Wendy Wilgus, family nurse practitioner and owner of Prestige Aesthetics, has never been one to back down from a challenge. Even as child, those who knew her described her as goal-oriented and focused. So when she decided to open a medical spa, she would not stop until her dream had been reached.
“People ask me all the time how I became interested in aesthetics,” Wendy says. “Believe it or not, it began on the medical mission trip I take to Mexico each year.” After the trip in 2012, she recognized a need in the patients she was seeing in the clinic each day. “These women were coming in complaining of pain in their legs and had terrible varicose veins,” Wendy remembers. “And there really wasn’t anything we could offer them to help.” After the trip, she began doing research with Dr. Paul Brown, the team’s medical director, and decided to become trained in sclerotherapy. This procedure involves injecting painful non-functioning veins in order to provide relief to patients.
Wendy saved enough to pay for the cost of the training class and decided at the same time to go ahead and attend classes for other injectable procedures. In April 2013, she performed 42 sclerotherapy procedures over the course of the four day clinic. “I could hardly stand up straight by the last day,” Wendy says, “but I absolutely loved it.”
Upon returning to Johnson City, Wendy decided to pursue an aesthetics career, but only on a part-time basis. She worked on friends and family honing her skills but it soon became evident that aesthetics was becoming her passion and it was demanding all her free time. “I was still working full-time as a nurse practitioner in surgery. I would spend my days working and then my nights trying to start my business. I was missing time with my daughters.” One of the nurses she worked with suggested she contact Penny Woods, an aesthetician who was working inside the TriCities Lifestyle Center. “I met Penny and we just clicked. I knew I was where God wanted me to be.” Wendy left her surgery job and in July 2013 began her full-time career in aesthetics.
“My philosophy with aesthetics is that you feel better about yourself on the inside when you are happy with your appearance on the outside,” Wendy says. “I have so many clients who thank me for making them not only look beautiful, but also feel beautiful.” She believes that when you are feeling badly about your outward appearance, it affects so many aspects of your life.
Wendy began renting one room inside the fitness center, but over the next twelve months her business grew and she was renting all available space that the center had to offer her. “We had no more room for growth, and that is a scary place to be for a business,” Wendy says. She had expanded her services from injectables only to laser services, weight loss, and platelet-rich plasma procedures. She and Penny knew it was time to expand further, but wanted to wait until the right place came along. “We both prayed about it constantly. We knew that just as God had brought us both together, He would take us where we were supposed to go next.”
Wendy began looking for the perfect place to build her medical spa. Never would she have guessed a 95-year-old house on Unaka Avenue would be it. “I walked in and I could immediately see its potential. I knew then that I wanted to offer everything a woman would need to feel beautiful all under one roof, and I knew that I could do it.” So on August 3, 2015, Wendy opened her full-service medical spa to the public, including a hair and nail salon, massage therapy, permanent makeup, airbrush sunless tans, and even yoga. “I have never been happier with a career as I am now,” Wendy says. “It is so rewarding and fun. It doesn’t feel like work.