Culture represents a sense of “collectiveness and refinement,” denoting a team of professionals with a collective mission for refining and improving the quality of life for clients in Knoxville and East Tennessee. Culture Aesthetics & Wellness does this by providing a host of cutting-edge aesthetic treatments along with state-of-the-art wellness services to offer an all-inclusive experience. The idea for this dream team originated in the mind of Erica Oakes. And, thus, Culture Aesthetics & Wellness was born.
Erica is a board-certified aesthetic nurse specialist, master injector, national trainer for Allergen (makers of Botox®), and proud partner of Culture Aesthetics & Wellness. But before it all came about, Erica was a proud East Tennessee girl carving her path in life.
Born in Knoxville and growing up in Lenoir City, Erica spent much of her high school years playing basketball and volleyball competitively. When not on either of those courts, she was a self-proclaimed nerd who had a deep love for science and a particular affinity for healthcare education. While attending the University of Tennessee, she became interested in the marketing side of healthcare and concentrated on that career path.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and minor in marketing, she did print media, marketing, and admissions for a long-term care facility and even obtained her license as a Long-Term Care Administrator. After doing much of the business aspect of healthcare, she slowly realized she craved more of the clinical side of the industry. This is what led her back to the classroom where she earned her registered nurse license and transitioned into a roll as the Director of Nursing for an established assisting living facility. During this time Erica had been a devoted toxin patient at a plastic surgery practice. As she became more familiar with the aesthetic industry over time, she experienced an awakened passion for cosmetic medicine. It didn’t take long for her to align with a new trajectory.
“I actually interviewed with a dermatology practice and was offered a nursing position,” Erica said. “When I told the plastic surgeon’s office what I was doing, they offered to create a position for me there. It just kind of fell into place.”
Those early days were spent as a pre- and post-op plastic surgery nurse. But eventual trainings on injections gave way to a burning desire to immerse herself in this fascinating realm. The practice sent Erica to attend multiple courses throughout the nation to hone her skills, and she even invested in further training opportunities on her own. Those valuable experiences all helped give rise to Erica’s true professional forte – the art of injecting.
“I really enjoyed being able to see, in real time, the results I was able to produce with clients and how we could re-sculpt the face and just bring them joy from enhancing their already beautiful features,” Erica said. “I had the opportunity to work with people and make them happier. That’s where my passion grew for injections.”
Erica delighted in establishing connections with her patients in that previous role, even if it was just through 15-minute appointments. Over time, however, she found herself longing for more, a desire that would bring about a brand-new adventure in her career.
“I needed more time with my clients, and I wanted to provide results that were more than just what a needle could do,” Erica said. “You develop relationships with people. Even for Botox patients, I see them about every three months. These people become like family to you. That’s what really started my interest of offering more.”
That was the motivation Erica needed to forge a new path, one that included forming a team of likeminded medical professionals under one roof. With the help of her trusted friend and Culture partner/practice manager Leila Beyer, the team started to step forward one by one. Michael Fields, M.D., and Paul McCurry, M.D., came on board as medical directors and part owners followed by skilled nurse practitioners, aestheticians, and office staff. Culture was born, much to Erica’s delight.
“Culture had been a dream of mine for a long time,” she said. “So it’s just been an amazing journey of gathering the right people at the right time in the right place and turning it into a beautiful reality.”
The goal throughout that journey has always been to offer not only people of the community an advanced and sophisticated one-stop shop, but a benchmark for education on virtually all things health and beauty for the industry as a whole. After all, looking your best doesn’t really mean much when you don’t feel your best. The two are so interconnected that it just makes sense to take a multidisciplinary approach.
“It’s not just about looking good, it’s about feeling good too,” Erica said. “We may be successful in treating this tiny little piece of the iceberg, but there’s so much more underneath that I want to dive into. That’s what created the dream of Culture.”
With so many offerings, it takes a collaboration of top minds with varying skillsets working closely together to provide clients with a truly comprehensive experience. Whether it’s external, internal, or both, Culture has you covered.
“That’s the goal, to work with each other to provide the best experience possible for our clients and truly address their concerns,” Erica said. “We can create a customized plan for clients, both internally and externally to ultimately give them the satisfaction they’re looking for. An all-inclusive approach.”
Another important element of Culture’s objective is to stay at the forefront of the ever-changing medical specialties encompassed.
“This field is constantly evolving, which is no different from any other medical practice; we learn new things, new technologies, and new ways of doing things,” Erica said. “Which is why my other great passion is education. I’m looking to further my education, skillset, and techniques. And I love consulting with other injectors to discuss what they have found as best practices for their clinics. When this love can be brought back and applied to my day to day, I am ensuring that our clients receive the best possible outcomes with the most innovative and latest approaches.”
Whether they’re boosting confidence with a gamut of aesthetic treatments or promoting optimal health through a variety of wellness services, it’s all about happy, healthy, confident clients for the Culture team.
“Receiving those sentimental messages or having our clients come back to report that our treatments changed their life, that’s what this industry is all about,” says Erica.
When not performing magic with a syringe, Erica and her husband Austin stay busy with their two toddlers who are only 14 months apart. If that weren’t enough, Erica and her husband recently decided to add to the beautiful chaos with a red golden retriever puppy named Ford.
To make an appointment with Erica or any of the providers at Culture Aesthetics & Wellness, give us a call at (865) 500-0101 or click here to book online.