Author Archives: Molly Brown

RealSelf Adds CFO and VP of Performance Marketing to Executive Roster

Jim Nida, Chief Financial Officer

At RealSelf, we’re proud to announce two new important hires to our executive team.

Jim Nida, our VP of Finance, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. We’ve also added Thomas Hickey as our Vice President of Performance Marketing.

Jim will continue to lead the company’s financial performance, focusing on growth, a role he’s held for three years. Prior to joining RealSelf, he was the CFO of EnergySavvy and held financial leadership positions at Microsoft and aQuantive.

Thomas comes to RealSelf from Amazon, where he led consumer and business marketing teams with the Amazon Local division. While at Amazon, he created several programs that helped the online retailer attract and retain new vendors and customers. At RealSelf, Thomas will be responsible for building the company’s performance and direct marketing program.

Thomas Hickey, VP of Performance Marketing

“I did consulting work for RealSelf and was impressed by both the company culture and the breadth of opportunity open to RealSelf in the expanding aesthetic market,” Thomas said.

“I recommended RealSelf to many of my former colleagues, and finally realized that I should take my own advice.”

As the world’s largest online aesthetic marketplace that helps people research, find, and engage with cosmetic and aesthetic professionals around the world, Founder and CEO Tom Seery is happy to announce the additions to our fast-growing company, a Glassdoor Best Place to Work for 2017. 

“I’m thrilled that Jim Nida is expanding his role as CFO and look forward to continuing to work closely with him to build a valuable, high growth, global business,” Tom said. “Jim’s leadership, dedication, and focus has been instrumental in helping us achieve and sustain profitability over the past five years, and he will continue to play an integral role here at RealSelf.”

“I’m also very happy to welcome Tom Hickey to the team,” he continued. “Thomas brings a fantastic blend of performance marketing and business development expertise to RealSelf that will serve us well as we expand into new channels in 2017.” 

Ready to work for one of the best companies on Glassdoor? See our open positions and apply today. 

RealSelf Makes Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work List for 2017

We made it!

Every year, Glassdoor announces the best places to work based on employee reviews, and we’re thrilled that we made the list for the first time ever!

RealSelf landed the No. 17 spot out of 50 on Glassdoor’s 2017 Employees’ Choice Best Place to Work list in the small to midsize category (under 1,000 employees). We also have the honor of being the top-rated company in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

This win is especially important to us because it is based on reviews. As we provide a safe platform for people to share transparent, honest feedback on aesthetic procedures, this honor reinforces our strong belief that reviews matter–whether coming from your community or your employees.

“A fulfilling moment for a team-oriented CEO like myself is to get feedback that your people feel connected to the mission and engaged with one another,” CEO Tom Seery said about the Glassdoor nod.

“The team has grown significantly over the past decade, and we have worked very intentionally to keep RealSelf a place where people can be themselves and create a culture that they want to come back to day after day,” he added. “To me, this award is an acknowledgment that this work has been and will continue to be worth the investment.”

To celebrate the Glassdoor Best Places to Work announcement, enjoy our latest video capturing a day in the life at RealSelf, and find out what unlimited beef jerky, office chihuahuas, and Flat Tom have in common.

We’re hiring! Please visit our Careers page to see what we have open for 2017.

Meet RealSelf Business Analyst Meredith Miller

We have a talented work crew at RealSelf, and occasionally, we’ll feature an employee who makes our team even more incredible every day.

Meet Meredith Miller, a business analyst on our growth and analytics team. In addition to her strong math background, Meredith has long held a passion for analyzing data, even as a kid comparing her swim times to her competitors (more on that later).

A Seattle native and graduate of the University of Delaware, Meredith has a bachelor’s degree in the science of economics, with minors in math and Spanish, plus an master’s degree in economics.

Meredith has been at RealSelf just over a year, but is already an essential part of the team. Here she talks about her background, what she does at RealSelf, and what everyone who’s thinking about a career in data should know:

How did you get into analytics?

I’ve always been very good at mathematics and statistics, so studying economics was a natural choice in college, as I wanted to find a field that combined math and practical applications.  

What did you do before joining RealSelf?

I worked in the economic research group at Zillow doing housing market research and managing data production. I previously interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture economic research service doing research into the assets and debts of low-income households and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participation in between stints in graduate school.    

meredith-millerWhat made you decide to join RealSelf?

I was referred by a former colleague who thought that I would get along well with Alan [Treanor], the VP of growth and analytics. I was especially intrigued by the possibility of joining a much smaller, still-developing organization and to have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the business. I liked that the company was still growing and learning, and I would be able to help figure things out as we evolve.

What’s your typical day like?

I spend the morning doing small things I can get done, like addressing requests from PR and other teams. Then I look at longer-term projects. I’ve been helping the product managers put together insights about new features we’re launching, especially in the app.

What’s been key to your career development?

What’s helped me out is that I’m naturally inquisitive and persistent. Being inquisitive is great personality trait for an analyst. I always want to know the “why” behind the “what” when we see things happen on the site, and find the logical explanation behind the numbers.

As for the being persistent, I think that you have to be patient, but my success as an analyst is really determined by the quality of the information in accuracy and succinctness I can provide to the product managers, and if I can give the people I’m working with clear, actionable insights into the questions they’re asking.

Meredith kicks back with the other Meredith (Russian) at the 2016 Ragnar race.

Meredith kicks back with the other Meredith (Russian) at the 2016 Ragnar race.

What do you always find surprising when analyzing data?

I just did a lot of research into trends in Seattle and Portland [Ore.], and you can definitely see a difference in interest with us in the Pacific Northwest and what we’re seeing in trends nationally. I thought it was really interesting to see a lot of things people in the Portland and Seattle area do research on have to do with the face/neck, as compared to the more body-specific procedures in other places.

One thing that is generally interesting for me is to learn more about innovation and the science in surgical and nonsurgical industries. People are constantly trying to improve their surgical techniques and make them more effective, and in the non-surgical space, a lot of research goes into creating those products and making them more effective as well.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in analytics?

I’d definitely say to have a strong background in math and statistics. I kind of had a weird elementary school experience in that we didn’t follow a particular curriculum, but did a lot of math and science and logic puzzles. I did a lot of math classes in high school and college and grad school, too.

I always loved numbers. When I was a kid, I was on the swim team, and I would research the times of the others I would be swimming against because I would want to see how fast I would need to swim to win. I like to win.

We’re hiring! If you’re a business analyst don’t hesitate to get on board with Meredith’s team by applying to be our next Senior Business Analyst or Business Analyst.

8 RealSelf Fellows to Support Reconstructive Surgery Efforts Around the World

This summer we announced our new RealSelf Fellowship to help fund trips for medical providers who deliver care and training in highly underserved communities worldwide.

Now we’re excited to present our first class of RealSelf Fellows, eight physicians dedicated to humanitarianism and bringing their knowledge of reconstructive surgical care and sustainable solutions to improve the overall quality of life in these locales.

Here are the RealSelf Fellowship recipients (in order of their trip’s departure date):

The impact of these trips will be far-reaching, primarily focused on providing reconstructive surgery free of charge for children and adults with traumatic injuries and correctable deformities. In addition, the teams will work to educate host-country doctors and medical staff to perform these complex procedures, as well as providing additional training in anesthesia, pediatrics, speech therapy, and nutrition.

The RealSelf Fellowship is an ongoing program open to physicians and surgical-care team members who will volunteer medical services or serve as volunteer educators to advance the skills of local doctors and staff. Fellowships can cover a wide range of needs, including hand surgery, burn reconstruction, microsurgery, and advanced cleft techniques, as well as anesthesia, nursing, orthodontics, and physical and hand therapy.

Giving back is at the heart of culture at RealSelf, and as we continue to grow, we are determined to find ways to use our scale for good, so our impact grows with us.

RealSelf evaluates applications twice per year. The next phase of applications for trips taking place after April 1 is open now, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017. Medical professionals interested in participating are invited to view eligibility requirements and complete the online application.

RealSelf Turns 10: Staffers Share How It’s Changed Over the Past Decade

Ten years ago, RealSelf launched in CEO Tom Seery’s spare room. Today, we’re a fast-growing company with over 130 employees located in Pioneer Square.

Getting from there to here has certainly been an interesting ride. From the early days of bringing your own fork to work (huh?), to champagne toasts of today, it’s been quite the journey. We have employees who have been here from the very beginning, to newbies who’ve only been here a few months. For our 10-year anniversary, we asked them to tackle two big questions: “What was RealSelf like when you started” and “What has changed the most?”

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RealSelf Community staff attend a Mariners game.

Sharon Walls, Community Engagement Manager

Years at RS: 10 

What was it like? RealSelf was still finding itself when I started. My first article was about SPF labels on sunscreen! The site was based around articles and first-person “as told to” stories. We were less focused on elective surgery and more focused on what women did to look their best.

Tom always had the mission to empower consumers through information.

What has changed? The site evolved from a single perspective (via articles), to having consumer reviews and doctor tips, which became the Q&As. I think the doctor involvement is what makes RealSelf truly unique. Consumers can get perspectives from fellow community members and also professional opinions from healthcare professionals all in one place.

Peter Krengel, Manager of Analytics

Years at RS: 3

What was it like? When I interviewed at the office near the ferry, they had just moved and there were half as many applicants as employees in the office that day because the phone lines hadn’t been installed yet.

What has changed? What’s changed the most is the sheer volume of work and progress the company is able to make on a daily basis. Going from 20 employees to 130 is nuts.

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Doctor Advisors at a spa day.

Maureen Ezekwugo, EVP Doctor Community

Years at RS: 6

What was it like? When I started in 2010, RealSelf was mainly unknown. Traffic was at 900K unique users a month, there were only about 1,000 claimed doctor profiles, our revenue model was fueled by Google AdSense, and Tom Seery carried a pink water bottle around to each meeting. There was no coffee at the office. No snacks, not even a fork.

You had to bring your own fork.

What has changed? Unique users have increased 10X, claimed doctor profiles are up over 12X, and we no longer have any reliance on Google AdSense to pay the bills. We have ample snacks, coffee and beer, a great following by both consumers and doctors, and Tom Seery has upgraded to La Croix and Talking Rain.

Most importantly, the talent and experience on our team has grown exponentially and continues to expand with some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with in my career.

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RealSelf staffers ran Ragnar, a 200-mile relay race through the Pacific Northwest.

Meredith Russian, Manager, Administrative & Billing Operations

Years at RS: 6

What was it like? When I started, there were seven of us in the office. There were a very conservative amount of office supplies. No one had monitor stands, so we’d stack up reams of paper. The only office snacks were coffee (if Maureen made it) and Talking Rain. There were basically three departments: Sales (four people), then the Dev team (two), and Community.

What has changed? The biggest change has just been the displays of generosity from RealSelf to its employees. The bigger and more successful we’ve become, the more RealSelf has been able to bless its employees.

Charlie Chu, Doctor Advisor

Years at RS: 1

What was it like? I started in July in 2015 and instantly loved the atmosphere and culture. I think we were around 60 people, maybe less?

What has changed? We are growing so quickly and it is exciting! The Doctor Advisor team has grown and developed a ton. When I started, we only sold doctor spotlights. Now we have a new and improved model, invited non-core doctors, renewed almost all our doctors, added business pages, and new treatments.

I love how our team and company is able to grow, adapt, and make an impact!

Debra Gravelle, Doctor Advisor

Years at RS: 4

What was it like? I was the fifth advisor on the team, and it was a very close-knit group. Because I am remote they keep a hangout open so I was always with the team. Even on a bad hair day.

What has changed? The number of employees has increased so much in four years that when I make my quarterly visits I always think, “When did all of these people show up” So now I get to be on a hangout for meetings and trainings, but don’t show my face any more because a bad hair day is my new norm.

Anthony Mendonca, VP of Engineering

Years at RS: 5

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What was it like? Much smaller! This is a photo of the developers’ office, just enough room for the four engineers we had at the time. This wasn’t even the first office, just two months before this, we had one developer, and we were squished into an even smaller office with everyone else.

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What has changed? Aside from the growth itself, it’s been amazing to see how our culture has flourished with every new team member that’s come aboard. I’m happy to be a part of this family.

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CEO Tom Seery.

Tom Seery, CEO

Years at RS: 10

What was it like? I liked that I got to work with my wife for the first, and probably last, time.

What has changed? My perspective on our purpose. It was an idea to empower consumers, and now is one that is about delivering on our mission to instill greater confidence.

See more of our 10-year anniversary celebration via #RealSelfLife on Twitter, and be sure to check out our Careers page and learn more about how you can help shape our next 10. 

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Summer Fridays: Getting Real at RealSelf

If you popped by our office after 3pm on a Friday in August and no one was here to let you in, we apologize!  This August our team got out of the office a few hours early each week to spend time with friends and family enjoying the Pacific Northwest summer.

We made the most of those extra hours, and got to know each other a bit better by Slacking the fun back to the team on #MyRealSelf.

Here are some of our favorite #MyRealSelf moments – we hope #YourRealSelf has a great Labor Day weekend!

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“#myrealself getting our Asian on!” – Mia Fahmie & Marie Thacker, UX

Blueberry farm

“Blueberry farm #myrealself & @Eva.Sheie” – Maureen Ezekwugo, Doctor Community & Eva Sheie, Practice Development

Sea...what---

“#myrealself and my really happy family having a proper meal. Grateful to have the extra time to be able to show this kiddo how to use chopsticks and eat seaweed!” – Patricia, Product & Engineering

#myrealself #mybroinlawsfiestabday

“#myrealself #myrealbroinlawsfiestabday” – Kelcy Heringer (middle, right), Market Development

#myRealSelf on a boat

“#myrealself on a boat.” – Kirsten Mann (left), Doctor Community

#MyRealSelf ...when I get home from the gym

“#myrealself…when I get home from the gym” – Finnian Durkan, Recruiting

Molly Surf

“#myrealself” – Molly Brown, Content

#myrealself volunteering at the school.

“#myrealself volunteering at the school” – David Berge, Engineering

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“#MyOtherRealSelf” – The Analytics team + Tobin (Doctor Community)

Sharing our #realselflife a day early!

“Sharing our #myrealself a day early!” – The Community Team

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“One week in and i’m already lovin’ it! Thanks everyone and I can’t wait to meet more of you all! #myRealSelf” – Fabio Pena, Finance

Join in the fun. Check out all our jobs

Giving Back: Celebrating the Start of School With a Treehouse Drive

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At RealSelf, we love to find ways to give back, and the Treehouse back-to-school donation drive seemed an especially great opportunity to contribute to our Seattle-area community.

An organization that supports foster children, helping to give them “a childhood and a future,” Treehouse has a strong focus on leveling the playing field for foster kids, so they can graduate on par with their peers.

A big part of feeling confident about going back to school is having appropriate gear and nice clothes. This year, Treehouse’s Wearhouse expects at least 900 kids and their foster families to come through its doors to prepare for fall classes.

During our two-week donation drive, we collected over 80 backpacks and 70 items of clothing.

There’s still time to help! If you’d like to host a donation drive or make a gift, contact Treehouse.

Learn more about RealSelf and all our giving efforts, including our new Fellowship for doctors. 

The Dogs of RealSelf

We’re a fast-growing company with 100-plus staff, but our favorite workmates tend to be our dogs. While every day is dog day at RealSelf, to celebrate National Dog Day, we’ve posted a few of our regulars seen around the office, coding skills optional.

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Name: Coconut Disco

Age: Around 3

Breed: Chihuahua with some Dalmatian, according to a questionable DNA test

Department: PR/Marketing

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “Even though I can’t type, RealSelf welcomes me with open arms as a member of the team.”

If I were a human, I would be: “The Queen.”

Maggie

Name: Maggie

Age: 10

Breed: Everything!

Department: Community

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “All the cuddles. Cuddles are my favorite!”

If I were a human, I would be: “A nurse. I love looking after people and making them feel better!”

pete

Name: Pete

Age: 10 (70 in dog years!)

Breed: Yorkshire Terrier

Department: Admin ops

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “All the people and the attention!”

If I were a human, I would be: “A ladies’ man. You would probably find me on The Bachelor.”

bone

Name: Bone

Age: 8 months

Breed: Golden Doodle

Department: Community

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “All the love.”

If I were human, I would be: “George Clooney before he met Amal — all the ladies love me, but I just won’t commit.”

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Name: Moose

Age: 5.5 Months

Breed: Field-line Golden Retriever

Department: Sales/Admin

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “Inhaling food and crumbs off the floor because I am a living vacuum.”

If I were human, I would be: “A happy wittle toddler.”

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Name: Nico

Age: 8

Breed: Alaskan Klee Kai

Department: E-mail and Analytics

Favorite part of working at RealSelf? “I get pet a lot and sometimes get to play with other dogs. I’m also not left alone, which is the worst thing ever.”

If I were a human: “I could take advantage of my looks and be a model (everyone thinks I’m adorable), or my springiness and be an athlete.”

Oscar

Name: Oscar

Age: 2.5

Breed: Chihuahua/Terrier

Department: Content

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “Smelling all the smells.”

If I were a human, I would be: “Justin Timberlake, a forever puppy.”

tully

Name: Tully

Age: 4

Breed: Italian Greyhound

Department: Doctor Advisor

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “The love I get from the ladies, and the reprieve from my 4-month-old Dalmatian sister.”

If I were a human, I would be: “Al Pacino, a small Italian man with lady skills.”

Lucas

Name: Lucas

Age: 8

Breed: Pomeranian-ish

Department: Recruiting

Favorite part of working at RealSelf: “Being with Mom all day. The leftover hot dog pieces on Occidental Avenue after game days are also great.”

If I were a human, I would be: “Wait, I’m not?”

Find out more about working at RealSelf, and all the other perks of our office.

RealSelf Takes Home Gold! Thrilled to Win the Best Workplace Award from “Puget Sound Business Journal”

It's official--we're the best place to work!We won! Last night, we were delighted to win the Puget Sound Business Journal‘s award for Best Workplace in the 100-249 employee category.

We were in good company. PSBJ gave top awards to just four companies out of the 80 that employees voted best places to work. RealSelf took the gold medal in the 100-249 employee category, while Moz took silver and BitTitan took the bronze.

PSBJ reported that employees at “nearly 300 companies throughout the state completed workplace satisfaction surveys.”

Our staffers joined nearly 1,300 other people at Safeco Field to celebrate PSBJ‘s Best Workplace awards. As you can see, we were plenty proud of our win!

Read all about us in the Aug. 12 print edition of PSBJ.

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Do you want to work for one of the Pacific Northwest’s very best companies? We’re hiring!

How We Choose to Give Back: CEO Tom Seery Talks About the New RealSelf Fellowship

At RealSelf, we view giving back as our social responsibility, core to our beliefs and culture. A guiding principle to our support of local charities and international medical volunteers is to seek out meaningful ways to make a difference in restoring hope, confidence, and a positive future for those who are most vulnerable and underserved.

We’re excited about the next step in our global giving efforts: the RealSelf Fellowship. This new program expands on our ongoing commitment to support physicians and other medical providers who donate their time and expertise in developing countries.

The origination of the RealSelf Fellowship concept

Particularly in India, we saw firsthand that when a person has terrible body or facial burns, it’s an incredibly challenging injury.

Contractures and injuries resulting from a severe burn are certainly improved after undergoing treatment by a visiting volunteer team of reconstructive surgery experts. But a single surgery does not restore a person to a normal path of life. Burn victims require numerous surgical procedures, often dozens, over long periods of time, plus physical therapy.

The need for reconstructive surgery in the world is vast, and the impact from our annual medical trip sponsorship is subscale with respect to the global problem. Billions of people in the world suffer from reparable conditions like cleft palates and hand injuries. This led us to ask, how can we have a broader, sustained impact in these communities?

Our fellowship concept arose from the fact that every day thousands of doctors engage directly with our online community. The fellowship is a vehicle by which we can help, encourage, and share stories about the humanitarian work these caregivers are doing and planning to do.

The RealSelf Fellowship program goal

Beyond increasing the capacity for medical care in the developing world, we want to raise awareness by telling more stories, like we’ve done in Vietnam and India. It’s not to campaign or raise money with our patient audience. We hope this opens people’s minds and hearts.

As we kick off the RealSelf Fellowship program, our goal is to award six grants, at minimum. In 2017, we hope to double this commitment.

Why the RealSelf Fellowship targets needs in developing nations

The most dramatic lack of care exists in developing countries. Zambia is a country the size of Texas, with about 14.5 million people and only one reconstructive plastic surgeon available to help people with injuries, congenital disorders, you name it.

Compounding these challenges are the disparities that exist among the most vulnerable populations of the world, people who have no resources, no money — they are really living on life’s edge. They have to cook meals over open fires with dangerous equipment. The injury rates and types of injuries are something we haven’t seen here for generations. That combination of factors makes the fellowship incredibly needed.

However, if a fellowship application came in from a place like Appalachia, and we became aware that there was an equivalently dire situation happening, we’d consider it. We’re not going to be close-minded, but generally we’re looking to help where there’s the most severe lack of access and quality of care.

Living our values  

One of our core values is to be continuously accelerating our rate of learning. Our fellowship program will, by design, offer us a unique window into the world of giving, humanitarianism, and the medical needs of people all over the globe. I can only imagine we’ll be humbled by what we learn.

Learn more about the RealSelf Fellowship and how to apply here.