Feste x JECT
I grew up in traditional American skincare family where there was a 1980’s approach to skincare. Good skin meant tan and tight and just making sure it was washed. Like most American women my age, your first foray into self care is in makeup, not necessarily a 12-step nightly routine.
It was a huge culture shock when I started at Fresh as the global head of store design and visual merchandising. While good merchandising and design is universal, skincare merchandising is deeply different than fashion, requiring a different approach to education for the guest, a focus on efficacy, and a very touch and try familiarity with the product and the packaging. I was suddenly in charge of creating guidelines for the most sophisticated skincare consumer markets in Europe and Asia. It was clear that my casual relationship to sunscreen was not going to cut it.
I remember an early trip to Shanghai to meet with my new team. I arrived, blonde, tanned, and with over-the-top lash extensions. My design lead took one look at me and said, “you’re the most American person I’ve ever seen.” Despite my generally optimistic patriotism, I’m not sure it was a compliment.
As someone who has always worked in events, generally operates on very little sleep, is happiest in the sunshine, and never says no to a glass of champagne, I am an aestheticians worst nightmare (or my local Sephora’s best customer). Caring for your skin after long international travel, after a late night of bubbles, after staying too long on that sailboat without a hat is not for the feint of heart.
That’s why when I found JECT, it was a true revelation for me. Specializing in medical-grade treatments for people who want to look their best, and who prioritize prevention, proper maintenance and a lot of self love, JECT has modernized medical aesthetics. Located in NYC, the Hamptons, and Connecticut, their beautiful spaces make it easy to maintain your skin. Party at night? Preventative maintenance during the day.
This week, we’re chatting with JECT Founder and all around cool girl, Gabrielle Garritano about all things beauty, bubbles, and how to look glowy, no matter how late you stayed out.
What is JECT?
JECT is a medical aesthetics business with a modern focus on cosmetic injectables (Botox and fillers) and medical-grade skincare (microneedling, chemical peels, IPL, etc). We have locations in West Village, Upper East Side, Rye Brook, and out in the Hamptons, and we see a large demographic of people of all ages. This is all we do––no need to compete with other appointments at a doctor’s office. We have highly trained medical providers with extensive medical training who specialize in medical aesthetics, and it’s like anything else, the more you do it the more of an expert you become.
How did you get started in medical aesthetics? What pushed you to start your own company in JECT?
From a young age, I loved making people feel more confident about themselves. I used to make at-home facial masks for my siblings and was one of the go-to girls for beauty advice while living in a sorority house with 70 other women. Throughout my young adulthood, I began to realize a pattern: when people feel good about themselves, they carry this positivity to all facets of their lives. I also began to change my mindset around feeling and looking good; it was a part of my self-care rather than a sense of vanity. I first fell in love with medical aesthetics when I was in college. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and while I was studying to go into the medical field, my mother’s plastic surgeon invited me to work with her. I was immediately intrigued by the satisfaction found in making someone feel more confident, in addition to the artistic attention to detail seen from one patient to another. I decided to move to New York City for graduate school with the intent of working at a top medical aesthetics practice.
Prior to founding JECT, I worked alongside several of New York City’s top plastic surgeons and gained extensive experience in injectables and skincare. After years of working in Manhattan in plastic surgery for a decade, I began to see that these services were only available to the top echelon of society, creating a huge gap in the market. For decades, medical aesthetics have been thought of solely for older generations and the rich and famous. They also seemed super expensive and taboo to the younger generation. On the other hand, I saw day in and day out that the people who were getting these procedures loved the results and were aging much more gracefully than the people who weren’t getting preventative Botox and filler treatments. As I was entering my thirties, so were my peers, and it seemed like everyone was all of a sudden asking me, “when should I get Botox, does it hurt…” It was clear to me not only was the price of injectables still an issue for a lot of people, but many knew very little about these procedures. I decided to leave my Upper East Side practice and founded JECT in the West Village in early 2019. I went from the white gloved doorman building with classical music on 5th avenue to a smaller space that seemed much more warm and inviting, a place you may want to even bring your friend to check out after work or over the weekend. And from a personal perspective, I know when I look my best, I feel my best. And when I feel my best, I am my best in all aspects of life. I truly believe modern beauty has changed. Real beauty comes from within and having the confidence to be your best self. Being pretty isn’t about looking like some influencer or celebrity, it’s about looking smooth, natural, and healthy-looking. My journey hasn’t only been about boosting collagen, but boosting confidence. It was about being the best, my most radiant self. And it was about empowering others to do the same. When I look back at how JECT was started, it truly was by pure hustle and passion. I had to be an advocate for myself in order to grow my client base, but then over time, my clients became advocates for me, and that passion radiated without any effort. I am so fortunate to have a talent that I am extremely excited and passionate about. I know one thing we have done well is understanding our customers, and it has been so important for our team to understand what every single client is experiencing when they walk through the door. The key to our success has been always putting our customers first, providing them with the best experience possible, and continuing to build an extremely special and talented team.
What did you consider when designing the JECT space? How did you want it to feel?
For many clients, JECT is more than just aesthetic treatments but rather a source of confidence and empowerment. Our spaces are warm, inviting, and sophisticated and many clients often bring their significant other, a family member or a friend because they love JECT so much. We actually have adjoining rooms that we can open when our clients do bring someone with them to their appointment, so they can both be treated at the same time!
When designing the spaces we wanted it to feel very inviting yet elevated. Our locations have become a destination for our clients and many of our clients come in saying how excited they’ve been to come in and see us, and often spend more time with us vs. a quick in and out. Our approach is very personalized for every single patient we see, and we try to address all of their concerns even if it is over several appointments. We have convenient night and weekend hours, and our locations were selected by design––we know convenience is key.
Do you like to entertain? What are your go-to hosting practices?
I am a very social yet busy person, but I do love entertaining when I can find the time. I would like to spend more time entertaining in the months to come, thanks to Feste inspiring me! My go-to hosting which is typically a simple spread with wine most often occurs when I am out in the Hamptons over the summertime. There is nothing better than a delicious cheese board and wine pairing with a stunning sunset.
What treatment would you recommend to someone to inspire confidence before a big event?
Cosmetic injectables are a great place to start several weeks to months prior to the event. As we age, we lose volume in our face, which creates lines and wrinkles that make us look tired.
We use a combination of treatments to smooth out these lines and add lost volume to improve the overall dimensions and contour of the face, giving a natural, rejuvenated appearance. The days of frozen faces are over – instead we help give clients a natural look with cosmetic injectables. Our clients often tell us how much more well-rested and rejuvenated they look after an injectable treatment. A couple of weeks leading up to the event, I’d recommend medical-grade skincare treatments like chemical peels, microneedling, or Aquagold. These are great options and often go hand-in-hand with injectables. Peels improve texture, decrease hyperpigmentation, brighten skin, and reduce fine lines, breakouts, redness, and acne scarring. Aquagold is a 24k gold micro-dosing technology that infuses a personalized cocktail of wrinkle reducers, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and more into the deepest layers of the skin to shrink pores, and brighten skin and give an overall glow. There’s no downtime involved with Aquagold or a light chemical peel, so you can book a few days leading up to the event.
What is the best party you’ve ever been to?
The best party I’ve ever been to is a wedding I attended in Brazil. It was definitely the most extravagant event from the decor, flowers, dresses, music, and food. There is something special about dancing late into the night in another country where English is not the primary language for the majority of the guests. The late-night espresso and dessert bar and DJ were the highlights for me.
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