FARGO — Melissa Rogne, founder and president of Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic, 3301 45th St. S., is about to start a new chapter in life and business.
The Page, N.D., native has entered a partnership with ADMI (Aspen Dental Management Inc.) to open medical aesthetic clinics across the United States that are modeled after her Fargo clinic.
In September, she'll rebrand the Rejuv Medical Aesthic Clinic as Chapter Aesthetic Studio. Before the end of 2021, she'll open a Chapter Aesthetic Studio in Rochester, Minn. Clinics are also planned near Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y.
"We have about 10 other clinics planned throughout South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska for the 2022 pipeline," Rogne said. "At the end of 2022, we should have around a dozen clinics."
'It was really serendipitous'
While Rogne has expanded her clinic several times since it opened in 2005, she's never made the leap to open a second clinic. It was not for lack of opportunity.
Rogne said she was approached by several real estate developers to open additional locations over the years, but she did not want her flagship store or her personal life to suffer.
"I thought, 'I'm going to get to three locations and I'm going to struggle. My stress level will go up and my quality of life will go down,'" she said. "It wasn't for me, so I never did it."
What's different now is the support she'll get from ADMI.
ADMI already has three business platforms under its umbrella: Aspen Dental, ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers and WellNow Urgent Care. Rogne said the company recently identified medical aesthetics as another line that would be "a really great fit for their core competencies, which is providing infrastructure to scale health care platforms."
Initially, she said ADMI hoped to partner with a business that had 10 to 15 locations with the goal of taking them to 100 locations with their support.
Rogne said it was serendipitous that she was speaking at an industry conference in January of 2020 attended by ADMI representatives for the sole purpose of meeting medical spa owners.
They approached her after she spoke on a medical spa owners' success panel. They began discussing a partnership, but then the pandemic hit.
Rejuv, like many other businesses, closed its doors when COVID-19 reached here in March.
Rogne received a call from ADMI shortly after she reopened in May. They asked how Rejuv was surviving, and Rogne shared that she was in the process of closing out a record month.
That news prompted a visit from Robert Fontana, chairman, CEO and founder of ADMI.
That was when things started "feeling real," Rogne said.
One thing that really impressed Rogne about ADMI was that it is not managed by a large private equity group.
"It's still founder-led. He (Fontana) started with one dental clinic just like I started, so we met and really shared that philosophy and vision," she said. "He understands the small business owner, and he loved what I had done."
Rogne said things moved quickly after Fontana's visit.
"That was in early June and by September 30th we had signed the partnership agreement with the intention of taking what we've built here and bringing it across the country," she said.
In a statement to The Forum, Fontana called Rogne a "fearless pioneer in her industry."
"With a growth mindset and innovative spirit, we are poised to make state-of-the-art, non-invasive services and medical aesthetics care widely accessible through Chapter Aesthetic Studio, so everyone has the means to feel good, from the inside out. We are very excited to form this partnership with Melissa, who has grown the largest medical aesthetic services clinic in the upper Midwest — one that's largely acclaimed throughout the industry," he said.
Rogne said one of the things that excites her most about the partnership with ADMI is the opportunities it will provide her staff.
"This just opened up career paths that I would never have dreamed of for my team. That just gives me goosebumps," she said. "I get excited because now they have paths to VP and executive level jobs that I couldn't have offered them before. It's going to be Fargo magic. We're spreading it everywhere."
Rogne said new hires will visit the flagship store in Fargo to learn about Chapter Aesthetic Studio's culture, values and purpose.
"That was really important to me going into it was how to maintain what makes this special. It's not just the services we offer. You can throw anything on the menu. It's really about the team culture," Rogne said. "Our purpose — why we exist — is really to spark joy. We take that seriously. We have a lot of programs built around that concept," Rogne said.
Their values are defined by the acronym FACE:
- Fun: "I am a firm believer that we should have fun. Life is short. You need to enjoy what you do," Rogne said.
- Excellence: "If we're going to offer it, we're going to be the best at it or we shouldn't do it," Rogne said.
Rogne and Fontana share a goal of making aesthetic services affordable and accessible for everyone.
"As a brand, I always talk about turning the page on the aesthetics industry and really redefining what people think aesthetics is and who they think visits aesthetic clinics," Rogne said. "I'll tell you after 21 years in the industry, it's not who people think. It's everybody."
Their goal is to make Chapter the No. 1 aesthetics studio in the country.
"We're going to do that by bringing our services to the everyday person and removing barriers," Rogne said. "We'll make it affordable and give them an experience where they can feel comfortable and safe and know they'll be listened to and respected."