BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)— Bedford resident Kelly McGee has worn many hats including that of a nurse, wife, dog mom, caretaker, and business owner at just 30 years old.
McGee always had a can-do and caring attitude growing up. She knew she wanted to go into nursing but wasn’t sure what field.
She attended Penn State University where she received her RN and went into the field. Her first job was in the pediatric ICU at the children’s hospital in Pittsburgh, where she cared for cardiac patients.
“That’s a very high-stress job, but it’s a very special experience to be able to care for that population, and it’s still pretty close to my heart,” McGee said. “It’s beautiful to be able to help them get a new heart or help them get the surgeries they need to get better.”
Her grandmother was one of her biggest inspirations for going into nursing. McGee mentions how she always pushed her to enter that field despite her family having no history there.
“She always pushed me into nursing, and I’m not sure why, but it was something she always did,” McGee said. “My family is mostly teachers, but she felt I always needed to be a nurse for whatever reason. She pushed that.”
However, McGee wanted to shift from the stressful nature of her career. She said her mindset shift became more dominant during the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, I decided I wanted to shift what I was doing,” McGee said. “I wanted more things that felt good consistency, and helping people feel better about themselves makes me feel good. That’s kind of the direction I went with my career.”
McGee was looking for an opportunity that would allow her to continue to help others but have creativity in her work. That’s when she found Aesthetics by Kell which combined her passion for skincare and nursing.
McGee created her skincare line back in 2021 with her sister. She wanted to ensure it was all natural and clean products. After multiple trials and errors, she came up with six products.
In 2022, McGee launched her skincare brand, Aesthetics By Kell, while remodeling her store. She always dreamt of having her store in Downtown Bedford on Juliana Street.
Her store, Aesthetics by Kell, is located on Juliana Street. She loves having foot traffic from the other shops downtown but also, being close to the tourists coming to Bedford Springs.
“It just seemed that Aesthetics was the way to go. Then, I started Botox when I was 25,” McGee said. “Someone told me preventive Botox was the way to go, and I appreciate that human so much. So that’s where I fell into it, getting Botox myself and realizing this is very cool. This is a great way to use my nursing degree.”
Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter
She sells over 30 women-owned, clean, eco-friendly beauty brands in addition to her line. In the eight months she’s been open, she said the community and the responses have gone well. The store receives many comments about the scents and the looks.
McGee said she feels honored that one of her top-selling products is her anti-aging serum. Recently, she launched subscription boxes. That is a quarterly subscription box featuring four to eight products tailored to one’s seasonal skincare needs.
“I wanted to replace everything I used with my own line, that’s exactly what I did, and it’s simple,” McGee said. “I have an anti-aging serum. We chose to use an ingredient called bakuchiol because it’s a retinal alternative, which is amazing for sensitive skin. A vitamin C serum, a gentle cleanser, and a gentle moisturizer. I also did a thick cream and a lip balm.”
However, her goal with the store is to open a medspa. She wants to offer procedures such as chemical peels, fillers, Botox, and injections. McGee, having had Botox herself, thinks it’s essential to normalize having procedures done.
While running her business full-time, she’s pursuing her degree as a nurse practitioner. She does her clinical work at Hyndman Health, where she cares for patients with diabetes and hypertension. She’s excited to graduate this spring.
“My clinical is in a health center, so I’m providing care for hypertension, diabetes, urgent care type stuff,” McGee said. “It’s totally different than what I do here, and I love doing it. “I think it’s going to make me a better provider as far as aesthetic provider too. We do a good bit of dermatology, and I’m learning a lot about that.”
Another person she takes care of is her 93-year-old grandmother. Her grandmother has dementia and requires daily care, such as bathing, preparing food, laundry, and cleaning.
McGee said she grew close to her grandmother living only a couple of houses down. She describes her as a powerful woman who supports her business and dreams. She mentioned how her grandmother took care of her all the years when she was younger, and now it’s her turn.
“My husband and I do a lot of caretaking for my grandmother. So, it’s a family effort, but we’re there with her every night,” McGee said. “So it’s one of my favorite hats, as well, and it’s an honor. She’s a strong, powerful woman, but she has dementia now, so she’s slowing down a bit, but we help her with her care.”
Besides her grandmother, it’s her husband, family, and some Bedford County business leaders who are some of her biggest supporters.
While her store’s goal is to become a medspa, she wants all to feel empowered and confident when they walk out. She hopes her store sets a positive footprint for women and the Bedford Community.
“I want everyone to be empowered, but specifically women,” McGee said. “I really want them to feel good in their own skin and confident in their own skin. Skincare, aesthetics is not about changing who you are. It’s making you feel better in the skin that you have and being the best you, you can be.”
Her advice to other young entrepreneurs is that resources are always available, and it’s a great opportunity. Her medspa is in the process of opening.