Edna Ma

Schedule your time and plan ahead. Time is the only commodity that everyone has the exact same amount everyday. Use it wisely.


Dr. Edna Ma, MD is a board certified anesthesiologist and mother of two. As an entrepreneur, she launched BareEASE, a prep kit that numbs the skin before bikini waxing or laser, in the same way skin is numbed prior to placing an IV in a child. In an attempt to raise money for her start-up, Dr. Ma accepted the challenge and opportunity to compete as a castaway on the hit reality TV show SURVIVOR.

BareEASE was recently featured on the popular TV show SHARK TANK (Season 5). The publicity from Shark Tank resulted in a partnership with a private equity group.

Dr. Ma is a regular contributor to the Mommy MD Guide book series and author of Travel, Learn, and See your Friends 走学看朋友, a bilingual illustrated children’s book.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

BareEase is a prep kit, used BEFORE waxing or laser hair removal, so grooming the bikini area doesn’t have to hurt. I had my first Brazilian wax a few years ago and it was an eye-poppingly PAINFUL experience. And as an anesthesiologist, a physician that specializes in pain prevention and management, I knew there was a simple solution to this painful problem.

Any physician that takes care of children, knows we numb their skin before starting IVs. We numb the skin before circumcisions. And we EVEN numb the skin before vasectomies. So why couldn’t we numb the skin before a bikini or Brazilian waxing? This was the motivation behind BareEase. I basically applied a common technique used by physicians, applied a twist to it and created a new category in the beauty industry.
How does BareEASE work? I made my prep kit safe, effective and easy to use.

The user wears the kit BEFORE her appointment, and when she is ready for her service, she removes it and her skin will be ready for an ouchless procedure. BareEASE can be used BEFORE either Brazilian or Bikini waxing or laser. Our patented cream and system was designed to not only numb, but to moisturize and soothe the skin to minimize skin irritation.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Usually I am awake by 5AM, no hitting snooze for me! By 6A, I am at work, interviewing and preparing patients for surgery. By mid-afternoon, I am picking up my children from school and rushing home to prepare dinner, homework and bedtime routine. After the kids go to bed, I work at my computer, sending emails.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I try to bring two seemingly different worlds into one. For example, with BareEASE, I brought the pre-op numbing technique in children to the beauty/waxing/hair removal world. With my children’s books, I am attempting to make Chinese easier for non-native speakers to learn with their Children.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Lots! I’m excited about the future, I’m excited to see my children grow and see the wonder in their eyes. What “trend” excites me most is globalization. The world is smaller now than it use to be. I hope we, as citizens of the planet take care of her.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Don’t press the snooze button. Makes lists!
Schedule your time and plan ahead. Time is the only commodity that everyone has the exact same amount everyday. Use it wisely.

What advice would you give your younger self?

30 isn’t that old and it’s ok if you don’t have it all figured out yet. 🙂

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Being on time is late. (I’m compulsive about being early!)

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Don’t give up on yourself. I ask myself, “How can I make XYZ happen?” There has got to be away. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I apply this philosophy myself!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Aim high. Reach for the impossible and if you get to 80 or 90% of your goal, be grateful for your successes.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I guess it depends on how you define failure.
noun: failure:
lack of success.

By some accounts, I have some set backs, but nothing I would clearly label as failure. I think the use of “labels” can be used to one’s detriment. Instead of “Failures” I prefer to use the term “learning opportunity!” And I’ve had plenty of those!!

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

It would be great to have a business/service that connects product manufacturers to retail buyers. This process should be streamlined. But from the buyer perspective, it would be probably overwhelming to have a barrage of products! And retail space is limited!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A massage, the time during the massage forced me off my device and relax for the 50 minutes. During that time, I came up with another story plot for my children’s book!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Google calendar: to synch the schedules of my husband and two children and all their activities!
Voice to Text: I rarely actually text with my fingers anymore!
Podcasts: Love them and makes my commutes easier

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. I read this book in high school and it really made an impression on me. We are egotistical by nature, this book really put in perspective the importance of connecting with people around us. In the business world, even though much is done on-line and the virtual space, it is easy to forget that on the other end of those communications is a human being, just like us!! And all forms of businesses are fundamentally about creating connections!

What is your favorite quote?

Don’t think “I can’t do something.” Think HOW can I make it happen?

Key learnings:

  • Time efficiency. As a mom of two, a spouse, and physician and entrepreneur, you’ve got to make time. It’s like squeezing water from a raisin.
  • Borrowing from Tony Robbins: Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in a decade.
  • Make a goal and write it down. I call it my to do list.
  • If you trip and fall, dust yourself off and get back up again. IT will be ok!