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Artavi Med Spa - Dr Tarina Desai and family
A doctor starts her own business, a medical spa

Artavi Med Spa, Dr. Tarina Desai, MD

Title / Role: Owner
Location: Houston, Texas
Formed in: 2018
My successes.

Building a team of 6,
patient base of 2300,
revenue $1.5mil

All while raising two young kids, had my second child 1 year after opening

What do you do?

Cosmetic medicine physician 

What inspired you to start your business?

I always loved the idea of owning my own business. I focused on starting a medical spa to help people with their skin-related problems by offering specialized treatments and cosmetic services – such as injections and treatments to improve skin tone and the appearance of wrinkles – but in a relaxing, welcoming facility.

I had to start my own medical spa as no one will hire a physician when it is less expensive to hire nurses and a medical director for this business.

What's special about your business?

The majority of the med spas have an off-site physician that does not perform the procedures but "supervises" treatments by nurses. Here we have a physician doing the procedures and patients will pay more for that. We also have options to be treated by a PA for better pricing. We have a membership model that helps patients that want to be more regular with their treatments. 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

I love the flexibility in schedules, pricing, and service menu offered at the clinic, knowing that I can provide for my staff and family and being proud of our accomplishments.

The downside is the HR issues: staff turnover esp during Covid, trouble finding good employees, and training employees. That takes time away from creating established systems and protocols.

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I had gone to a course for aesthetics and they had one day workshop on setting up the business. They mentioned SCORE was a free organization that helped people start their own businesses.

How SCORE helped.

SCORE helped me navigate the unknown world of business; the biggest help was with setting up a business plan and financial forecasting and getting in touch with banks.  They also were a good sounding board in helping me make major decisions.

What's great about my mentor?

They’re very supportive, willing to help, and spend time with me. They were patient as I learned everything about starting and running my own business. They really worked to set me up for success. They were wonderful.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Definitely start a business in something you are really passionate about as that will keep you going. Read all the books and seek all the help and guidance you can get. You will still make mistakes but set up processes and communicate well with your team.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

SCORE really helps and makes it easy to start your own business. Most people starting a small business I think have no understanding of how to go about it, so what SCORE provides is invaluable and gives you that support and push you need. 

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?

I would like to spend more time working on the business than in it so I can enjoy a more balanced life.

Additional media
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My mentors
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Jerry Hoffman

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8701 S Gessner, Suite 1200
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 487-6565

Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association,

Copyright © 2022 SCORE Association,

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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