Naked Laser, like others, faced uncertainty, possible closure, and restrictions throughout the pandemic. Luckily, local business resources supported the company and even helped it expand.
Four years ago, Emily Thias opened Naked Laser to be her own boss and to gain flexibility in her schedule while raising her family of six. The aesthetics company makes their clients feel comfortable and confident in their skin by providing skin treatments, hair removal, spray tans, and lash lifts.
“It is a lot of fun, when you find your passion, and especially in a community like Grande Prairie, that supports it” said Emily.
When Naked Laser faced challenges from the pandemic, Emily accessed many services offered by the Business Resiliency Taskforce (BRT), a collaborative response to the pandemic from the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, and Grande Prairie Community Futures.
First, Emily accessed the BRT’s Advisory Services Voucher Program, to invest in bookkeeping services through 3Sixty Business Services and human resources support through Caseley Consulting.
“The help that I received with Caseley Consulting helped me understand what I should be looking for in future employees and the standards I needed to set with them.”
These supports helped Emily build her business until she was ready to transition to the next level, co-locating and partnering with Oranj Fitness Grande Prairie.
“I had talked with the CEO, probably a year prior, but it just wasn’t the right time. But during COVID they had to let go of their childcare options, so space became available.”
The success of her transition led Emily to expand her business into two more Oranj Fitness locations in Castlegar, British Columbia and Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Her success was bolstered by taking the Digital Marketing Training program offered by the BRT in collaboration with nine10, a local digital marketing agency. The training taught Emily how to grow Naked Laser’s social following, enhance their visual brand, run effective marketing campaigns, and setup a powerful website.
“The training helped me establish myself in a trying market. It gave me perspective on branding, website and social media, and all of the behind the scenes work you might not have thought about.”
The expansion of Naked Laser continued with Emily starting her own skin care line, Naked Skin Essentials. She continued to access local business resources and connected with Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network (GPRIN) who provided a grant to develop the skin care line and introduced her to a bio-industry laboratory out of Edmonton, Alberta helped Emily formulate a key ingredient for her new facial wipes.
“GPRIN gave me access to a grant that was able to help me research, formulate, and manufacture the wipes in Edmonton, with the goal of manufacturing the wipes here in Grande Prairie.”
“I’ve found the people who I have connected with in the community are more than willing to help and continue to help point me, as a business owner, in the right direction”
The future for Naked Laser includes further establishing themselves within the community, expanding their Naked Skin Essentials product line, and bringing the manufacturing of her face wipes here to Grande Prairie.
You can find Naked Laser within Oranj Fitness, located at 101 - 10302 67th Avenue on the south side of Grande Prairie.