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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Tate

PASSION IS BEAUTIFUL

Jessica Hernandez Park is a woman that does not allow much to deter her.


jessica hernandez park with team

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Jessica always wanted to achieve the American Dream. It seemed so unreachable but she was fiercely determined and vowed to never give up on her aspirations. To her, the future of her family was very important so she understood that going backwards was never an option. So at just the tender age of 19 with $80 to her name, Jessica took a leap of faith and moved from Puerto Rico to the United States.


This leap led her to spend 20 industrious years at a NYC-based tech company but a passion to create a space for herself in the beauty and wellness industry became too big to ignore. It was this passion that resulted in her taking another leap of faith: using her life savings to convert an old movie theatre into Park Ave Center Cosmetics, her upscale med spa that has quickly become a top-rated med spa in the North Atlanta area. Her next leap of faith would lead her to produce a reality tv show around the budding success of her med spa to share the journey and talented staff behind the scenes who help make Park Ave Cosmetics Center one of the most sought-after locations in the area.


Our editor-in-chief, Tiffany Tate, sat down with the ambitious entrepreneur during a busy day in the office to learn more about what drives her passion and life-changing aspirations.


TIFFANY TATE: Hi Jessica! How is your day going?


JESSICA HERNANDEZ PARK: Hi Tiffany! Oh my god, so wild! So... I was going to work half days and kind of come home and , you know, relax a little bit for the interview but its been busy.


TT: I get it, same here. But thank you so much for taking time out of your day to speak with me. When I saw the press release that you are not only building your own med spa but you are producing a reality tv show in Georgia and I thought that was so excited.


JHP:  Quality Control from Amazon is like the hardest thing so it’s into the Amazon Quality Control path so we should be out by October.


TT: Wow, so proud of that!


JHP: Thank you.


TT: So, I would love to hear about your journey .  I know you are from Puerto Rico. What was the dream? Have you always been into skincare? The origins of your journey.


JHP: Sure, absolutely. I grew up in a small town in Puerto Rico on the west side of the island. Not much was going on, I was a crazy teenager. We had cable, one of two families that had cable. Do you remember the guy from MTV, Kurt Loder? That’s how I picked up my English, I would basically mimic  him and it was so funny because years later I found out that he had some of the best diction as an interviewer. So,  I ended up being  a crazy teenager thinking I’m cool  so I was consuming MTV so I learned English by the songs and Kurt Loder and I always wanted to go to the US. Even the Puerto Rico territory, it is quite different. I just had a dream that I wanted the American dream.


I had a pretty bad accident at 13 years old, where I burned half of my face with boiling water. I had some tough burns. Everything was swollen. When you burn your face, it becomes a layer of burnt skin. I couldn’t go outside for 2-3 months because the sun is very damaging and at the time, all they had was scraping it off so it could heal. So I healed from that point, I am 13 years old, and just thought that my skin was so magical and after that, I started really taking care of my skin because I had just gone through so much. Imagine being 13 years old. People would look at me and cringe. But I learned to just take loving care of my skin.


So when I graduated high school, I moved to kind of a big city, which is San Juan, and started going to college there and was recruited by a tech company and I went to NY, I didn’t know anybody. I have a job. I remember going into HR and they asked “What is your address?” and I was like, “Oh, I am going to find an apartment today” because I had flown in the night before. Are you familiar with New York?


TT: Yes. I go to NY all the time.


JHP: So, listen, this is NY in the mid-1990s. Remember the ‘Village Voice’? The Village Voice as room rental listings and the Village Voice became my friend. I went from room to room. So then I moved to LA and worked for tech and telecom. But 10 years ago, I started my own consulting business in telecommunications and technology and did very well. I decided to stop working for money and just do what I love so CA was a little stressful and expensive. My husband had gone to high school here and has some family here so we decided, ‘let’s just move to Georgia’ and I moved here 5 years ago, and I couldn’t find a med spa that I loved. I just couldn’t find something here so I said, ‘You know, this is it.’ My husband was like, “Are you nuts?” (chuckle) I just took my savings and just said to him, ‘ You know, I am young enough and we can recover if it fails”. So I just took my savings , started building this place. I started in a really small, like 800 sq feet tiny place until this was built. And then of course, I opened up right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2020) so I just knew. My prayer was ‘All things shall pass” and this is what I am meant to do. So we started and from one place to another - we grew 50%, year 2 – we grew another 52%, and we’re on track for year 3 through year 5 to about 35%-38%; this is before the show. God knows what will happen after the show.


We are profitable in Year 2, which is a huge success. We now have a total of 6 employees and we have over 300 5-star reviews, which is one of our biggest accomplishments. As you know, because you are an entrepreneur yourself, there are 80 hour weeks. Yeah, I am giving you the highlights! (chuckle)


Last year, my husband used to work in Hollywood. He had an action movie debut on September 8, 2022. His movie is called ‘4 Amigos’ You’ve got to watch.


TT: Oh, I will check it out!


JHP: He had finished filming that movie and a friend of mine said, ‘You guys look like reality tv stars” and then with the drama that goes on, I was like ‘You know what? This is a show!”  and I told my husband. I have never done anything in production before, I have helped my husband with logistics for his movie but I asked the girls (in the office) if they wanted to do a fun show and, of course, they said yes. So, I am thinking, ‘Okay.” So, it was the hardest thing that I had ever done and probably never want to do again (chuckles) being that I am not a writer but I started writing treatments but it is tough to write about what we do every day.  It took a year to shoot. We did three episodes, so it is a pilot.


The show is about my life as an entrepreneur coming with legitimately no money, no trust fund, no family, just grinding. Sleeping room to room, you know, from ads  found in The Village Voice. Very creepy. A completely different show! (chuckles). To then, just being happy and figuring it out as I went along. We got three episodes ready.


The first episode is about an Instagram influencer being covered so we have people come in for a service. It talks a little about our lives but it’s about the procedures that are being done to that person because it really bothers me that people like JLo are saying that they have had nothing done when they have had everything done. I want the person that lives in Minnesota but does not have access to these beauty treatments not to feel bad about themselves. I am not going to promote “Oh, here is this Chapstick that I want to sell you”. I want it to be really transparent. We do the actual procedure during the show for an actual client and we do the transformation and we say what it is and how much it costs. I think that if I can achieve anything, it’s transparency.  And yeah, some people are going to want to do things and some people aren’t and you are beautiful either way.


TT: Agreed!


JHP:  I was very lucky that I was able to write it, produce it and have great access because otherwise, it would have been pretty cost prohibiting for someone else to do it. Once you pass the quality control of amazon, every other platform can pick it up because they are the strictest. We passed it so I will send you the new trailer. It’s done and it is going to come out and hopefully, everyone will like it. Its 3 season and the only way that I would do a whole season is if I had help, like If someone bought the rights and produced it because I’m tired (chuckles).


TT: Is it on any particular network?


JHP: It will be on Amazon and then, I am not sure who else is going to pick it up. Normally, Tubi might pick it up. Who knows? But I know for sure we submitted to the big ones because once you are on the Amazon platform, then everyone else will just follow along. Sometimes, it is not easy, and things may fail. Starting this at 40 years old, it was a big gamble because I used my savings. I told myself, ‘If this fails, I will just make happy faces at Costco and call it a day but I will know that I tried. I talk a lot about having the right data and not just going and starting a business without the data.


Coming from technology, the data supported what I want to do and because of our growth, it worked. The data was there, that these procedures are a trend. It’s like anything that you do – you do a great job, you are good to people and you have a fair price, it’s not rocket science. You should never expect your friends and family to buy from you. You will never be able to run a business like that. My first year, I had to fire six marketing companies because I spent $60k in marketing funds that I could have saved. I have learned that I don’t need to be nice, I need to be fair.


I am probably most proud that I have female employees and sometimes they have to bring their kids in and they stay in the kitchen because a female Is worth so much more flexible and I am giving them an opportunity to do what they love and still be mothers. A male boss would probably say, ‘What is that kid doing in the kitchen?’ I am like, as long as they are quiet, because I am a Mom. I have to bring in my kids sometimes too. Women are very compassionate. This can sometimes stir up some drama because we are too compassionate. But it is a very feminine way of doing business and I am most proud of that. When someone gets a new apartment or buys a new car, it is great to give others the opportunity to take care of their families and to see them grow. I am extremely proud of that. If nothing else, just the ability to give someone a job because I know what it takes to create that job.

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