Katherine Dee

Generate happiness for your employees as well as clients and make them feel highly valued and loyal


Katherine Dee is a Physician and the owner of Glow MediSpa. She is a native New Yorker who moved to the pacific northwest after touring the country as a young adult. She fell in love with the culture, beauty, and splendor of the area and it is her preferred home. Her love of nature and the outdoors came from spending her summers at an exceptional camp located on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

At age 17, Katherine started college at Yale University. She completed college and decided to take a year off before she went to med-school. It was during this time that she found her desire to move to the pacific northwest. She attended Med school in back at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. She applied for he residency where she anticipated she would eventually settle. As a result, she attended the University of Washington for radiology. She had her residency training at the University of California, San Francisco for breast imaging. Upon completion of her training, she returned to the University of Washington and joined the faculty as a staff member in the breast imaging department. She taught residents and medical students with a focus on breast cancer.

Katherine remained at the University of Washington until she was recruited by a private practice specializing in breast cancer, where she remained for the next 13 years. During that time, she had two physician friends who were getting ready to retire. They both spoke to Katherine about medical aesthetics and the practice they had opened ten years prior. They invited her to spend the day with them to see how their aesthetics practice functioned. It was an inspiration.

Katherine began her training at the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine in 2014. She successfully pivoted her medical career from a focus on breast cancer to the world of Aesthetic Medicine. Glow Medispa opened in July of 2016.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The name came from a dream when I woke up one morning. I wanted to have a place in my own neighborhood where people could come to and feel right at home. Kind of like the “Cheers” of medical spas. Which I really have been able to accomplish, I believe. People like being at Glow Medispa, not only my clients but my employees appreciate it as well.

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

My day starts at about 6 a.m. getting kids ready for school. After I have dropped my children off for the day, I head for the spa. I start my work day with coffee and catch-up on administrative work. There is such a variety of things that have to get done. I work with patients all day long, there are a lot of consultations and needle procedures. I squeeze in business management in my spare time and on my admin days once/week.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have to research EVERYTHING. When an idea comes up or my employees ask me about a new procedure or offering for patients, I have to learn all about that procedure and every possible alternative to it. I also find out about what my competitors are doing. I dive into the financials of it to see if it is financially feasible. I have a few guiding principles:

First, every procedure must be safe. Nothing in aesthetics is worth any permanent harm. It is just not worth it. Second, it has to be really effective and scientifically sound. Third, it has to come at a reasonable price for the patient and for us. Lastly, it has to be smart– we are dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients. So, if I look at something and think I would never pay for that then I won’t do it. I am not sure if other businesses have the same guidelines or principles, but this is what works for me. If the research is right and it makes sense and it makes everyone happy, I will make it happen.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Without a doubt, it is body sculpting with Emsculpt. We have been at the forefront of body sculpting from the beginning. There is a new technology called Emsculpt that was just FDA-approved. We are one of the first people in the country to have it. It is incredibly effective. With our previous body sculpting technology, we were at about an 80% satisfaction rate. We have nearly 100% satisfaction rating with Emsculpt. The changes happen quickly, it builds muscle and kills fat all at the same time. I think that you’ll see in the next couple years that it will completely replace CoolSculpting which is right now the most famous of all of the body sculpting technology.

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

I think that my strength is in my strong medical and scientific background and my ability to learn and comprehend. When it comes to researching devices and procedures, I have to know that the device is going to do what the manufacturers say it is going to do or you will not have clients that will come back. I think my drive to research everything allows me to know what is really possible and to set reasonable expectations. I find that a lot of other spas will go with technologies that don’t make sense to me. They don’t understand why it doesn’t work and the device ends up being an expensive setback. So far, I have made very good decisions.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would go back to tell myself to devote more time to myself and not to take life so seriously. I lost a decade or two devoted to working 100% of the time. I did not sleep, I immersed myself in becoming a doctor and focusing on my career. I could have found more time for the pleasures of life.

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

I pay my employees a very high salary and believe in profit-sharing. They are incredibly valued by me and they know it. I think that I provide great incentives for all of us to live well. I am not getting rich, but we are all happy and living well and my employees go above and beyond in order to provide the best service to our clients. There are very few doctors or business people who believe in doing business this way.

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

I meditate every day. I know people think it is woo-woo, but it really does help you focus. It has so many benefits like lowering blood pressure and helping to sleep better.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

What frightened me very much, in the beginning, was all the negativity on the internet. But I resolved that by asking every single person who leaves my business to write a review. We have a lot of happy customers and they are very generous with reviews. I found if you don’t ask, then the only people who write reviews are those with an axe to grind. Instead of running away from it, address it head-on with your real clients. We maintain a steady flow of referrals since everyone (whether referred by a friend or finding us by a google search) reads reviews before making an appointment. Just by making it easy for our clients to give feedback, we have developed a fantastic reputation on review sites like google and yelp.

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

The hardest thing for me was struggling to let someone go. Most of my people have been with me since day one. There have been three people who just didn’t work with us as a team at Glow Medispa. It took time for me to make that first decision, but I have learned to make these assessments much quicker.

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

I would suggest developing an all-encompassing family app. I have three 3 kids in 2 schools with sports, karate and music to juggle. I could use an integrated chat/calendar/GPS app which would allow everyone to see where everyone is at all times, coordinate pick-up or drop-off of kids, appointments, with a chat that allows everyone to communicate easily. There are calendar apps, but nothing that can integrate all these features across the entire family’s devices.

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

I recently purchased tickets to take my kids to Elton John’s farewell tour to celebrate my twins’ 14th birthday. We all can’t wait– doing Karaoke “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” in the living room in the meantime.

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

I use KanbanFlow. It is a project management and organizational tool. Everything I need to get done flows into and out of it.

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

The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. It is about what makes a positive experience for Life. How to create powerful moments, it is a positive way to shape your life.

What is your favorite quote?

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”
–Marie Curie

Key learnings:

● Generate happiness for your employees as well as clients and make them feel highly valued and loyal
● Value your own time and happiness
● Use science and research to inform the best decisions