Joining the team at Culture Aesthetics & Wellness is the equivalent of a homecoming for advanced nurse injector Erica Grinnell, RN. In fact, she’ll tell you it was the easiest “yes” of her career. Being able to administer aesthetic treatments that change lives alongside other like-minded professionals who have become a second family just makes each day worthwhile.
With several years of experience producing beautiful outcomes through injectable neurotoxins and fillers, Erica has affirmed there’s nothing else she’d rather do professionally. But she started out following a slightly different path in helping those of the more four-legged variety.
Born and raised in Bristol, TN, Erica was a self-proclaimed animal lover from day one (in addition to playing basketball and golf competitively throughout her school years). Her love of animals eventually led her to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee with the aspirations of becoming a veterinarian.
But a life-changing event soon altered her career trajectory. During her freshman year, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Witnessing all that ensued with her mother’s treatment made her realize that she wanted to be a part of caring more for people, though her love of animals has never faltered.
After changing her major to nursing and completing her first two years at UT, Erica then completed her studies and obtained her nursing degree at East Tennessee State University. At first, she thought critical care nursing was the best option for her and went straight into ICU nursing after graduation. While she found that role fulfilling for nearly three and a half years, a different path was soon revealed to be a better fit.
As it turns out, one of Erica’s father’s best friends was a plastic surgeon. Through several interactions in picking the surgeon’s brain and conducting her own research, Erica developed an undeniable thirst for that side of the business and set out in pursuing it.
An available nursing job at a local plastic surgery practice in Knoxville soon caught her attention. Though she felt she lacked the experience at the time, she took a leap of faith and applied for the position. To her delight and surprise, the practice saw something in her and offered her the position. She started out caring for pre- and post-op surgical patients but soon had the opportunity to train on injectables with none other than Erica Oakes as her teacher. Grinnell was instantly hooked. After ample training and plenty of hands-on experience, her clientele began to grow, honing her skills as an injector even further.
In coming from an ICU environment, Grinnell quickly realized aesthetics offers a way to fulfill her goal of helping people in a much more positive environment.
“People are coming to you to make themselves look and feel better, which I found to be a lot more of a happy place than ICU,” she said. “For the most part, people enjoy coming to you. It’s inspiring to me to help them feel better about themselves.”
Grinnell continued to amass invaluable experience at that Knoxville plastic surgery practice for a few years before moving on to spread her injector wings at an out-of-state practice. But the longing to return to her beloved Knoxville soon became apparent after a period of time. While working at an aesthetics practice in Greenville, SC, Grinnell got an offer from her friend and mentor that she simply couldn’t pass up.
“Erica Oakes called and asked if I’d be interested in coming back to Knoxville and joining the team at Culture,” Grinnell said. “It was the easiest ‘yes.’ I know Erica and Leila very well, and I know their dream of making Culture come together. They’ve always had such a driven force behind them, which I admire. With Erica and Leila behind it, I knew we were going to be successful.”
At Culture, you won’t get a provider who just does their own thing as a solo act. The team is made up of like-minded professionals who share a common goal for providing all patients with a phenomenal, consistent experience no matter who’s chair you end up in. Grinnell certainly fits into that category, especially being personally trained by master injector Oakes herself.
“I was trained by Erica years ago,” Grinnell said. “She’s the best of the best in the industry and I love being able to tell people that. She and I collaborate incredibly well, so I try to make people feel comfortable knowing they’re in good hands with me.”
Though she loves any injectable treatment option, lips are among her favorite things to inject. And she enjoys dispelling any common misconceptions about lip enhancement.
“Lips just make a woman feel a certain way about herself,” Grinnell said. “But a lot of new patients are very apprehensive at first because they don’t want their lips to look too big or fake. I promise that’s not going to happen. When it’s all said and done, the confidence it instills in them is amazing. Patients usually say they wish they would have done it a long time ago.”
Though she has countless happy aesthetic outcomes filed away in her memory, Grinnell can’t help but remember one patient experience she was more than proud to be a part of.
“I performed my patient’s treatment, then she left and went out into the parking lot after I injected her,” she said. “She ended up coming right back in after looking at herself in the mirror in the car and was in tears. She said she loved the way she looked and how good it made her feel about herself. It’s so fulfilling when someone is affected like that.”
Whether it’s neurotoxins or fillers, Grinnell has what it takes and then some to address your concerns and help you live more confidently. Her favorite word to describe the outcomes at Culture is “refreshed.” Those outcomes and ensuing confidence boosts are certainly refreshing for the advanced injector, solidifying why she loves what she does.
“I’m not changing who you are or what you look like,” she said. “It’s the same you. I’m just refreshing your look and making you look like a better version of you. Being at a practice where everyone basically has that same mentality for our patients is so special. I never want to do anything different than this because it’s such a fun, uplifting experience.”
In her spare time, Grinnell stays busy being the fun aunt to five nieces and nephews, spending time with friends and family, or playing with her two beloved dogs.
To make an appointment with Erica Grinnell, call us at (865) 500-0101 o click here to book online.