The Beauty Of Business: starting with sisters Lisa and Vanessa Creaven from Quay Dental and founders of Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips
They’re the beauty-obsessed women who are leading the way in the Irish cosmetic industry today. They dreamed big, worked hard and now they are reaping the rewards as their beauty brands continue to thrive. From hair extensions guru and make-up expert to anti-aging advocate and teeth whitening duo, find out how these inspiring women got their start as entrepreneurs, starting with sisters Lisa and Vanessa Creaven from Quay Dental and founders of Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips.
Further proof of the strength of family partnerships in business is sisters Lisa and Vanessa Creaven, whose teeth-whitening product has taken Ireland by storm. “This is my best friend,” Lisa says, nodding to Vanessa. “That’s why it works, we are sisters and we are friends, we work great together.” The pair have always been close, setting up their own practice together after Lisa set a trend for dentists in the family, leading to two sisters and one brother following her into the profession.
“Six years ago, Lisa set up the practice – she took it over from a retiring dentist and at that stage I was just finishing college. I worked in Dublin for a year or two after that and then I came home and worked with Lisa about three years ago. Then Alma, our other sister, came to work with us in the last month or two so she works with us three days a week in Galway and works in Dublin for a couple of days,” Vanessa explains.
The sisters’ business focuses heavily on cosmetic work, as well as standard dentistry, and both rave about the benefits of treatments such as Invisalign in their adult years, which gave them the Hollywood smiles they boost today. “We both had Invisalign,” Vanessa enthuses. “I had braces when I was younger but the real reason my teeth shifted in adulthood was that I stopped using my retainer like so many other people. I tell everyone to use their retainer and yet as a teenager I didn’t use mine. So, I used Invisalign for about ten months and then they were perfect again.” Irish people aren’t known for their amazing teeth, which the girls put down to our genetic heritage and lack of treatment availability in Ireland, however they say things are changing now with more and more demand for cosmetic work to achieve the perfect smiles. “Today we are more focused on our appearance, how we look, what shape we are in, how we dress… and teeth are a huge part of that,” Vanessa adds. “And everyone is entitled to look like the best version of themselves, there is no shame in wanting to look good.”
A big part of the allure of these treatments is the confidence they give patients, and with teeth whitening credited with giving a younger looking appearance, it’s no wonder their product, Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips, were an almost instant success. What sets it apart, Lisa reveals, is its ingredients. “It is the only product in the market that contains hydrogen peroxide which we know as dentists is the only active ingredients that could possibly whiten teeth,” she says. “A lot of our patients were quite worried about sensitivity, but people feel they can trust the product because we have designed it, we know it and we know that it will work and it’s not going to hurt your teeth. At €39.95 it’s affordable too.
“The current thinking is moving away from blasting your teeth with strong peroxide, and using a little bit a lot more often which is much better for your teeth long term. As you get older, if you keep blasting your teeth like that, they will get extremely sensitive and over time you can wear away the outside layers so even though you are whitening your teeth more, they end up yellower.”
Eager to expand their business, the sisters are adding a new product to their brand, and the Spotlight Teeth Whitening Toothpaste will be on sale in the coming months. Despite so much going on, Lisa is about to add baby number two to the mix also. She’s already mum to daughter Julia, so she’s not worried about having too much to juggle.
Instead she credits her family support and the love of her business with making it all worthwhile. “I thought when I had my first daughter that I would be feeling hard done by when I came back to work early, but it showed me that I love my work and I enjoyed coming back,’ admits Lisa. “It’s a balancing act but I am lucky I have lots of support. I enjoy both aspects of my life and I would never be without work or Vanessa.”
Tomorrow we will be meeting Jane Swarbrigg from Inglot Makeup or pick up the latest issue of RSVP magazine, on shelves now.
Pictures below from right to left, Sabrina Ni Concubhair, Onagh O’Driscoll, Lisa and Vanessa Creaven and Jane Swarbrigg. All will be featured online in the coming days