Facing The Future

Pure Dermatology’s Metairie offices feature a modern, luxury, hotel-like atmosphere and customer service business ethos
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QUICK LOOK

Date of opening 2017
Square footage Approximately 5,000 square feet
Persons in Charge Dr. Kate Zibilich Holcomb and Dr. Mara Haseltine
Architect Buildout 1- fl+WB Architects and Volkel McWilliams; Buildout 2 – Greg Smith, architect and design builder
Interior Design Dr. Kate Zibilich Holcomb, with consulting and sourcing by Julie Ponze Designs
Art Ken Tate and Jenny Gremillion


When Pure Dermatology moved into a new medical building in Metairie in July 2018, Dr. Kate Zibilich Holcomb said her concept for the office design was, first and foremost, to ensure that it didn’t resemble a standard doctor’s office.

“I wanted it to be modern, clean and colorful with a focus on service,” she said. “You will notice that the waiting room has more of a stand-up transaction desk, like a hotel check-in, so that clients know we are always at their service.”

When pandemic restrictions began to loosen, Zibilich Holcomb joined forces and offices with her best friend and colleague, Dr. Mara Haseltine, and increased the footprint of the office space.

“We had been practicing less than 2 miles from each other since I returned to New Orleans, and the environment of dermatology business and medical practices in general had started to change,” said Zibilich Holcomb. “There were only three major options: work for a large institution, sell to and be run by a venture capital firm, or figure out how to make your small business continue to excel. We both had the vision of a small business being connected to the community it serves, so the time was ripe for us to join forces. Two minds have definitely been better than one for our creativity and growth.”

Recently, Zibilich Holcomb shared more about the forward-thinking design and Pure Dermatology’s ethos and business goals.

What were your goals for the design?

Dr. Kate Zibilich Holcomb: The space was designed to make patients feel less stressed about their visit, pending procedures or any concerns about their medical conditions. I wanted patients to feel relaxed and happy, not like they were in a doctor’s office, but in a bar or a hotel lobby with their best girlfriends or the most supportive people in their life.

What was the biggest design challenge?

Zibilich Holcomb: The initial architecture firm I worked with was used to creating very standard medical offices but not feminine, upscale, luxury spaces. But the contractor, Paysse McWilliams of Volkel-McWilliams, was willing to work with my ideas and help me realize my goals. In the expansion, we had a delay based on the supply shortage from COVID-19. Greg [Smith] was sometimes coming in after hours to finish up so [the work] did not disrupt our busy clinic. The second side looks even more modern and clean than the first.

What is the standout feature of the design?

Zibilich Holcomb: The pink doors are the major thing you notice when you come into the back office, and it has really resonated as being part of the brand. I initially chose blue as my brand color, but when I realized every dermatologist in America uses blue because it is calming and liked by most, I had to find another color. My friend down the hall, Dr. Nicole Rogers, had already chosen purple, so pink was my next option. After the doors went up, I knew it was the right choice. I never even wore pink before Pure Dermatology and now that we see how good it looks with so many people’s skin, it has become my favorite color. Also, the colorful art is to make people feel happy.

How would you describe Pure Dermatology and its core clientele?

Zibilich Holcomb: People think aesthetics is only directed at women, and while women do make up the majority of our clientele, we want to take care of families from cradle to grave. We try to encourage people to ensure their loved ones also have dermatologic care, and I think because we have created such a warm and service-oriented environment, we believe that makes people refer their spouses, grandchildren and friends. Not a day goes by that one of our providers doesn’t get asked if we see kids, see husbands, and the answer is always yes. Treating multiple generations also makes us feel connected with our patients and the community as a whole.

How do you set yourselves apart from companies doing similar work?

Zibilich Holcomb: We are very focused on skin health and efficient skincare. What that means to us is getting the best outcome for each unique patient with the least possible steps. I [personally] can only use about four products max, and so I really cannot expect others to use more than that.

How do you promote a positive work atmosphere for the staff?

Zibilich Holcomb: We emphasize the family environment. For staff to do a good job, they have to be taken good care of also. We want our staff to provide the utmost in customer service, to know the patients, to create personal relationships, and we try to support them in those efforts. We encourage the team to get to know the patients and to also feel comfortable conversing with them. Also, the doctors and owners are with the team for the majority of the day, and we expect them to take good care of our clients. I treat them as equals because I cannot do my job without them. We spend most of our time together and I treasure each of them. We do a lot of teambuilding out of the office, and I feel this supports that family environment we have in the office.

What are your biggest challenges?

Zibilich Holcomb: Continuing to maintain a capable staff and not having them burnt out on the customer service aspect is always a challenge. As we grow, finding capable employees with a kind heart, team mentality and dedication to customer service is a challenge.

What goals are you looking to meet in the next 12 months?

Zibilich Holcomb: Maintaining quality and strong customer service is a yearly goal. My personal 12-month goal is creating electronic efficiencies in the patient experience, like having a virtual consult before you come in so you can come to your first visit ready to be treated. This is limited by getting clear photographs from clients to be able to evaluate them. We continue to visit this idea and are closer to this goal year over year.

Is there a question you wished I had asked? Or something you think readers should know about your company or services.

Zibilich Holcomb: We are board-certified dermatologists, qualified to treat all conditions related to skin, hair and nails. We are also experts in cosmetic injectables and laser and procedural skin devices, and we teach residents and other medical practices to provide these services. We are a top clinic in Louisiana for healthy skin and aesthetic services. The appearance of our practice reflects our dedication to being detail-oriented and to skin health. This took us about four years to construct to our standards. Last year we launched something called SkinFit, which is basically like a membership for your skin (care). Patients come in every month and choose many low-level procedures that can have an impact on anyone’s skin at any age and are safe for the lightest and darkest skin types. The idea is that these proven repetitive treatments result in meaningful results. SkinFit has been extremely successful, and we have had positive feedback from patients and staff. It is geared toward the busy patient because nearly all procedures take only 30-60 minutes in office and have downtime of less than one day.