Building a legacy
Beauty is one thing, but to have a beautiful heart is another, and Angela Espie and Jo McDonald are two women who know the value of both. Having struck up the strongest of friendships, they have become more like family as they build the lives they’ve always dreamed of and deserve.
“Our kids are incredible little humans, aren’t they?”
In the midst of sharing but a glimpse of their tumultuous lives, Angela Espie stops and reflects, reaffirming the sentiment with her best friend and business partner, Jo McDonald.
The two met while working for a large company, during which time they were being sold the ‘corporate dream’ of earning a wonderful wage, but it came at a cost.
“Because they pay really good money, you find it really hard to leave. But you have to work really hard for that, and emotionally you’re a different person. You work late, you eat a lot more take-out; our kids suffered big time,” Angela says.
“We worked six to six most days, my daughter was in before school care, after school care, 12 hours a day she was in care, with school in between.
“It put it in perspective when a promotion came up and I said to her, ‘We have two options, I can go for it and we stay another year and we go to Disneyland, or I leave, go part time and look at doing something with Jo. There’ll be no holidays, but I promise I’ll pick you up every day from school and drop you off every morning’, and she chose that. I cried.”
For the sake of Jo’s three sons aged six, 15 and 17, and Angela’s 10-year-old daughter, Jo and Angela decided things had to change, and they traded their fast-paced and high-paying lifestyles for part time work and more time with their families.
“In our past we’ve both been wealthy, both had successful businesses and both lost the lot, both been divorced and have ex-husbands with the same name and we’ve both been on the poverty line,” Jo shares.
“Yes, we’ve had our tough times and some massive life challenges, but the bottom line is that in our 30s and 40s we have met each other and we have created something that not many people get to create, and you have to be grateful.”
The beautiful creation they’re referring to is La Clinique Sunshine Coast Endermologie in Mountain Creek, which since opening in September last year is already setting industry standards, with the pair writing international protocols for La Clinique services, drawing on Jo’s experience in natural medicine, and Angela’s nursing background.
“We want to make sure clinics across Australia, whether it be ours or another one, are following the same guidelines. A lot of our treatments, if used incorrectly, can cause damage. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean there’s no downside – if you do it wrong there can be consequenses,” Angela says.
Unfortunately they speak from experience, having witnessed the questionable use of equipment while previously working at another health clinic in Queensland. As a result, Jo and Angela contacted the Australian Endermologie distributor, which then invited them to France to learn how to use the machine correctly, with the aim of raising the standard in Australia.
Upon returning home, Jo and Angela perfected their technique, using each other as ‘clients’ for eight months, upon which time they achieved unprecedented results.
“Our industry colleagues are asking how we’re getting such good results,” Jo says.
“We’re revolutionising a whole industry. I know 100 per cent that Jo and I are the best therapists this side of the world. Our results are phenomenal,” Angela adds, sharing she has experienced life changing results after having a double mastectomy three years ago.
“We have decided to open our clinic at 9.30am because it means we can drop our kids to school every morning. If there’s a problem we can talk to them in the car because that’s the chat time – you solve all of your family issues in the car. It’s a time when they’re safe, it’s just you and them.”
“I had no feeling in my chest after the surgery, and have pockets of fluid in my back and my arms get swollen.
“The treatment Jo has been doing combines Endermologie and a few other things and I now have feeling; I have full movement now.”
Along with the obvious health benefits, Jo and Angela also want to help women feel more beautiful, which was something they adopted while in France.
“To watch French women is humbling. They are so confident and beautiful and without being magazine beautiful, their souls are beautiful because they are happy with who they are. They love themselves so much,” Angela says.
“These women take care of themselves. Their mothers have taught them – stop rushing, get ready, have long lunches, meet with your girlfriends after work. Nothing about their lifestyle is the same as Australia.
“They live very differently and that inspired us to try and bring a little bit of France with us and inspire other women.
“People ask us what our secret is, but we don’t have a secret, we’re just genuinely kind and we love women and we think all women deserve to be celebrated for the beauty they are, just like they are in France. Women don’t have the issues over there like they do here, they prop each other up.”
This is why they are so passionate about helping girls from as young as 11, through to ladies in their 80s, understand how beautiful they are.
“Between what we’ve been through, a woman will come in here and we understand, so immediately we’re on the same page. We don’t even need to do or say anything, the fact that we get where you are, they feel like this is safe,” Jo says.
“We love that you don’t have to be in pain to have beauty and it works. It’s the first of its kind in Australia and it’s like the hottest little secret! We have clients from Hong Kong and LA who fly in for treatment.”
What began as a move to become better parents and improve their family’s quality of life, has turned into an incredible business opportunity, one that their children are excited about and want to be a part of.
“I feel like we’re demonstrating you’re never too old to put your teeth into something new and you’re always an example,” Jo says.
“My daughter doesn’t know how to explain Endermologie and when people ask what her mum does, she says, ‘My mum and Jo make women feel beautiful and when they’re finished they’re not even afraid of the mirror anymore’, and that’s exactly what we do,” Angela says.
“She comes in and sees us do that for people and it’s incredible for us to expose all of our children to that, especially her because she’s a girl.
“As women, it’s our duty to make sure the next generation doesn’t suffer like this.”
For more information, visit laclinique.com.au.