With an eye towards beauty and aesthetics, Christine Adams (aka “Nurse Christy”), our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, has always been a go-getter. Back when she was a practicing nurse working in critical care, she started two side hustles—a cookie company and children’s accessories—before deciding to leave that side of nursing and move into dermatology and plastic surgery. After becoming a national injection trainer (teaching other nurses and physicians about skin injectables across the country), she wanted to have something of her own that incorporated safe, personalized patient care with artistic skill. Fast forward to SkinSplendid, a concierge medical practice for safe, aesthetic treatments in New York City and her hometown of Montclair. We chatted with this very busy mom of three to talk about the reason she launched a skincare line, what sets SkinSplendid apart from other med spas, and the Montclair bakery that feels like a patisserie in Paris.
Christine Adams (aka “Nurse Christy”) is the founder of SkinSplendid and our NJ Mompreneur of the Week.
Tell us a little bit about your family and background. I grew up in Cleveland and met my husband, Luke, in college. We got married right out of undergrad and went to grad school at Ohio State. About nine years ago, when my husband got a job in NYC, we started researching surrounding towns based on those with an excellent school system, and when we visited the schools, we all agreed that Montclair was where we should be. We have three children. Our son, Holden, is a junior in high school, Eliza is a junior in college, and Emma is a registered nurse and works at SkinSplendid with me now, which is why I’ve also created a residency program for nurses in my business.
You have your own line of clinical skincare products. Why did you launch this line, and how is it different from what’s already out there? We only carry skincare I highly recommend, like ZO Skin Health, Alastin, and some SkinCeuticals products. Still, I decided to launch our line because at SkinSplendid, healthy skin comes first, and our line is specifically about effective ingredients that really make a difference. We have Vitamin C and retinol products and a very gentle green tea cleanser that’s the best. When a new client comes to us, we put them on a skin care plan, and if someone has acne, rosacea, or another skin condition, we’ll address that before moving forward with any treatments.
Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week met her husband, Luke Adams, while getting their undergrad degrees. They married shortly after graduation.
SkinSplendid has been described as an unconventional aesthetic med spa. What does this mean to you? We’re a concierge aesthetic medical practice, which means you just don’t go to our menu and pick a service. We’re trained to access the skin and anatomy because what someone thinks they need isn’t always what will work best for them. We’re run by a board-certified nurse practitioner (me!) instead of being run by a business person who hires others to do the treatments. I’m the owner and also the medical provider. That’s different than most med spas that just hire people. Our strong point is accessing someone for what they actually need and giving them an honest view of what we can achieve together. We focus on skin health and small incremental changes for great results, and patient safety is our top priority. These are actual medical treatments–you need to be very careful about who you go to.
Please share the best and most challenging things about being an entrepreneur. It’s nice to be your own boss when you’re working towards your goal, but as much as that’s the best thing, it’s also the biggest challenge. Nobody tells you what to do and watches out for you, and if something falls through the cracks, that’s on you. It’s also challenging to get the right team on board–finding good people you can trust with your business is very important.
With locations in NYC and Montclair, does your best-selling service differ depending on the location? Botox, fillers, and facials are top sellers in both places. Small changes make a big difference, and it’s good when no one notices you’ve had anything done. Instead, they’ll notice you look rested, fresh, and just like yourself but a version of you on your best day. And it bears mentioning that in both of our locations, it’s not just the women who come to see us—about 30% of our clients are male. They want to look their best, too.
What’s your favorite thing to do in your downtime? I’ve always liked to stay busy. As a family, we like to travel, play tennis, and ski, and we’re big dog people. Also, I’ve always been into cooking and baking. Years ago, I even owned a cookie company, The Cookie Girl, known for giant, gooey, chewy cookies. Before that, I also ran a business called Yummy Clothes, a line of bibs and blankets made of plush fabrics. I was a practicing nurse for both of these businesses at the time but launched Yummy Clothes on the side when my son was born because I couldn’t find a classy, cool bib for him to wear. I also went to business school and got my MBA. As I said, I like to stay busy and get things done the right way.
Please share your go-to NJ businesses. I highly recommend Jayce Baudry French Pastry Shop—everything I’ve had, from the macarons to the eclairs to the cookies, has been so good that I always want to try something new there. For food, you can’t go wrong with Daikichi. It’s simple, clean, fresh, and reliable sushi, and the owner is a great person. Montclair has a lot of BYOB restaurants, and sometimes you want a nice cocktail, so we head to Faubourg for its excellent cocktail menu and fun atmosphere. And Pink Bungalow is the perfect place when you need something before heading to a baby shower or a cocktail party.
Where do you and your family go in NJ that you enjoy? We spend a lot of time working, so we’re usually either in the city or Montclair, but my husband and I both have boating licenses, so in our rare free time, we’ll head to Rumson and take boats out on the water. We also love the Jersey Shore, which is great in the summer. Sea Bright is a favorite.
What’s a great piece of advice for a mompreneur just starting? Just keep it simple. You can think big but put blinders on, stay on the path, put your head down, and do the work. Also, it’s a good idea to work for someone else in the industry to see how they operate and how you could make it better and use that knowledge to create your own version.