Female Feature Friday: Sara Camp of Camp Plastic Surgery
We are back at it, bringing you another Female Feature Friday. We are so excited to be sharing a new amazing Girl Boss every week. The inspiration behind this series was to highlight the brilliant women running small businesses in an effort to inspire other women to bring their talents to the table. We can do it all, ladies!
Sara Camp is another amazing Fort Worth woman! I met her after moving to Texas and just loved the personable and inviting business she and her husband have built together. I truly admire how she balances motherhood, marriage, and her business. She’s amazing!
LET’S GET DOWN TO (SMALL) BUSINESS:
Name and Job Title
Sara Camp - Business and Marketing Director Steven Camp MD Plastic Surgery
Briefly describe your business
Our business Steven Camp MD Plastic Surgery is an exceptionally beautiful plastic surgery practice with the most amazing staff and patients. My husband, Dr. Steven Camp, and I began working together 3 years ago and have truly enjoyed each day working together. Additionally, we are part owners of OrangeTwist Medspa of Fort Worth, Texas
Did you always know that you wanted to be a business owner?
Goodness no!!! I had always worked in healthcare (either at the bedside or on the research side), but always felt like something was missing. I didn’t love “working for the man” and felt like my creativity was being stifled. People would talk to me about getting into healthcare management because I was a good people person, but it was just not my love. When Steven kept coming home unhappy with his prior work life I decided that we could do this on our own better than working for someone else. With this, we could be our own CEOs, enjoy our successes and failures together, and absolutely make a difference in our day-to-day happiness.
What was your first real job?
It is crazy, but my first real job was as a Registered Nurse at Duke University Medical Center in the cardiac surgery ICU. I was very blessed by my parents who let me get through school without financial worries. My dad told me that I had my whole life to worry about work and he was able to get me through this time where I could just focus on school at TCU. Go Frogs!!! But imagine, I am a brand new baby nurse and a brand new baby employee trying to figure out life at the very prestigious world of Duke University. There were many calls home to my parents wondering if I could be successful. There were many many hard days, but it did teach me my strength and ability to persevere when all I wanted to do was run home to Fort Worth.
Why is small business so important to you?
Some of my closest friends have been made by meeting them in their small business. I love feeling that connection and knowing someone is putting their heart and soul into something 24/7. With our small business there is never an “off switch.” We are always coming up with new ideas and ways to excel and love life while we work. I truly believe that small businesses are the backbone of America and can allow people to live the American Dream.
What motivates you to keep going on the less than awesome days?
I have the most amazing support in Steven, our staff, our family, and friends. I was recently reading an article that explained that the happiest marriages exist when the couple is honestly proud of each other for their accomplishments. Steven is my biggest cheerleader and correctly knows when to push and when to just give me a hug. Those less than awesome days usually end with us on the couch sharing a little wine and talking through the day. Also, laughter helps too. Have you seen the BowTie Babes at work? I mean, those girls just keep me laughing all the time. We have a super open and friendly relationship where we know when someone needs to be lifted up or send a hilarious GIF to help lighten the mood.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
In short - go for it. There is no perfect time and so many early mistakes will be made. But if you have the heart for it, take a chance. Of course, prepare yourself correctly. Don’t make the early mistake of not pulling in professional help (lawyers, accountants, finance). Yes, this may cost you a few house payments, but not the whole house a few years later if you skipped this step.
Also, read your booty off!!! I spent over a year just reading, meeting with experts, listening to podcasts and webinars, attending seminars, etc just to be ready to pull the go-lever on our business. I still do this today. I am always, always reading a business book, taking a finance or marketing course, meeting with local experts, and attending every conference I can get to with our schedules. Steven is a HUGE meeting person. In plastic surgery, I think they have some sort of national or international meeting each month. He rarely has missed one since he became a surgeon back in the early 2000s. Here he fills his mind and heart with friendships, good lectures, deep discussions and of course laughs with his plastic surgery buddies.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what/how did you learn from it?
I have made a ton!! Probably my biggest mistake was staying too long at a job that I loved but pulled me away from our kids Zoe (7) and Winston (5) too much. I was either traveling out of state or on email/conference call every night. My last meeting was in Boston and I will never forget it. I spent almost the entire trip crying in the bathroom. I had to give a really important multi-million dollar presentation with bloodshot eyes and a stuffy nose. That was when I knew I had to walk away and get back to family. The next day, I flew back and promptly resigned. My boss was beyond understanding and we still keep in touch to this day. At home, Steven was amazing and said, “you know I have been waiting for this. Now you can help me start my business with all you learned at this job, but you get to do it here with us and for us.” So I learned that sometimes the timing isn’t right and you have to let your ego go to make the right decisions for you and your family.
What has surprised you most about running a small business?
How much I enjoy going to work everyday. I actually can’t wait to get there in the morning and see what greatness we can create together.
Who have you looked to for advice and mentorship?
My parents are great mentors. My dad retired from the Star-Telegram as President and Publisher right after Steven and got married in 2007. He has such amazing advice and friendship for both Steven and me as he has closely worked with thousands of businesses in the DFW area. My mom, Birdie, gives great mom mentorship on how to raise my littles and how to not sweat the small stuff.
I so enjoy the people I have met in aesthetics that have been in our field for a long time. With all the meetings we have, it is never hard to sit down with someone over a glass of wine and talk about your situation and get great advice.
One of my greatest mentors was my boss Dr. Kevin Lobdell whom I worked with when I was a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery. He helped me to grow so much in my professional life; taking walks each day to talk about a patient situation or business idea. We still keep in touch even though I had to leave that job when Steven finished surgery residency in 2009.
I also look to my mom friends for kiddo advice. I have loved that both of my kids are in sports so we can have weekly practice and weekly games to catch up with the other moms. We laugh, scream on the soccer or baseball field, and get to grow up together.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in small business?
As a woman I have been blessed to never feel “held back” for being a woman. I have actually had incredible opportunities in work life. What I have struggled with are the people that judge me for not staying home with my kids. I had to work through that when they were little and understand that I am showing my kids that anyone can accomplish their dreams if they work really hard, find support, and understand when to shift as needed.
What is it like working as husband + wife?
It sounds super cheesy, but we love it. We have our moments, of course, but all-in-all we have a blast together. Without question, Steven is my very best friend. I still to this day after 13 years together get butterflies when I pull into the garage and Steven’s car is there. As I said earlier, each thing we do for our business is for our little family and that makes every day worth it.
How do you balance duties of running your business and being a wife/mother?
We are pretty non-traditional. Steven made fun of me last week and said, “you don’t even know how to cook toast.” In other words, he is in the kitchen most nights making the magic happen at the stove. I am an expert at microwaving chicken nuggets and slicing strawberries for the kids! For the most part, I am the one responsible for getting the kids ready for school, to activities, homework, and bed.
The biggest help though is having my parents nearby and a great nanny that I fully trust. Our kids are really a part of the business. There are evenings where we bring them up to office or spend nights at home going through paperwork. Zoe is so smart and really has a huge grasp of what we do each day. She does crack us up in her expertise around skincare and the different types of breast implants. Or we will hear her telling her friends that her dad can’t make it to do Friday Reader because he has too many “cases.”
We try to find time for quick family vacations where we can get away just the four of us to reconnect and recharge.
Having been to the office and met your team - you have an incredible team. What advice would you give someone on hiring?
Thanks for those kinds words. We do have the BEST BEST team evah!!! Be incredibly vigilant on making sure you want to spend your time with this person. Yes, background and experience are important, but do you like the person? I have made mistakes hiring in my past and it was usually here. We are spending hours together everyday in a small office. So spend the time together and make sure you mesh well.
How do you get your name out there?
At first, it was with a lot of traditional advertising and continues some there but has transitioned into happy patients being our biggest advocates. I believe we treat people the way we want to be treated and this translates into patient friendships that are long lasting. And of course, people love following our antics on Instagram at @stevencampmdplasticsurgery. It cracks me up how I will introduce myself to someone around town and they will say, “I already know you because I follow your husband’s page.” Or someone will high five one of the kids and say that they liked their recent story on the page. I do believe that getting your name out there is all about being authentic. If all we did was sell our products or services on instagram, our following would not be great. It’s the same with Sip Dine Design - y’all tell the best stories, show yourself at home just being you, and make it loveable where we can’t wait to see the next thing. I am excited about a new video project Steven and I are working on so you will get to see more of the Camps in everyday life. Fun times to come!!
What’s next for Camp Plastic Surgery?
We are actively looking to bring more staff on. We put the job out there last week and have just 5 days later over 700 resumes. We are also trying to figure out how to continue to work with local small businesses. During TCU football season we did Friday Pop-Up Shops with local boss babes and had great success. We made great friendships here and can’t wait to try some more collaboration soon.
LET’S GET THE SKINNY ON Fort Worth:
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO FORT WORTH?
My family has been in Fort Worth for 7 generations. My grandmother, Dottie, graduated from TCU in 1935, actually. While my family moved from Fort Worth to California when I was 9, they moved back right after I graduated from high school. I graduated from TCU in 2001 and then left again. I lived in Durham, NC, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Salt Lake City and Laguna Beach before moving back to Fort Worth in 2011. We had Zoe and knew we needed our family support back in Texas. We have both loved being here and feel like we are home.
BEST TACO IN FORT WORTH?
OMG this is hard. Any taco that goes with a margarita on the rocks with salt. I love Taco Diner, Velvet Taco, Mi Cacino, Meso Meyo, Mesero, Joe T’s, The Original, Fuzzy’s, and Torchy’s. I literally could eat tacos daily.
BEST QUESO IN FORT WORTH?
See last question... margarita :)
FAVORITE MARG IN FORT WORTH?
Oh ha!! I hadn’t even read this question when I was answering the prior two questions! I really love MiCocina, Mesoro, and Joe T’s margaritas. Uber for sure though!!!
FAVORITE STEAKHOUSE IN FORT WORTH?
I have a kindness in my heart towards Del Friscos. Steven and I met in August of 2004 in Charlotte and flew back to meet my parents in October 2004. We went to Del Friscos and had the most magical night. We still try to sit at that table in the corner each time we go back. I do love Capital Grill too!! Best customer service and StoliDolis.
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A DAY IN FORT WORTH?
I honestly love being at work as much as I love being at home with my littles. As long as I am doing something engaging with my brain I am happy. I do love going to the kids sporting event or riding bikes with them. I love a good sunny day too to go down to Colonial and swim and every so often hit balls on the driving range (and we need to do that more)!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER IN FORT WORTH?
Fort Worth is all about relations. I knew that growing up a publisher’s kid. Back then, the newspaper was so much a part of the community and my dad was full of friends and connections. He taught us that being a friend is the most important thing because people will switch job, but the friendships will stay. If you want to succeed here you can - just be nice :)
TELL US 3 OF YOUR FAVORITE FORT WORTH SMALL BUSINESSES
Oh this is beyond hard!! How about 3 categories :)
House and Gift:
I love WRARE. The owner, Doug, is always full of smiles, the shop is so unique, and makes our house a little more fun. I mean, we have a bronze bear riding a tricycle on our mantle right now. We also have plates we picked up there that say “Here’s your snack dumbass” and “You’re a mess.” They crack me up each time we eat on them.
I love Hale House - I don’t get over there as I much as I would like, but find it all so pretty, spunky and cute. Zoe (my 7 year old) goes crazy when I tell her we are gonna pop over there.
I also love Lawrences for gifts. They are chalk full of beautiful items for both men and women with the most gorgeous wrapping jobs.
Dear Hannah is my go-to for quick party supplies that make any girl feel special.
I really love Pax and Parker. If I need a killer dress I head on over to see the great people at Pax and Parker. They understand fit and what makes sense for different occasions.
Double-R has been sooo much fun for some wow looks. Their sense of color and style is beyond gorgeous. I feel perfect when I wear any of their dresses.
And Steven loves his friends at Squire Shoppe. The Humble men take great care of Steven and will do for Winston likely someday soon.
I have recently gotten into Mustard Seed because I love all the layering options. Stacked Jewels for fun bangles that are full of color and Alana Kay Art for her new gorgeous earrings.
Thanks for allowing me to tell my story!!!! Xoxox, Sara