Dr. Tanya Kormeili is an internationally recognized, Board-certified dermatologist, professor, and medical consultant. She combines deep clinical expertise with a talent for delivering superior patient experiences. Whether in her private practice or as a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, she is dedicated to educating her patients and the public about dermatology as it relates to their health and well-being. She is also an amazing tale of success. From being an immigrant from a war-torn country to graduating at the top of her class from UCLA and starting a very successful boutique dermatology practice and skincare line in the most competitive areas of the country – Dr. Tanya is definitely an entrepreneur who is making a mark in this world. She is continuously growing and inventing new ways to help patients, from virtual visits to products and innovations. She also serves on advisory boards for charities and is a mentor to many young minds interested in personal advancement.
After graduating from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine among the top in her class, Dr. Kormeili completed a competitive four-year Dermatology residency at the prestigious University of California, Irvine. She was also a two-time Regents Scholar. In addition to her medical degree, Dr. Kormeili has completed a number of advanced medical training in clinical research as well as various certifications that enable her to stay at the forefront of best practices cosmetic dermatology for her patients. She is also proud to have received numerous honors and awards for her contributions to the field of dermatology, including international awards from the Chilean Society of Dermatology and Venereology, the XVI CILAD Congress of Dermatology in Colombia, and at the World Congress of Dermatology in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2007. Her publications have appeared numerous times in peer-reviewed medical journals and book chapters. Two of her publications in the British Journal of Dermatology have been translated into various languages and were among the most cited articles in dermatology. Dr. Kormeili has been featured on television, as well as in print and online. She has been seen on The Doctors as well as on Mun2 television and in Dermatology Times. Wherever she is cited or interviewed, she spreads her passion for combining advanced science and the art of medicine to improve health and beauty for every skin type, every ethnicity.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Dr. Kormeili to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I remember being fascinated by medicine even as a little girl when I performed several surgeries on my dolls! I loved playing doctor with the dolls and making up “medicines” for them. I worked really hard to get the best education and graduated top of my class at UCLA. I then was so fortunate to have found countless mentors who believed in me and helped me achieve my dream of practicing as a dermatologist. Along the way, I did much consulting for various skin care companies, and decided I want to create my own! I basically made the skincare line for myself, free of paraben, BPA, dyes, sulfates, and harsh chemicals because I wanted to keep my body clean of toxins for pregnancy and beyond. Seeing so many people enjoying our skincare line and seeing the practice thriving are bonuses that simply warm my heart. I feel honored.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
We simply are focusing on doing the right thing by our patients. With the pandemic, there is much concern about infectivity and contact with others. We spent a great deal of time putting in specific protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and patients.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
We have YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
We have never used any of these modalities. We simply became a word of mouth business, and over time collected the most amazing people in our practice as patients and staff. I think when people felt my passion and realized my integrity, there was a force in the universe that drew in new patients and we grew fast.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
As a physician, I take the time to get to know my patients. I encourage my staff to do the same. We create a place of intimacy and privacy for patients. People can be themselves here: share their fears, their thoughts, and their dreams. We keep our practice boutique and that distinguishes us from the huge practices and healthcare systems. Because we always kept the quality high and the love between our patients strong, we just grew organically. I see orders for our skincare line from all over the country, even though I only practice in California. When patients are willing to come from all over the world to have their treatments done by me, I realized I had a brand. It was not intentional, I was just doing my best and it worked out that others liked my eye for aesthetics too! Be your best self and things fall in place. I spend so much time educating myself and learning so I can be my best self as a dermatologist, mother, friend, wife, and human being.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Word of mouth is gold. If you can create happy patients the rest falls in place.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
I think you always have to think about what would serve the patients best even if financially that is not the best option for the business. In the long run, it pays dividends because you can live with yourself! We have had to figure out how to take care of our elderly at-risk patients for COVID and help them with their skin cancer needs. That has taken lots of prioritizing and training, but I am happy to report that we are almost done with all of our skin cancers.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Trusting people who don’t deserve my trust. I have learned that many people speak with confidence about what they can offer, but few can actually deliver. I now know that investing in myself, health, education, and welfare, is the best investment. Never follow fads and follow the advice of those who promise too much’
What new business would you love to start?
I would love to have a non-profit organization that helps orphans get education and healthcare. I think taking care of children is the only way we can ensure a brighter future for everyone, including our own children.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would take more risk and be less of a chicken! I was very fearful, and it was my only real barrier.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t over-think it. I think analysis paralysis can be a real barrier to success. I have listened to that advice many times in my head since.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Write down your “reasons” for setting up that business. On the days it gets really hard, look up your reasons. When your reasons are meaningful and powerful, you will overcome anything. My list of reasons sits in a drawer at my desk for my tougher days too!