Then & Now: Family legacy created with laser studio

After running two successful laser clinics in Vancouver, Nicola Finch and her husband moved to Kelowna with daughter Alexandra.

Alexandra and Nicola Finch.

Nicola Finch got an early start in the skin care and hair removal industry, taking on a position in her mother’s hair and skin spa at the age of 13.

After many successful years running two laser clinics in Vancouver, Finch and her husband relocated to Kelowna to raise their daughter, Alexandra.

And when Alexandra returned from a few years working in the world’s top cruise ship spa, the Finch family expanded their business further.

Now, having been in business for over two decades, Nicola’s Laser Studio has become part of a cultural tapestry in Downtown Kelowna that continues to evolve.

“When I started my business, I found that once the actual true Kelownites­—the people whose families have been in this town for hundreds of years—once they got to know me, my business flourished. I’ve seen so many changes,” Finch says.

“There are so many people moving to Kelowna from other areas. What’s unique with me is that I’m now seeing the children of past clients.”

Finch credits word-of-mouth and great service for her business’ success, saying that relationships matter. Lots of people set up shop in Kelowna, she says, but few succeed.

“A lot of new businesses moving into town have tried to take over the area—a lot of laser clinics have come and gone in Kelowna. There aren’t many jobs in this town, which is why you see so many people starting businesses,” she says.

“So you have to deal with competition trying to undercut you. I’m lucky to have been here for so many years and to have a reputation.”

She says that would-be entrepreneurs in the health and beauty industry should never underestimate the importance of customer service.

In many cities, spas and studios don’t take the time to understand their clientele, and Finch says that failing to understand what clients need is a deadly error.

It’s a rule that seems to be benefiting Finch, as Nicola’s Laser Studio has done nothing but grow.

And with interesting new developments on the horizon, Finch is eager to see what challenges the future will bring.

“Things are going extremely well,” she says. “We’re very busy, but we definitely want to keep it a very personal place.

“We don’t want the business to be this big, corporate thing. We want it to stay family-oriented and comfortable.”

Finch also hints that more expansion is imminent.

“I’ve also been getting into medical aesthetics,” she says. “I’m on the advisory board for the Okanagan College aesthetics program.

“Right now I teach laser hair removal through the college. For the last three years I’ve been working with them to try to offer advanced training in the medical aesthetics field, because there is no training in the discipline currently available in the Okanagan.”

For Finch, it seems, a successful business means strong family ties, a welcoming environment, and up-to-date training and technology.

And with three generations of Finch women in the laser aesthetics industry, it’s clear that Nicola’s Laser Studio has built a strong legacy that keeps people coming back.