Humanity and Trust: How Alchemy 43’s Nicci Levy is Transforming the Medical Aesthetics Industry

July 28, 2023

Humanity and Trust: How Alchemy 43’s Nicci Levy is Transforming the Medical Aesthetics Industry

July 28, 2023

About This Episode

In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts with Tristan Ahumada, our guest, Nicci Levy, shares the intriguing story behind her innovative venture, Alchemy 43. A unique blend of artistry, science, and transformation, Alchemy 43 revolutionizes the medical aesthetics industry. From stumbling upon the perfect name to securing investments and overcoming the challenges of the first year, Nicci's journey is an

 inspiring tale of determination and success.

The Birth of Alchemy 43

Nicci Levy, having spent her early career in the beauty industry, made a significant shift into medical esthetics by joining Allergan, the creator of Botox. Armed with a passion for connecting with people and a desire to infuse the clinical realm with the spirit of beauty, Nicci came up with the idea for Alchemy 43. The name itself was serendipitous, born out of a last-minute change that led her to discover the definition of alchemy—a seemingly magical process of combination, creation, and transformation. Partnered with the number 43, which represents the facial muscles Botox targets, Alchemy 43 was born.

The Concept of Alchemy 43

The core idea behind Alchemy 43 was to reimagine the medical esthetics experience, making it fun, accessible, and empowering. Nicci noticed that while people loved the results of Botox and similar treatments, the clinical setting failed to provide an exciting and enjoyable experience. Drawing from her background in the beauty industry, Nicci believed in creating a space where clients could feel confident, cared for, and beautiful.

Starting from Scratch

Like many entrepreneurs, Nicci faced the challenge of building her business from scratch. Armed with her idea and an awkwardly written business plan, she knew little about raising capital or navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. However, her encounter with Toni Ko, the founder of Nyx Cosmetics, proved to be a turning point. Inspired by Toni's story, Nicci reached out to her and secured the initial investment that kickstarted Alchemy 43.

The First-Year Struggle

The first year in business is always the toughest, and for Nicci, it was no exception. Every decision felt monumental, and the uncertainty was relentless. However, Nicci's determination and belief in her concept drove her to persevere, navigate the challenges, and push through the instability. The first year proved crucial in proving the viability of Alchemy 43.

Validation from Forerunner Ventures

As Alchemy 43 survived its initial hurdles, it garnered the attention of Forerunner Ventures, a renowned consumer seed-stage VC firm. This moment was a pivotal turning point for Nicci, as the experts at Forerunner recognized the potential of her venture and provided validation for her vision. Their interest solidified Nicci's confidence in the direction Alchemy 43 was taking, cementing its position as a potential game-changer in the consumer retail industry.

The Artistry in Medical Esthetics

With a background in both the beauty and medical esthetics industries, Nicci realized that there was an opportunity to merge the two worlds. She saw the potential for enhancing the experience of getting aesthetic treatments by infusing it with the artistry and personal touch seen in the beauty industry. Recognizing that true success in this field requires connecting with clients on a deeper level, Nicci wanted to make the process more enjoyable and comfortable.

Building the Alchemy 43 Experience

Nicci emphasizes that the first year of business is the most critical and challenging. However, she navigated through the uncertainties, and Alchemy 43 began to blossom. The brand's approach is centered around excellent customer service and trust-building. Clients can easily book appointments and experience a seamless process from start to finish. Alchemy 43 aims to provide not just great results but an overall experience that makes clients feel special and cared for.

The Power of Networking and Customer Connections

Attending events and networking have been instrumental in the growth of Alchemy 43. Nicci shares the story of how a chance event led her to meet a significant investor who believed in her vision. She emphasizes the importance of going out and engaging with people face-to-face, sharing her story, and building connections. This approach proved particularly effective when expanding into new markets, where face-to-face interactions allowed the brand to establish trust and create meaningful relationships with local customers.

The Consultation Approach

Nicci believes in empowering clients during consultations. Rather than pointing out perceived flaws, the focus is on understanding the client's goals and desires. The goal is to educate clients about the available treatments and possibilities while respecting their autonomy. Alchemy 43 emphasizes that their services are elective and not a necessity, allowing clients to make informed decisions about their care.

Building Trust and Integrity

At the heart of Alchemy 43's success lies its commitment to building trust and integrity with every customer interaction. Nicci emphasizes that her team treats each client with the utmost care and respect, taking time to understand their unique needs and preferences. She narrates how the company often declines additional treatments for clients already clinically optimized, as it would be clinically irresponsible to proceed. This decision reflects the brand's dedication to ethical practices and genuine concern for their customers' well-being.

The Power of the Customer Experience

Nicci describes Alchemy 43 as a "creator of experiences," where the journey of the customer begins even before stepping into the clinic physically. Every touchpoint, whether it's a phone call, website interaction, or text message, is carefully designed to set the tone for a positive experience. The focus is on making customers feel comfortable, cared for, and valued, regardless of whether it's their first visit or their hundredth. By treating every customer as if they had a challenging day, Alchemy 43 ensures that their service stands out as a beacon of hospitality and authenticity.

Nurturing Long-Term Relationships

The key to ensuring repeat business lies in nurturing long-term relationships with customers. Nicci shares that Alchemy 43 follows up with clients through timely reminders for appointments and encourages them to book future treatments in advance. Moreover, the company's membership program enhances customer loyalty and engagement by making treatments more affordable and convenient. This approach results in members becoming brand advocates and mini-brand ambassadors, contributing to the company's growth.

Balancing Short-Term and Long-Term Strategies

As Alchemy 43 continues to grow and expand, Nicci acknowledges the challenge of balancing short-term operational needs with long-term strategic thinking. She highlights the importance of scheduling specific time for brainstorming sessions and thinking about future expansion, seeking guidance from an executive coach to maintain clarity and flexibility in the company's vision.

Future Expansion and Product Development

Looking ahead, Alchemy 43's goal is to become the go-to brand for Botox, akin to Nike® in the athletic shoe industry. The company plans to expand its real estate pipeline to reach over 200 to 250 locations across the United States. Additionally, Alchemy 43 is working on launching its own product line, leveraging Nicci's extensive experience in the beauty industry.

Addressing Industry Challenges

As the industry faces a shortage of skilled providers to meet growing demand, Alchemy 43 aims to contribute to solving this challenge. The company is considering developing a training program to increase the number of licensed medical providers who can offer the company's treatments, ensuring they maintain a high quality of service.

About Nicci Levy

Nicci Levy is the dynamic Founder of Alchemy 43 and a renowned figure in the cosmetics and skincare industries. Her passion for beauty began at an early age, when she was captivated by her mother's rituals and became the go-to makeup artist among her friends. In college, she turned her love for cosmetics into a part-time job at Benefit Cosmetics, where she gained formal training and even explored international opportunities. 

Over the years, Nicci's career flourished as she ventured into corporate cosmetics, working with prestigious companies like MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, and Calvin Klein Beauty. During this time, she piloted innovative programs and launched successful cosmetics lines, making a significant impact on the confidence and lives of others. Her fascination with the ever-evolving trends and techniques of the industry led her to explore the medical aspects of micro treatments, which proved to be a natural progression for her career. 

Before establishing Alchemy 43, Nicci held the esteemed role of BOTOX®, JUVÉDERM®, and LATISSE® Business Development Manager for Allergan in Beverly Hills. Now, as the visionary leader of Alchemy 43, she continues to demystify micro treatments and challenge common misconceptions surrounding them.

Nicci's infectious energy and radiant smile are matched only by her dedication to empowering others to look and feel their best. She is not only an impactful educator but also a true advocate for empowerment within the beauty industry. Her journey as a revolutionary figure in the cosmetics field has gained her a loyal following on social media, with a vibrant presence on Instagram and TikTok.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Nicci enjoys savoring delicious wines, staying active at the gym, and indulging in cinematic experiences at her favorite independent theater every Sunday. With her boundless enthusiasm and commitment to innovation, Nicci Levy is undoubtedly shaping the future of beauty, one micro treatment at a time. (Meet Our Founder)

DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.

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