroccanoil, Image Skincare, Baby Foot and skyn ICELAND.
We also continued to update our own line, LovelySkin LUXE, with reformulations of the loved Gel Cleanser, Cream Cleanser and several other products. We also completely reformulated the LovelySkin LUXE Eye Cream, yielding remarkable results.
Additionally, neuLASH PROFESSIONAL™ and neuBROW PROFESSIONAL™ products were introduced and showed incredible results in our tests performed over 12 weeks.
Here are some of the results:
One of the main tasks our remarkable IT team focused on this year was to bring Brilliant Distinctions (a SkinMedica program) to our website. This year, we added the ability for online customers to both redeem and earn Brilliant Distinctions points. Our IT team worked incredibly hard to make this possible and we have already heard many comments on how useful this is for our customers!
We continue to be one of the top 15 Health and Beauty Cosmetic Web Retailers in the world (Internet Retailer data), a wonderful accomplishment, and we are one of the top 1000 Internet retailers in the world.
Our reach around the world and involvement in the industry continues to grow, while we continue the family orientation that is so important to us. We have fun at work and enjoy what we do every day of the year. I believe this is reflected in our high level of customer satisfaction, and we don’t intend to change that any time in the future!
We have always resisted becoming a 'corporate' website – instead, we relish our personal involvement with our users as a family-owned business. While many of our competitors have the goal of being bought by a large corporate entity, that is not our intent. Truly, the joy we obtain from being a part of our 135+ employees’ lives wouldn't be possible in a corporate environment.
Remaining a family-owned company allows us to interact with our employees and you in a way that hopefully distinguishes itself and provides an experience that brings you back when it is time to purchase your favorite beauty products. Our Omaha-based, Midwestern values-oriented customer service is a distinction we hope never goes out of style.
Our team is also committed to helping others, something that the entire team did this year when we put together Christmas gifts for over 50 families. This was spread among all employees and was very successful. We are so proud of our employees for generously donating their time and money.
The medical side of the business has continued to grow, in part because we have added several new wrinkle treatments and have recently become the first site in the Midwest to offer CoolTone, a new fat reducing/muscle-enhancing treatment offering a novel method of improving the body contour.
Additionally, we continue to research new treatments for hair loss, eczema, psoriasis, acne and wrinkles. Many innovations continue in dermatology and cosmetic surgery and the future looks bright! One condition that has proven very difficult to treat, warts, has been researched in our clinical trials department and publications will soon be released on it.
Now in its 11th year, our Cosmetic Surgery Forum conference moved from Las Vegas to Nashville with great results. This is the conference that I founded to train both young and established dermatologists on new techniques in dermatology and cosmetic surgery. Over 600 attendees were present this year, and we personally sponsored 65 residents (now a total of 850 since inception) in dermatology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery so they could learn and be an asset to the profession I love and respect.
The LovelySkin Retail Store has continued to be successful in its 9th full year and was once again voted the “Best Beauty Supply Store” in Omaha. Competing against powerful and well-known brands was a huge challenge, but we succeeded! Additionally, our website, LovelySkin.com, was once again voted one of the top three overall Omaha-based websites.
Our spas, LovelySkin Spa (in the clinic) and LovelySkin Spa Express (in the retail store), were honored as being among the top three spas in Omaha – for the 7th year in a row! Both spas have greatly increased their range of services to accommodate the desires of our loyal guests.
I was fortunate and honored to be voted Best Dermatologist and Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Omaha this year for the 21st year in a row. Additionally, I was named one of the top 200 Best Doctors (rated by peers) in the United States. I am deeply grateful. Thank you to all of you who voted!
On a personal note, my son, Daniel, is now a first year resident at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, having graduated medical school in June. He will be in St. Louis next year to begin his dermatology residency at my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. I can’t say how happy I am for him to be following in my footsteps in the profession we love.
Nancy, my wife, continues to work very hard behind the scenes in the practice and website. She also enjoys working with our newest company, Olive and Delmar, which sells skin care products to dermatologists. As I explained last year, the name is a play on two streets in St. Louis where much of our life together started. Now, with our son going to St. Louis to train in dermatology, the name is even more impactful.
Our daughter, Claire, has now become a product manager for a startup carpooling app in San Francisco and loves it. Her adopted pug-rescue dog, Garbanzo, has been a huge part of her life this year and continues to be welcomed wherever she goes.
Sadly, our sweet pug dog, Emmy, passed away early this year at nearly 17 years old. We miss her every day, but we have now adopted a boy pug, Leo, who gives us incredible joy and makes us so happy, with moods that range from adorable to mischievous to downright naughty (all of which can happen in an instant). He is completely different than Emmy, but just perfect, and appeared in his first LovelySkin ‘video’ during Halloween as the star of Dawn of the Boy Pug!
My parents, June and Bernie, continue to be a source of strength and my inspiration for how to live a good life. They are a blessing to all of us.
I wish you and your families much success and happiness in the year to come. My staff and I deeply appreciate your loyalty over the years and hope to always live up to your expectations by providing you with the best patient care and customer service.
Thank you for an amazing year.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
With deepest appreciation for your support, Sincerely,
Joel Schlessinger MD, FAAD, FAACS Board Certified Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon
Chief Editor, Cosmetic Surgery, Practical Dermatology Magazine President, LovelySkin.com