STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Working in the trenches as a critical-care nurse during the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was like nothing Gina M. Hassler, 34, ever experienced in her 12 years on the job.
And it wasn’t easy.
“It was a life-altering experience for me compacted with many emotions — fear of the unknown, compassion, exhaustion and strength,” said Hassler, who worked at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, during the pandemic. Prior to that, she worked at the Brooklyn VA Hospital, where she treated the first critical-care COVID patient at the Brooklyn VA in 2020.
“In the beginning, we did not know exactly how to treat COVID, and every day was a battle against the virus to keep people alive in critical care. It was a chaotic time, when nurses were asked to sacrifice and risk their own health for the greater good of humanity,” said Hassler, the mother of three children. “I was humbled and honored to be able to utilize my medical knowledge and skills to positively influence the care of the Staten Island and Brooklyn communities.”
This led to Hassler’s desire to help people with their mental health and self-esteem at a time when there was so much uncertainty about coronavirus.
“It [working as a nurse during the pandemic] lead me to further branch out and offer people a medical spa, a reprieve that Staten Island desperately needed,” said Hassler, who earned a master of science Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree with honors while completing clinical hours amid the pandemic in December 2020.
Hassler, who achieved her American Nurses Credentialing Center certification in March 2021, opened Butterfly Aesthetics in November 2021 in New Springville.
“An eye for detail, I gravitated to cosmetic procedures and naturally flourished within the field. … As we rebuild and continuously strive to go back to normalcy, I am proud to offer such a place to enhance beauty and well-being,” said Hassler.
However, moving from a hospital critical setting to her own aesthetics business wasn’t a quick decision for Hassler.
“At first, I wasn’t sure [about opening a med-spa], because I come from such a critical-care background. I really had instrumental effects on people’s lives. And I said to myself, ‘Is this a little superficial?’ But once I started doing it, I saw the feeling people have when they leave here. A lot of people say I’ve helped along their weight-loss journey, and I’ve seen it have a big aspect on their self-esteem. It’s truly amazing.”
Butterfly Aesthetics offers Botox, lip enhancements, facial filler, Platelet Rich Plasma facials (PRP facials) Microneedling, IV infusions and, coming soon, is body contouring.
“Botox is a preventative. Women in their late 20s and 30s are now advised to start Botox to avoid permanent wrinkles and indentations that are harder to reverse once they are there. Filler blends with the natural collagens and stimulates collagen growth — reversing the appearance of permanent wrinkles,” said Hassler.
In addition to Botox and fillers, a highly requested service is IV infusion, including those that claim to build muscle, increase metabolism/weight loss, boost immunity, improve gym endurance and improve hair/skin/nails, she said.
BUTTERFLY AESTHETICS AT A GLANCE
Address: 251 Richmond Hill Rd.
New Businesses in Focus is a weekly column that relates the stories of new Staten Island businesses owners.
If you have a new business on Staten Island, e-mail [email protected].
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