Life after QUA..

Hi Friends!

Some of you may or may not know this, I sold my second business, QUA, The SPA at SOMA GRAND…and… I sold it in 2016!  I know, I haven’t told many people on social media, or even some of my friends. This morning, on my hike, someone asked me about it, so I figure it’s about time I tell anyone who reads this blog.  Also, mainly because I didn’t want people to only support QUA because I owned it, but for those who did come because of me, thank you for your support!!!!!

I owned it from 2012 – 2016 and I’ll tell you the reasons why I started it, why I sold it and if I miss it.

Sometimes, I can’t believe I owned a spa. Seriously, a brick and mortar. An establishment that was open 7 days a week. Over the course of 4 years, I had over 50 employees, met many wonderful clients, turned friends. I loved walking into QUA and knowing the employees were feeding their families. It’s really a rewarding experience.

Heartfelt thank you’s to the following friends, spa owners who helped me so much during my time as a spa owner. In no particular order (and these are the ones who comes into mind at the moment):

  • Mom & Dad – for everything.
  • Rachel – (Zaza Nail Spa)  for sharing your knowledge and being a good friend!
  • Ronald –  aka. horseypoo – Thank you SO MUCH for all the lighting efforts you put into QUA. I appreciate you so much and sorry if I don’t show it enough.
  • Shelly — Lil Sis, Thank you for helping me build the nail business. You are so sweet, I’ll always remember the late nights!
  • Christina aka – Bui – You’re the best part of EYC and QUA. My life wouldn’t have been organized without you. I’ll always be grateful for you. Miss you!
  • The Laus Brothers & Steve – Your support during the hardest times.
  • J. Young — Because you are THE WOMAN!
  • DL – My rock. I know I can do (anything) because you believe in me.  thank you a million times for always being there!
  • Keith – Big Bro, thank you for the confidence and 24/7 support! I am the Luckiest Lil Sis Ever!
  • Dave – CTO and even learned SpaBooker at one point to help me. Can’t write all of this without saying thank you.

Why I built it. 

If you ask me if I’d do it all over again solo…. (hell to the no). No way. Not without a partner (or a life partner). But I built it because in 2012, I thought I wasn’t busy enough. I am going to insert a LOL right here.  I was 8 years into Especially Yours Chivari Chairs & Linens and thought I could do it all with 2 careers and a relationship. Friends, if you want to keep the relationship part, I’d recommend not to do so much at once.

But why did I start a brick and mortar. Because I loved the spa world and I really thought I could… and I did and also, because, no one told me, “No, don’t do it I love foot massages and I love tea, so I combined the 2 :).  I hired architects IwamotoScott Architecture, a San Francisco-based practice led by Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott that is recognized both nationally and internationally for its design work. They did an AMAZING job with the installation and we custom built everything (see rendering photos below).  After purchasing TruSpa’s assets at the end of 2013, I did another renovation and added Facials and Nails to QUA.

Renderings from IWAMOTOSCOTT

So, the original concept of QUA, was a foot spa, but here’s what I did wrong. (Mistake #1). I made it too damm nice. LOL.  No, I didn’t have a vision of a cheesy chinese foot massage spa, but people don’t expect #footmassage spa’s to be this nice… I mean, have you ever walked into a fancy foot spa with ceiling installations?  Opps. Yikes. Need to change the concept asap… This no longer be a “foot” spa, so I dropped the foot part of the business.. On a serious note, people would call and ask “What is a foot massage? Do you massage the body too?” Yes and yes we do. It was also really hard to hire massage therapists who only massasged “foot only”, so the concept on “Foot Spa” ended after the merge of Tru Spa’s assets. I’m very grateful that happened because I hired the most amazing Spa Manager consultant, Audrey L. Vargas, who is now a senior director Beautycounter. Audrey taught me so much of the spa business, helped me with new hires and showed me the way how to run a spa. THANK YOU, Audrey!!

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2nd photo credit: Evonne & Darren Wong Photography.

 

Why I sold it?

After four years, I was ready to say goodbye. I had a buyer and handed over the keys. I wish the new owners all the best! I know this is a short answer, but I don’t have anything much more to add to that.

Do I miss it?

I mean….. I love love love getting massages, facial and getting my nails done all the time 🙂 I definitely miss the perks of being a spa owner. Going to spa conferences, shopping for the spa, interviewing potential new hires and getting to know clients on a personal level.

Well friends, It’s been almost 2 years since I sold QUA. Again, my apologies for telling you so late. I’ve moved on to new projects that I’ll share when I’m ready. In the mean time, I’ve been approached to be a #spaconsultant to other #spaowners and always happy to answer any questions on my journey to #entrepreneurship.

Here’s my Top 10 things I’ve learned while owning a Spa:

10) Hire an amazing architect, like I did 🙂 IWAMOTOSCOTT is the BEST!

9) LOCATION is everything! QUA is located in a luxury condo, our majority of our clients was from the building.

8) I used google voice as our primary phone number!! You can text and call your clients from your cell phone… genius!

7) Being a solo owner was great, but it also meant you have to do everything on your own. If you’re ready for this solo journey, do it.

6) There will be good days and bad days. There will be days when you’re sold out and some where you’ll have one or no clients. Yep, it does happen.

5) Use a commercial realtor when negotiating your lease! That lease is golden. Tim Tran was great! He’s been my realtor several times.

4) Hire an amazing front desk staff who will take a care of business when you’re gone.

3) Install cameras. (Duh… you really need to these days).

2) Sell retail goods! Why not? Make use of those empty shelves and offer commission to your staff for selling anything.

  1. ENJOY your success. Go on vacations. Take a Day off. You’re a 100% business owner, but also 100% human….Live a Little 🙂 I did 🙂

Follow Up to Egg Freezing…

Hi Friends!
It’s March! Time Flies! It’s been 5 months and I’ve been wanting to write an update to follow up on my Egg Freezing experience (post below) and how I’ve been doing since the procedure.

First of all, THANK YOU for everyone who texted and messaged me the last few days regarding the PFC’s cryostorage malfunction story that recently surfaced.  DL messaged me as soon as he heard and wanted me to make sure I was aware. It’s such an unfortunate situation that happened and I pray for those affected by this tragic accident.  I did not go to PFC. I went to UCSF Fertility Clinic.   Unfortunately, 6 degrees of separation, I do know someone who knows someone else who was affected. yikes! 😦 #supersad

After my procedure and sharing my story on Facebook, Instagram, I’ve had a lot of friends (females/males) write to me and told me how strong I was to open up in such a public space on such a personal matter. Let me be the first to tell you, I only shared it w/ the public because I want more women (my age or even younger) to know if I can do it, so you can you.   I don’t consider myself “strong” or in the best health/shape but it’s really for your future, as an option.  Whether or not you want kids, this is a good insurance to have.  I recently found out one of my good friends donated her eggs to a family member who couldn’t get pregnant on her own. What a hero! Another  best part from all of this is, the countless conversations with so many women these last 5 months that are considering Egg Freezing. This experience made it  ALL WORTH  it for me to open up.

What now? I went back to UCSF for a consultation for another round, suggested by my doctor, Dr. Fugimoto. Gawwwd, I’m thinking to myself. I have to do this all over again. It’s not that bad, to commit to the needles and clinic visits. But then again, I’ve been lagging on this since January.  Why do I want to do it again? I already have 8 eggs stored and doctor recommends at least 20. The cost also went up from last year. The meds are less than $1K and the below is the Actual Cost at UCSF. It’s about $9,100, all in. I do believe they have payment plans for those who are considering it this year.

So, Yep. I’m probably going to do it. Writing about it now, I should call UCSF and schedule my appointment. ha! Here’s the fee schedule to those who asked:

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What am I up to now? Last year, after the procedure, the travel bug hit me and it hit me HARDDDDD. I went to 6 countries in 2 months! Goodness Gracious! I came back and I said I need to get back to work!!!! Work update will be another longer post as I have so many experiences I want to write about. Sharing with you, my friends, on my journey to #entrepreneurship, starting and closing a business and the (hard) lesson’s I’ve learned along the way.

Again, Thank you friends who reached out to me about the story above.   Thank you for always thinking of me!

 with so much love, xoxo Bev

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PS. Here’s a (part 1) video below from our girlfriends trip to #LosCabos in January! Enjoy! #WestinHotels

 

I’m thankful for … Future Bev’s

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Me right after egg retrieval at UCSF.

Hello friends! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I have a lot to be thankful for this year. First and foremost, Thank you God for always keeping me safe and getting me through life’s toughest obstacles. I never feel alone, as I know He is always with me by my side.

This is probably the most personal and private (news) on social media yet. But I wanted to share this with you because I believe this topic has been extremely important to me, and what I’m thankful for this year.

On October 10, 2017, I completed my “mature oocyte cryopreservation” also known as Egg Freezing. This is a method used to preserve reproductive potential for women. Once the eggs are harvested from your ovaries, frozen unfertilized and will be stored for later use (a.k.a my future BBYS!)

Before I tell you the why and the reason I started this process, I want to thank my good friends who encouraged me from Day 1 that I can do this. Also want to thank those who was there with me during the 2 weeks. (You know who you are: MC, CC, RC, SL, HW, DL, KL, MG, BL, NB).

Why Now? Why Egg Freezing (at my age)

There isn’t a right answer as to “why now”.  I had a conversation with a girlfriend recently and she asked me why did I do egg freezing at my age now (dude, I’m only 38.. I don’t feel 38 and I don’t act 38. haha). It’s really “why not now”…..last but not least, I only wish I did (knew about) it so I could have done this sooner.

To be honest, I used to think I could do it all (at my own capacity). Before June 2017, I was running 2 businesses the last 4 years, and thought — I’ll get married and have kids when I’m ready.  I never thought about how hard it might possibly be to have kids, until some of my girlfriends (older & younger than me) are having trouble conceiving.  Hearing their stories, some wanted to make sure I had options (backup), so that when I am ready to become a Mom, I have eggs stored away to help me make that decision when the time comes.

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Hello from the Ultrasound Room at UCSF.

What’s the process and how much did it cost? 

Here’s my story (a shorter version) of how it all went down..

Before you get your meds (yep, that big ass box below), you go through bloodwork (took 10 vitals- FML), paperwork, ultrasound, meeting with the doctor and even attended a 2 hour class on self injection…aka needles! for your egg freezing. TAKE…BIG DEEP BREATH.

UCSF was the perfect choice for me.  It was close to my house, as you have to commit at least 2 weeks to this process. The cost was a little under $7,600 and my insurance did not cover any of it. Fortunately, because it is through the UC system, the cost was subsidized as I hear it can cost as much as $15,000.

I went back UCSF every 2 days to monitor how the eggs were growing, so the doctors can count how many follicles/a.k.a eggs I have.

So … Here we go.

Day 1, September 22, 2017: My Meds arrived!

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Overnight delivery by FedEx.  Open immediately (I love unboxing things!) and some needs to be stored away in the refrigerator.

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Wa- La! This was ALL THE MEDS that came in that box.  *Pro Tip: It doesn’t come with an icepack, but that SAVED me. I’d ice my belly about 3 minutes before I injected the needles every night.

September 28, 2017 – My first time self injecting the needles. I thought to myself….omfg, i can’t do this. cray-to-the-cray!

Side Note: If you do watch the video below, I haven’t taken down my Mom’s Chinese New Year Stickers yet in this part of the house.. haha.

This is what it looks like when I was injecting.

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Self Injections to the Belly..

Day 9: I documented the entire process on my phone. Here is me giving an update from the Ultrasound Room.

Final ultrasound before egg retrieval.

The Ultrasound Results are in. Doctor says he see’s 11 potential eggs but 8 mature ones.

October 8, 2017 — The FINAL SHOT (a.k.a.. The Trigger shot). I wasn’t smiling for a reason. D made me laugh and I was trying to concentrate on getting this over with. I asked him to jab with me with the needle and he said No. Hahah. FINE THEN! Anyway, the needles on your last day are EXTRA Damm Long. Same process, I had to ice my belly, I should had gotten a fan, so it wouldn’t sting as much. Didn’t help that the lights were so dim, so he had to use his phone to give me extra light.

FINALLY…..Day of Retrieval is here!!

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From UCSF…That View Tho..

Getting ready for surgery

October 10, 2017: 10:30AM Getting ready for surgery. *Pro Tip: I wish I had time in the morning to put a little make up on. geesh!

After surgery, I recovered for about and hour. The nurse came into the recovery room and told me they were able to retrieve 15 eggs!! WOW! I’m so happy! All that work and it paid off. The next day, the nurse called  and said out of the 15 eggs, they were able to freeze 8 eggs. (aka, future BBYS). I feel fine. I’m fully recovered, except I’m still bloated which means I just have to work out extra hard. haha. I’m considering doing this process again to bank more eggs. If you’re considering egg freezing and have questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m happy to help!

Top 10 things I learned from Egg Freezing:

10. If you can afford to do this procedure, please do and do it while you’re young.

9. Two ICE PACKS!! They were my saving grace during the self injections.

8. If you’re unsure how to do the self injections, go back to the nurse and have them show you how. I really thought it would be super confusing, but it wasn’t at all.

7. No working out for 2 weeks. (sure, haha, don’t need to twist my arm on this one).

6. During the 2 weeks, the doctors said you’ll feel bloated. They weren’t kidding at all. I felt like a pregnant lady walking around.

5. This is for your future. Even if the injections sounds scary, you can do it.

4. I documented everything because I knew I wanted to share my experience with others. You might want to, but totally up to you. I’m glad I’m sharing my experience to encourage all younger women to do this.

3. For 2 weeks, I didn’t do much but the only exercise I did was walk. My mom spoiled me whenever she saw me. I secretly enjoyed it! hehe!

2.  I’m excited to know in the future, I have options on harvesting the 8 mini Bev’s that are stored away.

Finally, last but not least, this was by far, I don’t feel like I failed because I am not a mother yet at age 38. While I love seeing photos on IG, FB of all thing babies and annoucements, I feel the time will come when it’s right for me.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Ladies, I hope I inspired you a little bit to think about your future mini me’s, should you decide to have children one day. #143BBY

UCSF Center for Reproductive Health

Address499 Illinois St, San Francisco, CA 94158

PS. 48 hours post surgery, my girlfriends and I took a trip to Paris! Bonjour! Thanks for reading!

Château de VersaillesChâteau de Versailles