POWER OF BETTER: Dorota applies rejuvenating Nano CellTech therapy (Image: Dorota’s Lifestyle Studio)
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From sports injury therapies to weight loss and anti-ageing boosters, the Studio’s fitness and beauty treatments have turned it into “a destination for women and men at a crossroads, often feeling pretty low perhaps through personal loss or a bitter divorce. We do our very best to make them feel good about themselves and their health. From there they can go on to achieve much more,” explains Zelazny.
For the former Wormwood Scrubs prison officer it’s the realisation of a long-held dream to run her own business and it’s good news for the high street too.
Based in Chiswick, west London, “our clients must come in person and that is something they value more than ever. Many have become friends,” adds Zelazny, the ultimate self-starter showing what women can achieve.
Developing the business has taken £150,000 of her own investment, but by 2024 as growth doubles she expects the company to be turning over £300,000 and to have opened a second Studio.
After leaving Poland for the capital two decades ago, she worked for HM Prison Service helping inmates with detox and rehabilitation. Then in 2017 she made the break.
“I had saved and studied hard, my English was up to standard. Prison work has taught me a lot about resilience, having a structure and facing up to unpredictability,” she says.
Starting with £70,000 of her own savings to buy her first equipment she opened a small shop space offering HYPOXI, a stubborn fat reduction fitness treatment creating firmer, smoother skin that she had found successful after gaining weight.
“This gave me the business opening I had been searching for. Since then, however difficult, it’s been all about highlights, no low ones,” says Zelazny. Today HYPOXI (from £45) remains the Studio’s most popular therapy.
From there the business expanded into a two-floor street-facing venue with its focus increasingly on innovative, non-invasive (no injections) treatments.
Formostar, an infrared body wrap helps with back and period pains.
Rising star however is the Studio’s Nano CellCare treatment. Brand new to the UK, it’s an application where the skin absorbs intensive applications of hyaluronic acid-based moisturiser that trigger rejuvenation.
“It plumps up places in the body that shrink with age such as post-menopause,” Zelazny explains.
“There are no contra-indications. It has also brought us male customers and clients from outside London, people are prepared to travel now for the right solution.
“For one client it has helped his knee problem, rejuvenating cells. He has just completed a 100-mile cycle ride for charity.
She is also lining up a new service, a vibrating chair that strengthens pelvic muscles and combats incontinence, for example after childbirth.
Solo star: entrepreneur Dorota Zelazny is growing her business organically (Image: Dorota’s Lifestyle Studio)
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When the Studio faced shutting because of lockdown restrictions, Zelazny went to her local authority Hounslow Council pointing out pubs were still open and making the case for her wellbeing services. It gave her dispensation to trade and saved the business.
“Hounslow has been fantastic, their support has made all the difference to the Studio surviving at such a critical moment,” she says.
No fan of outside investment and leasing equipment, Zelazny prefers to wait until she can pay outright for equipment. “I favour organic growth, security and being in control,” she declares.
A chandelier composed of 300 different glass butterflies lights up the Studio. Zelazny and her partner, who is also her shop fitter, built it after scouring the country to find the glittering winged objets d’art.
The illumination, she explains “symbolises our growth story, how we are now spreading our wings, working with our customers so they can change too and become what they want.”