Business founder & mother of five Ellie Borgelt leads a busy life, yet always has time to consider style & fashion as an important part of preparing for the day. In 2014, after years of perfecting her skills in Dentistry in Venezuela, Australia & London, Ellie launched The Dental Spa Bondi, an experience offering a complete solution in dentistry & facial care. In a male dominated industry, Ellie created an experience that far surpassed anything seen before & after six years, the practice has grown to service thousands of loyal clients & received numerous accolades. X Files speaks with Ellie about where her journey began, managing her time between her successful business & family & of course the importance of style & dressing for success.
Briefly describe your childhood. Where did it all begin?
I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela. I grew up in a culture obsessed with beauty. You walk down any street of Caracas at 6 am and women from all walks of life will be perfectly coiffured, manicured, pedicured and impeccably made up. No wonder why Venezuela has won the most Miss Universe pageants in history! My fashion inspiration came from my mother and my grandmother. Venezuelan women are vain, but also intelligent, spirited and strong. Grandma always taught me to never leave the house without lipstick and my mother has always been my fashion icon. Even though she was a gynaeco-obstetrician, she always looked impeccable even when wearing scrubs. So as a little girl, I always dreamed of being a doctor like her with a great sense of fashion!
Please unpack your career journey.
While I was studying Dentistry in Venezuela, I met an Australian boy through mutual friends and two years later in 2001, after completing my degree, I moved to Australia with him. Upon arriving in Australia, I enrolled in the rigorous program for overseas trained and in 2004 I completed the accreditation from the Australian Dental Council to become registered in Australia. I got a job as a Dentist for a big corporate organisation straight away and my career as a dentist in Australia began.
After settling well into my career for a few years, we decided to start a family and we moved to London for 2 years where I had my first child. A year later I got pregnant again and we made the move back to Australia before my second child was born. I went back to work as a Dentist not long after that and 3 years later my third child was born. Juggling a career and 3 young children was definitely very challenging. I had two jobs in different locations and no family around to help. I always wished I could open my own practice to allow me more flexible working hours so that I could spend more time with my children. Working women always have the difficult task of being mothers while trying to maintain a career.
When did you begin The Dental Spa in Bondi & how did you know that opening your own business was the right move for you?
The Dental Spa was born in 2014, after finally deciding that it was time to go on my own. The Dental Spa concept came from the idea of offering dental and facial services under one roof. Dentists work on people’s faces all day so doing further training on facial injectables seemed like a brilliant idea to offer a more holistic approach to my patients’ needs. I completed the extensive training for dentists from the Australasian Dento-facial association (AADFA) and became a registered facial injector. As most patients are scared of the dentist, I wanted to create a dental surgery like no other. A female-practitioners only dental surgery with a spa feel, where women and mums like myself are able to be discreet about their facial needs having it all done while visiting the dentist.
Ellie wears: Proenza Schouler Ruched Bustier Smocked Dress in Ivory, Bottega Veneta Twist Curve Heels in Bordeaux & Paco Rabanne Adjustable Pendant Necklace in Gold & Chain Link Bracelet from Parlour X.
As a professional, you & your business' offering surpasses any of your competitors. Please describe the services you provide?
I have a lot of competitors in the area, the thing that sets me apart is that I’m a small family run business and I don’t have associations to any corporate organisations. The Dental Spa is a boutique dental practice, which enables me to reach my full potential as a dentist while providing high quality care and high level of customer service. Most of my patients are working mums with young families like myself who want to have their families dental needs met but also their facial needs. My kids go to the same schools as my patients, so that gives me a real sense of being part of the community.
What has been the most rewarding & the most challenging aspect of running your own successful business?
I set up my practice from scratch, with no existing patients in our data base. A few patients started coming through our doors, quickly the word spread and 6 years later we count with thousands of patients!. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so the most challenging aspect of running my own business has been finding the balance between being a clinician and overseeing everything that gets done in our practice, from our accounting, the marketing, to the day to day aspects of running a business. I go to great lengths to ensure everyone that comes to our practice has an enjoyable experience and everyone that works for me has the same philosophy.
How do you find balance between your work & personal life?
I have remarried earlier this year and I now have a blended family with 5 kids. It is a juggling act managing a very demanding career and a young family, but being my own boss has enabled me to organise my time wisely. I’m a very organised person but I also count with the support of my husband who oversees the financial aspect of the business.
Please describe your daily routine?
My daily routine starts with waking up at 5:30 am to pack my kids lunch boxes and school bags, get ready for work, drop my kids off at the bus stop and arrive at work by 7:30 am. When I arrive at work I have a quick breakfast, do my hair and makeup and I have a morning huddle with my staff to ensure the day runs smoothly. We sit our first patient in the chair at 8 am and my last patient is at 5 pm. I then rush to get the kids from after school care, get home to reheat our already prepared dinner, baths for the kids, homework and bed time stories for all 5 of them. I then get some time to talk to my husband about our days and I always allow some time for window-online shopping before bed time. I try to exercise at least 3 times a week before work on the days our kids go to their other parents. For that, I have a personal trainer at the gym and on Fridays I enjoy a costal walk to watch the sunrise. On the weekends I’m always busy running around doing kids sports, taking our dog for walks in the park and riding bikes with our kids. I also enjoy cooking and baking all the meals for the following week.
What are your favourite brands from Parlour X?
I love shopping at Parlour X as they stock all my favourite brands and their customer service is the best. As I don’t have a lot of time to go shopping, they are always so accommodating of my time and they also deliver any online purchases on the day. I usually wear scrubs to work, but given we have 5 kids our weekends are always filled with social events and I enjoy preparing my outfits in advance. My fashion style as a busy working mum is “cool and comfortable”. Even though I put a lot of effort in planning all my outfits I don’t like looking like I do, so I always try to find a balance between simple but stylish pieces. My favourite brands from Parlour X are: Isabel Marant, Maison Poi, Saint Laurent, Magda Butrym, Fendi, Chloé and Valentino.
What is next for you?
I would like to expand the business one day and open another practice at a different location but while my kids are still young I prefer to keep practicing as it is as it gives me the flexibility I need to attend to my family needs.