The husband-and-wife team of Drs. Jennifer Yap and Alvin Antony did not start out with plans to open a full-service spa when they opened Carolina Sports and Spine clinic several years ago at 800 Tiffany Blvd.
Little did they know then that the spa would evolve from the medical practice.
Today in the same office, they operate True Radiance Medispa, which promotes a full range of services and the fact that medical doctors operate it.
Angela Horne, who has nursing experience and works in the spa, said it came about when Yap became interested about a year ago in the fat-reduction capabilities of a machine that is designed to reduce pressure on joints.
“So with that, we started using that (machine) for fat reduction,” Horne said. “Dr. Yap is really into holistic health as a way that you can manage your weight and manage your health, by doing things that are good for your body, and losing weight, exercising. So she just became interested in this one particular machine, and then from that point it kind of spread. A lot of the therapies we were considering for therapeutic benefit turn out cosmetic aspects to them as well.”
Yap earned a bachelor’s degree at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and a master’s in public health from Columbia University in New York, focusing on wellness and prevention. She finished her medical residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Antony earned a bachelor’s at Duke University and then attended medical school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has worked in private practice and also has been a clinical associate at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He directs Carolina Sports and Spine, where he treats and evaluates musculoskeletal problems.
Horne said at the spa the doctors do not do surgical procedures, but they do injections, so it helps having doctors with a medical background doing the work.
“Everything that we do here is nonsurgical, but we do have laser treatments,” Horne said. “We do have a lot of injections. We do dermal fillers and Botox and another thing called ‘mesotherapy.’ It’s to dissolve fat in targeted areas, so you still have to have a lot of aseptic techniques and things of that sort. It’s still good to have someone that is qualified to do these injections. There is still the risk of infection and things of that sort.”
Q: What products or services do you provide?
A: Horne: We do Botox and filler, body contouring, laser hair removal. We do photo rejuvenation, which targets discoloration in the skin, like age spots or capillaries, and it corrects those discolorations. We have products that are used for skin tightening.
We also have full-service, medical-grade skin care, and we also have facials. These are not your average facials like you get at a spa. These are clinical facials that are comparable to chemical peels. We are truly a full-service medical spa.
We don’t just do your typical fru-fru things like other spas. We have doctors that are part of our spa and actually participate in our spa, not just in name only. We have medical doctors and I’m a nurse, so we are a true medical spa.
Q: Who are your key leaders?
A: Dr. Jennifer Yap, Dr. Alvin Antony and nurse Angela Horne.
Q: How many people do you employ?
A: We have the three of us. We share an office with Carolina Sports and Spine, so we actually have another girl, her name is Sherry Woolard, who will assist, if needed.
Q: What is your business philosophy?
A: We want people to look good, and we want them to feel good. Some of the things that we offer at our office are not just for beauty but also can make you feel better, so you are more active and your health can be better overall.
Q: What makes your business unique?
A: That we have true medical doctors that are on staff. We are a full-service medical spa. We have products and services that cannot be offered by other local spas because they do not have physicians on staff. You not only get the benefits of the spa experience, but you are also getting the benefit of medical treatment.
Q: How has your business grown?
A: It has grown. I was originally hired for the Sports and Spine. Now it’s gotten so busy with the spa. It used to be that 90 percent of the work was the sports and spine business and 10 percent was at the spa. Now it’s kind of the flip-flopped, where I’m at the spa 90 percent of the time and Carolina Sports about 10 percent of the time. For the most part, the majority of my time is spent with the spa, and we actually have another location that is opening up in the next month or so in Wilson.
Q: What kind of growth do you expect in the coming years?
A: I want not to be the only full-time employee, so I hope that we grow at least enough to hire several more full-time employees.