City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Beauty, Humility and Empowerment

A Sit-Down with Greenwich Medical Spa Founder, Marria Pooya

Article by Laura Sabia

Photography by Melani Lust Photography

Originally published in Greenwich Lifestyle

In a world driven by aesthetics and a desire to look and feel one's best, Greenwich Medical Spa has emerged as a beacon of innovation and excellence. Founded on the principles of deeply personalized care, this renowned establishment has redefined non-surgical facial and body contouring treatments, consistently delivering results that align perfectly with their clients' aspirations.

The spa's remarkable success, however, is not solely attributed to its cutting-edge treatments but also to the compassionate vision of its founder, Marria Pooya.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into Marria's humble beginnings and her commitment to giving back and empowering women, shedding light on the heartwarming journey behind Greenwich Medical Spa's rise to the top 1% of medical spas nationwide.

GL: Tell us about your upbringing? 

MP: Growing up, I always felt like I was living two lives. I was born in Kabul Afghanistan and came to the US when I was 9 years old. My mother was very strict with us and would not allow us the freedom that most American girls my age had.  We couldn’t hang out with our American friends, go out to the movies or do after school activities. So I had to play a more traditional Afghan role at home and try to assimilate when I was in school. It was very difficult but made me stronger. 

GL: Could you share with us the most significant lesson you acquired during your upbringing? 

MP: Coming from my particular background and being a girl, I encountered differential treatment throughout my early years. I was frequently told that I couldn't pursue certain endeavors simply because of my gender. I often heard criticisms about being too loud or asking too many questions. As a result, I had to continuously advocate for myself to attain my goals in the face of such gender-based obstacles. 

What I learned was that labels don’t mean anything. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

GL:  What are some jobs you held while growing up?

MP: After college, I was a financial analyst for an investment bank on Wall Street,  I was also the Director of product development and marketing for a color cosmetic line, where I helped develop, brand and launch two color cosmetic lines nationally and internationally.

GL: What inspired you to start a Med Spa? 

MP: Having our second child and realizing I cannot be a stay at home mom,  I have always loved the beauty industry, and covered them as an analyst on Wall Street.  So I bought a Radiance Medspa Franchise 18 years ago.  I was the 8th franchisee at that time.  Radiance Medspa Group had a great story/vision at that time, however Radiance did not have the experience to carry out that vision as they did not have any operating stores.  I got out of our franchise agreement and changed our name from Radiance Medspa to Greenwich Medical Spa. 

GL: What were some obstacles you encountered?

MP: In the beginning it was definitely educating the market about what is a “medspa”.  18 Years ago, there wasn’t a medspa in every corner of the street, like we have today.  We had to educate the customer that we are actually a medical practice that is set in a spa like environment.

GL: What were some of the challenges you faced during the initial years of your entrepreneurial journey? 

MP: A big challenge was managing our costs. This business has very high overhead as we hire professionals such as medical doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform our services, in addition, the lasers we use are very expensive.  So in order to succeed, I needed to be resourceful and efficient.   

And, managing our employees was definitely a challenge.  My background was on wall street and product development. I didn't have managerial experience and really didn't know how to coach and engage our employees in the beginning. I thought, like wall street, you just pay them well and they will do what you ask them to do.  I learned that treating people the way you want to be treated applies to business as well as personal relationships.

GL: Tell us about your partnership with Girls with Impact (GWI)?

MP: Our goal has always been to empower women to become strong and independent in all areas of their lives.  That is why we have aligned with Girls with Impact. GWI is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to empowering young girls through entrepreneurship and leadership training. We have helped raise funds for 5 scholarships so far this year to help change the future of young women like Shain, who graduated this year and Amhya who recently entered the program. 

We want to continue to support local charities and women’s organizations that align with our mission so we can continue to make an impact in our communities. Approaching leadership and team building effectively requires a combination of skills, strategies, and a genuine commitment to promoting a positive and productive work environment. One of our goals is to create a GMS Scholarship to help support younger women to fulfill their educational dreams. 

We want to continue to support local charities and women’s organizations that align with our mission so we can continue to make an impact in our communities.