Stephanie Hopkins spent most of her career helping other people pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. As a commercial banker, she guided others in securing the funds to start or grow a business. But the Louisiana State University graduate had ambitions of owning her own business, too. So with the help Rebecca Kurtz, a friend turned business partner, Hopkins headfirst into entrepreneurship by opening BodyBrite’s first franchise in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2013. Now, the Baton Rouge team is slated to open two more local BodyBrite centres in the next few years.
“Opening the first BodyBrite centre was an exciting challenge, but the warm welcome we received from Baton Rouge confirmed what we suspected for a while — there’s a loyal and supportive market for cutting edge and revolutionary personal care products,” Hopkins said.
Considering her time-consuming career in banking, Hopkins chose to franchise with BodyBrite because she recognized an opportunity to continue her finance career while devoting free time to launching and running the hair removal and skin rejuvenation centres. Although balancing careers in commercial banking and franchise development is no easy task, Hopkins pulls it off skillfully with the priceless help of Kurtz and their team of talented aestheticians. The centres’ staff works with a sense of ownership for the business, and proved essential in fostering a beloved reputation among local guests.
Aside from the flexible and accommodating support system BodyBrite offers Hopkins and all its franchisees, the Baton Rouge team invested in the international personal care brand because of their genuine confidence in the centres’ flagship product — permanent hair removal with Intense Pulse Lights. Both Hopkins and Kurtz previously tried using laser hair removal treatment, but found the process too painful and pricey. Upon researching alternatives in hair removal, the duo discovered BodyBrite and agreed the painless and affordable service was a much needed addition to Central Louisiana.
The entrepreneurs’ investment has paid off in no time — the initial Baton Rouge centre quickly earned a loyal following, almost entirely from word of mouth and community engagement. The centre’s skin rejuvenation service was a surprise hit, as well. Today, it accounts for nearly half their business. The duo also spends their free time volunteering at local organizations such as Girls on the Run and the Baton Rouge Junior League. Plus, they’ve helped promote the brand through ongoing production donations to local auctions and fundraisers.