The Interview: Dr Shaan Patel on the first retail opening of Āatma Aesthetics
Āatma Aesthetics, which was founded by Dr Shaan Patel, offers an "innovative and holistic" approach to skin health. It delivers a range of medically-led services, as well as a selection of medical-grade skincare products available for purchase.
With an existing clinic on Harley Street in London, the business has chosen Icon Outlet at The O2 as the location for its second clinic - joining the destination's existing beauty and wellbeing offering, including Beauty Outlet, Holland & Barrett, The Body Shop and The Cosmetics Company Store.
In this interview with TheIndustry.beauty, Dr Patel speaks about the inspiration behind Āatma Aesthetics, the journey to opening its second clinic, and why he has chosen a retail setting as the location.
What inspired you to start Āatma Aesthetics?
I wanted to dispel the notion that aesthetic treatments and skincare are only for self-obsessed, vain individuals! This is all too often what is portrayed by our celebrity-driven culture and media. ‘Āatma’ means ‘Inner Spirit or Soul’ in Sanskrit. Through this ethos, I wanted to provide treatments focused on natural-looking results that allow people to feel good about themselves.
Why have you chosen a retail setting for the new clinic?
I am particularly excited to be opening my second branch of Āatma Aesthetics within a retail setting as we can gain more exposure to a wider demographic of clients who may think that these types of treatments are limited to high-end boutique salons or Harley Street.
I’m also excited to be offering medical-grade skincare products within this environment, as well as being able to educate customers who usually find these services inaccessible or unaffordable.
Why have you specifically chosen Icon Outlet as the new location?
Icon Outlet at the O2 is the perfect setting for the clinic. Not only does it boast several high-profile, premium brands, but it’s a forward-thinking destination which is also focused on welcoming independents and allowing them the opportunity to sit alongside some of the best in retail.
It's also a key destination venue which attracts high footfall and continues to showcase successful trade month-on-month, and it delivers a seamless transition between retail, F&B and leisure. For example, as well as being able to eat before a show, you can make a day of it by visiting the outlet, and perhaps getting a relaxing facial treatment or digital skin analysis with us. It is a diverse and collaborative destination which puts consumers at the heart, mirroring the ethos of Āatma Aesthetics.
How does the new location differ from your existing clinic on Harley Street?
As well as offering medical injectables in a similar way to Harley Street, we offer a much more holistic approach to skincare at Icon Outlet. This includes microneedling, powerful medical-grade facials and peels, digital skin analysis, LED light therapy, and retail skincare.
What sets Āatma Aesthetics apart from existing clinics?
Although there are many fantastic clinics around, we differ in the fact that we have a clear focus on natural results and holistic treatments. We are results-driven, and not profit-incentivised. We will respectfully decline treatment where it isn’t needed and focus on educating our customers wherever we can.
One of our biggest USPs is accepting that not all ethnicities should be treated the same when it comes to their skin, and people of colour sometimes require different approaches to their skincare and treatment plans.
What has the process been like from concept to opening?
Opening my second clinic has been one of the most challenging, yet personally rewarding feats I have encountered.
Operating as the sole owner of a business with no prior experience opening in a retail environment has been particularly tough, however the Icon Outlet team have helped guide me in the right direction and ensured I have the support I need for my first retail opening.
I’ve spent countless hours designing storefront lighting, branded bags, and merchandising amongst hundreds of other things, and I am excited about the opportunities that this new store will provide and make aesthetics treatments a more accessible thing for consumers in and around London.
How do you feel about the opening?
I am anxious to ensure the customer experience is as smooth as possible and that customers leave feeling empowered and informed about their skin. I’m also excited to establish myself within a new consumer base and continue to share my knowledge with a wider audience.
What are your ambitions for Āatma Aesthetics?
Once the clinic at The O2 is up and running, I hope to soon expand our product range to be able to offer skincare supplements, IV treatments and perhaps personalised blood tests as part of our holistic approach. Later down the line, I’d love to open another clinic or two.