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Barrie woman brings nursing experience to downtown medi-spa

'You wouldn’t go to get a portrait done by a painter who doesn’t have any experience,' says owner of Forever Radiant

After more than 16 years as a nurse, Andrea Martins has decided to branch out.

The long-time Barrie resident recently opened Forever Radiant, a medi-spa located in the lower level of 50 Dunlop St. E. in downtown Barrie, which offers a variety of medical esthetic procedures ranging from injectables and IV therapy to medical-grade facials.

“One of the things I do love is women’s wellness. Being a nurse and being a mother of two, I know what women go through with stress incontinence and delivering babies … so we do something called the 'V-shot,' which helps you with all that lovely stuff so you can get your confidence back,” said Martins, who has worked as a registered practical nurse at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket for more than a decade.

Nursing has changed a lot since she started her career, she acknowledged, telling BarrieToday she began to realize she wanted to do something different with her medical background about five years ago.

“I started (moving) into medical esthetics about two years before the pandemic started, (but) then I had to put a little pause on that because I did work on one of the COVID floors,” she said. “Twenty-five of our nurses got COVID, so it just wasn’t the right time to proceed with this yet (and) I decided to devote my time to my community and what I became a nurse for.”

Once life began to return to normal, Martins started to feel reinvigorated, and ready to launch her new business — and the next phase of her career.

“I developed this (business) for about four years and I worked under a different clinic at one point and then ventured out on my own,” she said.

A Barrie resident for nearly two decades, Martins said she chose the city for her new business for several reasons.

“It’s my home and I love Barrie. I love leaving (the medi-spa) and going to the waterfront and seeing families connecting, rollerblading, having dinner. I just love it,” she said. “Newmarket is so different. It reminds me of the city. Everyone is so busy, just trying to get to work and always in a rush. They don’t take time just to breathe. Barrie is completely different and everybody is just more relaxed.”

While there are other medi-spas in Barrie, Martins believes her background as a registered practical nurse is what will set her apart from the others.

“I bring 16 years of medical nursing with me. Where everybody may be reacting to different, unpredictable situations, if they happen, for me, it’s like every other day at work at the hospital, where we work with patients who are unpredictable every day,” she said. “I have worked from the medical floor all the way to emergency to mental health. You name it; I have been on the floor.”

It’s that experience, along with countless hours of hands-on practice, that she hopes will bring an advanced level of confidence to anyone who walks through the doors of Forever Radiant.

“You wouldn’t go to get a portrait done by a painter who doesn’t have any experience. You would go to a painter who has been painting for years because you want that experience to come with them,” she said. “I feel like that’s the same with injectables. You want that experience to be with that injector because, at the end of the day, you want to be able to trust that if something were to go wrong, they’d know how to handle it.”