Cindy Barshop used business credit cards to help launch the first women’s sexual health medical spa, VSPOT. Through the Medi Spa, she encourages women to lead healthy sex lives while learning to be comfortable with their bodies. Here’s how she’s using credit cards to achieve business success.
If Cindy Barshop looks familiar, you just may be a “Real Housewives” fan. As a former cast member of the New York franchise, she demonstrated a fearlessness that made her a star – as well as a successful entrepreneur.
Barshop is the founder of the popular national spa chain, Completely Bare. And in 2017, she launched VSPOT™, the first women’s sexual health medical spa, located on Madison Avenue in New York City.
“My vision was to create a chic, comfortable, safe space where women can openly discuss the intimate issues we suffer with and that our bodies go through from menstruation, childbirth and menopause,” says Barshop. “It’s like a clubhouse for women to discuss their most intimate sexual health issues with an expert team of female gynecologists.”
Barshop is forcing “taboo” conversations out into the open, encouraging women to feel positive about their bodies and be comfortable working to achieve pleasurable sexual experiences. The technology exists, and she believes that all women should have greater access to it.
“I launched VSPOT Medi Spa, a result-oriented Medi Spa that focuses on educating women and helping them reclaim their sexual satisfaction, while at the same time correcting the changes that our bodies experience from time and childbirth,” she says.
These topics should never be considered shameful or embarrassing. In fact, Barshop is also a single mom of 11-year-old twins Jesse and Zoe, and she’s raising them be the next generation of taboo obliterators.
Here is how Barshop’s VSPOT came into being, and the part credit cards play in the process.
See related: A new way to work out: Flexing credit card benefits
What started your shift into entrepreneurship?
My first job out of college was at IBM, and even though it wasn’t my calling, it was during that time that I learned of a new groundbreaking laser technology for hair removal.I had all this untapped creativity ready to be aimed at something I was passionate about and had always struggled with unwanted hair growth. If you don’t have a problem with hair removal, it seems irrelevant, but I had unsightly ingrown hairs on my bikini and upper lip.
It truly affected my confidence during intimacy and everyday life. I knew I couldn’t be alone. This realization kickstarted my journey as a lifelong entrepreneur. Shortly after, I opened my first Completely Bare location on Madison Avenue.
I needed to put my energy into something that made me feel good about going into work every day. I felt compelled to use my strengths to help bring confidence to women and fill a void in the women’s health sector.
Completely Bare was taking off and I needed a platform to take launching a new product line to the next level. I asked my publicist at the time what the biggest reality TV show was. Coincidentally, “The Real Housewives of New York” was looking for a replacement for Bethenny Frankel. Although my stint on the show only lasted a year, it was the best thing I could’ve done for my business.
And you’ve been using credit cards for your companies?
Yes. Utilizing your credit card to expand your buying power and maintaining excellent credit is one of the most important links to a successful business. Credit cards can be used to propel your business to new levels.
For example, we are expanding VSPOT to an additional floor and utilizing credit allows us to not only budget appropriately but make the necessary investments into a remarkable space.
I have a couple of cards that I use for the company. The first is my American Express® Business Gold Card, and I use it for the rewards and to buy business supplies.
I use my Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card because it offers simple processing and back office support. As for the things I charge, it’s all our medical and office supplies. Credit cards are great for expense and inventory tracking.
As a business owner, is building and keeping good credit important?
Definitely. In order to grow any business, good credit affects every chance to effectively help your business be profitable and grow. Even though I do use the cards for many things, I’m not leveraged. I pay them off in full, so I remain debt-free.
What are the future plans for the business?
As of now, we are expanding VSPOT and adding an additional floor. In fact, we are using our business credit card rewards to buy furniture and the remodel!
Can you offer any advice to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Yes, I have three main suggestions:
- Hire a good attorney and a good accountant. You’ll need both.
- Don’t spend all your time trying to figure out how to reach your end goal. Taking it one day at a time and one obstacle at a time will get you to the end goal much faster.
- Remember, failing is not defeat, it’s a lesson for your road to success in your next project. I don’t have any regrets, but I do believe in learning from your mistakes – and as an entrepreneur, I have definitely made a few. Everything comes down to surrounding yourself with positive, passionate people that share your vision.
And lastly, what have you learned about using credit cards and borrowing money along the way?
Credit cards or borrowing money can propel your business forward and are tools that business owners should not shy away from. Use your credit cards to build a solid credit line – they’re valuable tools to manage and help expand any business.