Ever looked in the mirror and thought you wouldn’t mind looking more well-rested, or refreshed? Maybe you’d like to eliminate those “elevens,” the lines between your eyebrows, or minimize the look of crow’s feet. Or maybe after endless hours on Zoom calls, you’re ready for a facial “tune-up.”
If so, you’re not alone — the demand for facial plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures like cosmetic injectables designed to make people look, and feel, like better versions of themselves has never been higher. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, about 1.4 million non-surgical and surgical procedures were performed on patients in 2021, an increase of 40 percent over 2020. The most popular procedures performed on women are neurotoxins like Botox® and fillers; neurotoxins are also the second most commonly requested procedure by men.
Meeting a Growing Demand
While demand for these procedures is high, it can be difficult to locate a convenient qualified provider or find the time to schedule an appointment at a medical spa or dermatologist’s office. Pinch is a new Chicago-based company that gives clients the opportunity to have neurotoxin or filler treatment provided by advanced practice nurses (APNs) like nurse practitioners in their own homes.
Pinch is the brainchild of Jacob Avraham, MD, a Chicago-based physician. Avraham has been practicing medicine for about ten years and received an MBA in 2015, which helped set the stage for an entrepreneurial endeavor. “I moved back to Chicago in 2019 but when I was in New York, I worked with many advance practice nurses who would ask about supplemental income opportunities,” he says. After getting his MBA, he began exploring the market of cosmetic injectables, which is expected to double in size in the next five to seven years. “I thought we could put together an opportunity for NPs, and fill a market need,” he says.
With inflation at 8.6% over the last 12 months and national gasoline prices in the $4.50/gallon range (but closer to $5.50+ in Illinois) , there couldn’t be a better time to launch Pinch. “We use exclusively advance practice nurses [as Pinch Providers] and we know there’s an interest in supplemental income,” says Avraham. “This is one of the highest margin opportunities for them.” Yet there are four major barriers to entering the field. Only a licensed physician can buy the injectable products, and an ANP must have insurance and training to inject the products. Finally, they must market themselves and locate potential clients to launch a business like this.
Providing a New Income Stream for NPs
Pinch eliminates these barriers, providing APNs with the product, training, insurance, and marketing they need to become Pinch Providers. Interested APNs apply on the company’s website and attend an in-person training session. They also watch proprietary training videos and review a provider handbook that covers procedures and safety protocols. They must pass competency reviews, background checks, and credential confirmations before signing contracts to become Pinch Providers. Then they can immediately book appointments with friends and family through Facebook or go “public” and open themselves up to appointments from other clients.
Iesha Coleman is a nurse practitioner who works full-time at a med spa in Orland Park but decided to join Pinch as well. “I picked up Pinch on the side and thought it was a great opportunity,” she says. “I’ve never heard of a company performing injectables at home, like a home health nurse, and I thought it was a great idea.”
Rochie Estrella, a cardiology nurse practitioner, is another new Pinch Provider. “My kids have skin allergies, so I got interested in dermatology, and I’ve had a long interest in skin in general,” she says. “Pinch is really shaking it up … and it’s interesting to bring it [treatment] home instead of clients coming to spas. It’s a little more personal, which is nice. It’s definitely an exciting field to get into.”
Benefiting Clients as Well
In addition to the convenience of having treatment at home, Pinch clients know that their injectors are highly qualified, well-trained APNs. Pinch sources its products directly from manufacturers, so there’s no worry about product quality. Pinch Providers use a neuromodulator called Xeomin®, which has a lower rate of allergic reactions and takes effect more quickly than Botox®, and Belotero, a hyaluronic acid dermal filler that fills in fine lines and wrinkles.
“We chose both of these products because our number one priority is safety,” says Avraham. “Doing these appointments is completely safe because we stay away from products that have a higher risk of getting you in trouble, and we keep the injections focused on common but low-risk areas of the skin.” He adds that there is a 24/7 safety hotline Providers can call at any time, and they also carry reversal agents that can be deployed immediately if necessary.
Sarah Machemer, a personal trainer in Chicago, recently had her first Pinch appointment. “I typically would go to an office to get Botox, and then I moved, and it was really far,” says Machemer, 42. “The provider comes to you, and this is so much better… I don’t have to take time out or find a new provider in my neighborhood.”
Machemer was impressed with the professionalism of the Pinch Provider who treated her. “She made me feel very at ease,” she said. “I told her I have some crow’s feet and frown lines and have been getting Botox since I was 30 … she said, ‘we’ll treat this, and here’s what we’re going to do,’ and made me feel at ease. And the price was really good for coming to the house and not having to go to my doctor.”
Her Pinch Provider also told her to give the treatment a few weeks, and if she wasn’t happy with something, she’d return to do a touch-up. “I’d 100 percent refer my girlfriends to Pinch,” says Machemer. “I have friends who have kids now and have a friend who has a newborn, so for someone like that, this service would be perfect.”
Pinch is launching in Chicago and will be expanding into other cities throughout the country soon. With its unique model and convenient, safe, discreet treatment for clients, it’s a business that’s poised to meet the growing demand for cosmetic injectables.