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CEO / FOUNDER

SOFIA AMIROVA

I was born behind the Iron Curtain in a beautiful but small country, whose name at the time was the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic —bordered by Romania on one side and Ukraine on the other. Growing up in what was a communist country, the idea of a woman owning and operating her own business wasn’t something that was encouraged or even considered possible.

 

But my Dad knew it was something that was part of my destiny from early on. He tells me that ever since I was little, my feet were always on the move and that I loved to dream and create. He saw steely determination in my eyes and business strategies in my mind. Growing up, my relationship with my Dad was something special. Even when I was young, he empowered me to think about the future and dream of possibilities. But, I didn’t make it easy on him. From the age of 5, I’d often disappear from his sight without warning. He would have to run up and down our local street, wondering “What is she up to now?” —only to find me sitting next to the grocery store with a bucket full of apples, Daddy, I’m selling apples.

Amirova Cosmetic Clinic
Dr John Holbrook

DR  JOHN HOLBROOK

Dr John Holbrook studied medicine at the University of Sydney. Originally from the United States he came to Sydney to get a Master’s in International Public Health and felt in love with Sydney. He worked at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as a part of Multiple specialist teams including dermatology and head and neck surgery.

 

He specialises in minimally invasive facial aesthetics and believes in a patient centred approach focusing on the unique aesthetic of each individual and hot to best highlight those facial characteristics which define the aesthetic of each patient.

 

He is a member of the Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine (ACAM). He completed training with Merz, Galderma and Allergan in their individual academies for facial injectables as well as with the Derma Medical. He is married with two little girls. He loves travelling and has worked in public health in Rwanda and Brazil.

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My Dad believed in me —but he also understood deep down that if I were to achieve my dreams, I’d need to leave my home country. As reluctant as he was, he supported me in my decision to travel halfway across the world to the land of freedom and opportunities —Australia —where I could work in turning my dreams into a reality.

I arrived in Australia in 2001 as a 16-year-old with very little English. I began my studies, but everyday life was strenuous. Still, I felt blessed and fortunate to be invited to this country, and I vowed that I must make use of every opportunity that came my way. In Brisbane, I graduated as a nurse in 2009 with a post-graduate degree in orthopaedics.

In 2013, I decided to collaborate with one of my friends to help her set up her business —and so, I moved from Sydney to Perth. This was a turning point in my life I would say, where I gained an insight into business, and witnessed my friend transforming her dreams into a reality. Having helped her set her own clinic, I felt inspired and I realised that yes, it could be done, and yes, there is never a better moment than the present to do it. So I felt it was about time that I did what I came here to do. I said to myself: “If I want to open my own business, there’s no better time than right now.” And I set out on my journey. With just one dream in mind, I moved back to Sydney and began contracting from one clinic to another —gathering knowledge, insight and experience in the industry. Those of you that have had the challenge of opening your own clinic can understand just how hard the process can be. For me, I started with my own savings so I needed to be as careful as possible.

I had my eye on one particular location in Rosebery, and I began imagining how amazing it would be to open a clinic in there. It had been vacant for 10 years and was thoroughly unloved —but I had such a clear vision of what it could be.  After 2 years of driving past, I finally gathered enough courage to call the real estate agent and make an appointment for an inspection. My budget wasn’t very high, so I was hoping the builder would agree to my terms and conditions. In reality, I actually left him with no choice. After the assessment, he gave me an estimate of the cost, and I said to him “Listen, I don’t have the money but you are going to help me and you will start the renovations in 2 weeks.”

I named my clinic Amirova. Most people think that I’ve done this just because Amirova is my family name. But I specifically chose it to honour my Dad. To show him that what he saw in a 5-year-old girl in a small country on the other side of the world had actually become a reality. It took me 10 years, but with hard work and a clear vision, I was able to do it. And it is his family name on this business. I look at it every day and think of him.