Women Who Inspire: Claire O'Bryan
Claire O'Bryan is an adult nurse practitioner, business owner, podcaster, and so much more. She has almost 10 years of experience as a cancer provider in surgical oncology at MUSC, and has worked in many areas of the health industry. She and her husband, Ed, traveled the world on medical missions with his organization, One World Health. Claire is the co-founder of The Skin Clique, which provides in-home professional aesthetic treatments and offers the first medical grade skincare subscription box. She is also the founder of DabbleCo, a collaborative blog and podcast featuring female medical providers that seek to give you accurate information on health and wellness that is based on science. If you haven't listened to her podcast yet, we highly recommend doing so immediately!
FOLLOW HER @dabbleco
The Skin Clique: www.theskinclique.com
The DabbleCo Podcast: www.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dabble-co-podcast/id1501379260
Q&A with Claire
Who has inspired you and helped shape you into the (amazing) businesswoman you are now?
My brother is actually an incredible businessman, and watching him grow and become extremely successful has been so much fun. He has always been an entrepreneur and that's not something I thought I was even wired for until recently. He is an inspiration. Also friends like Stacy, Halle Tecco and Dr. Allen truly have shown me what's possible as a woman in business.
If you had to pick one thing…what would you say has been the key to your success?
My parents instilled a work ethic in us as young children. We were always working to earn our allowances, I started filing charts to make money at my dad's office when I was like... 11? And as soon as we could drive we had jobs. They never just handed us whatever we wanted, and as an adult I can see how invaluable that was to shaping the work ethic of their 3 kids. I also loved watching my dad practice and learned to love medicine from a young age.
Tell us a little about your role within The Skin Clique and the other ventures you are involved in, including your awesome podcast for Dabble Co.
A couple of years ago, an old friend of mine approached me and asked if I’d like to start injecting with her. I knew I was ready to leave my incredibly stressful job in an academic cancer setting, and do something lighter. The rest is really history as my husband and I joined Dr’s Sarah and Keels Allen to start this practice. The Skin Clique is so much fun and such a great creative outlet for me. I love practicing in this way, creating my own schedule and giving other women in medicine the flexibility and freedom to do the same.
DabbleCo was born out of what I felt was a desperate gap in knowledge in how women access information. I started on Instagram, but really quickly stopped devoting so much time to a platform I felt like was ultimately not how people were best reached. The podcast platform allows for more nuanced conversations to be held without all the drama of internet trolling and misplaced anger. I really believe most people will understand the other side’s point of view better when they can actually hear the tone of one’s voice. Tone is critical, and social media does not allow for the use of tone. I love having a podcast, it really is a blast. I also love giving others a place to share.
What is the biggest misconception about skincare that you have to educate people on?
2 favorite points:
1) Luxury skincare is expensive but it’s not better. Drugstore and medical grade is the way to go!
2) Everything, including water, is a chemical.
What are the top 3 things you always recommend as “must-haves” for skincare?
The holy skinity: Vitamin C, SPF and a Retinoid
Everyone’s talking about pivoting as the key to success during these crazy times. How have you pivoted to continue to support others?
Well, I made a random pivot in December of 2020 and just thought ... maybe I can do something a little different around Christmas? I ended up raising over $100,000 for families with children at MUSC and the Ronald McDonald house, and it was an absolute blast. I had literally thousands of supportive messages and the community really rallied around the movement - not just in Charleston but people were reaching out from all over the country doing the same thing. It was pretty wild!
How does fashion empower you the way you empower others?
As comfortable as scrubs are, really nothing makes me feel more professional and confident than wearing a well put together outfit. I started shopping at Hampden about 10 years ago and I have never looked back. Every piece of clothing that I have ever purchased here I still have and can continue to incorporate into my wardrobe, and I love knowing where the clothes came from, supporting the designers and teams that made them, and using fashion in a sustainable way.
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
Easy, casual, fun.
What fashion trends are you most excited about for Spring right now?
Leather! I have some leather shorts I love and I’m excited to bust 'em out. Also I just really hate winter and winter clothes and I hate every sweater known to man so I’m excited to just move away from that in a general sense…
Who are your favorite designers at the moment?
I love everything Sacai and Tibi, always. I’ve loved Lee Matthews lately and love Clergerie and Isabel Marant’s shoes!
What are you most hopeful for?
Nerdy but I’m so hopeful after getting the Covid vaccine and seeing the incredible results that have come with it. The entire global medical community has been working towards the goal of return to normalcy in 2021 and I think we are so close to that.