If you haven’t yet met Kara Gomes, you will eventually, either in person or you’ll continue to read about her exploits as an entrepreneur or as a business strategist as she sometime describes herself.
Recently Canadians got an opportunity to see the young Montrealer in action on CBC’s flagship investment reality show, The Dragons’ Den when Kara and her business partner Dave Elkabas were able to secure a $150,000 deal for the LVL UP Studio with Vincenzo Guzzo, the man behind the chain of cinemas in the Montreal area that carries his name.
In going after the deal, the partners were able to sell the savvy investor on the merits of building a business around a gym/fitness center/studio offering half an hour of a full-body, high intensity workout on the internationally renowned Versaclimber, which is marketed as one of the most effective and efficient ways of burning fat and calories.
After the other “Dragons” bowed out, Guzzo was happy to make the deal, for 33% of the company that Gomes and her high school friend Elkabas launched just a week prior to the global shut-down triggered by Covid-19 in 2020.
The cinema magnate promised expand the concept and secure other locations for LVL UP.
However, as Gomes tell it, as impress as Guzzo was with the LVL UP concept, he was blown-away on the first visit on site when he saw her adjoining business, Clinique MIKA that she owns and operates with her sister Mica Gomes, a registered nurse (RN).
The high-end boutique clinic offers a variety of medical and aesthetic treatments from wrinkles to fillers to cleansing as well as a range of dermatological procedures under the expertise of Mica, who in addition to her years of experience as an RN is also a licenced injector.
Kara has made herself an active partner in the business by spending the downtime brought on by the pandemic, to train and become a medical aesthetician.
Enthralled by the operations at Clinique MIKA, Guzzo immediately proposed another partnership arrangement, putting up more than half a million dollars to open other locations in and around Montreal. It’s now have been 18 months that the place has been up and running.
Kara says the prospects for the future are all good: a solid list of returning clients supported by a staff of five, three aestheticians and two nurses.
And adds that a big part of the clinic’s success so far is the proficiency that her sister Mica, brings to the business as well as the other staff members.
Also the fact that they have been able to have a medical doctor directly involved in the clinic provided them with a leg up over others in the industry.
“Sure there’re a lot of clinics around Montreal but I think we have made Clinique MIKA different by the quality of service we offer, with top of the line equipment and products. We’re really a high end clinic.” she told the CONTACT recently in a telephone interview. “Also, we are being recognized more and more for our expertise with darker complexioned clients. So, I encourage people in our community who are looking for those services to visit us.”
Also, she says, as Clinique MIKA and LVL UP Studio continue to grow, they will be able to provide training and career opportunities for those interested in medical aesthetics or the health and well-being industries.
The 30-something-year-old go-getter who is now a mother of a three year-old son sees the thriving businesses as the highpoint in her many entrepreneurial explorations, which she started when she was barely out of her teens.
After a brief tenure as a bank-teller and training as a personal banking financial advisor, Kara joined forces with her father, businessman Glen Gomes in the tire exportation business before setting up a number of daycare centres around Montreal as well as venturing into the restaurant business.
She says to hear a business mogul such a Guzzo say that he was investing not so much in her businesses but more so in her.
“After many ups and down in business, it was reassuring and empowering to hear that.”