As a physician assistant to the most exclusive white glove plastic surgery and medical aesthetics practices in New York, Gabrielle Garritano knew there had a be a cooler, more stylish, more personal and more inclusive way to make people feel and look their best. She was over the fluorescent lighting, the classical music, the stodgy yet clinical atmosphere at most medical practices. So in 2018, she brought Botox downtown with JECT, a jewel box of a salon that feels more like your best friend’s chic apartment than doctor’s office. With JECT, Garritano is carving out her own piece of the med-aesthetics market. She’s taking the professionalism of a traditional practice, the casual feel of a med-spa and creating a hip, fun experience where you’d just as easily pop in for filler as you would shop the concept shop next door. As JECT charts its growth – there’s currently one downtown, one on the Upper East Side and a new Bridgehampton location – I sat down with Garritano to explore the inspiration behind JECT, its philosophy around beauty and where it’s headed next.
Tell us a bit about your background and what led you to start JECT.
From a young age, I loved making people feel confident. I used to make facial masks for my siblings and dolled out beauty advice in my sorority in college. As I entered adulthood, I began to realize a pattern: when people feel good about themselves, they carry positivity to all facets of their lives. I began to change my mindset around feeling and looking good; it was a part of my self-care rather than a sense of vanity.
I fell in love with medical aesthetics in college. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and while I was studying medicine, my mother’s plastic surgeon invited me to work with her. I decided to move to New York for graduate school with the intent of working at a top medical aesthetics practice.
So I worked alongside several of New York’s top plastic surgeons and gained extensive experience in injectables and skincare. But I began to see that these services were only available to the top echelon of society, which created a huge gap in the market. For decades, medical aesthetics have been thought of solely for older generations and the rich and famous. They also seemed super expensive and taboo to the younger generation.
In 2018 I decided to leave my Upper East Side practice and founded JECT in the West Village. I went from the white gloved doorman building on Fifth Avenue to a smaller space downtown that was warm and inviting, a place you’d want to bring your friend after work. My mission was and is to educate all generations on these services and create a more accessible vision for selfcare in the injectables industry. At JECT we aim to de-stigmatize medical aesthetics by creating a responsible approach to preventative treatments.
How would you describe the JECT philosophy?
JECT is a medical aesthetics business with a modern focus on cosmetic injectables (Botox and fillers) and medical grade skincare (microneedling, chemical peels, and IPL). We have locations in West Village, Upper East Side and in the Hamptons.
I truly believe modern beauty has changed. It isn’t about doing your hair or makeup or possessing exceptional features that don’t look like you. Being pretty isn’t about looking like some influencer or celebrity, it’s about looking smooth, natural, and healthy-looking. It’s about appreciating our own unique features. In the end, my journey hasn’t only been about boosting collagen, but boosting confidence.
How did the JECT concept come to life?
After years of working on the Upper East Side in stuffy plastic surgery offices, our inspiration was to create an approachable and accessible location downtown, something that was fun, where you’d would want to bring your friend along. I remember my sister came to visit me from Chicago when I worked in plastic surgery. She was sitting in the waiting room for her Botox next to two patients bandaged up from a facelift and she was mortified by that experience.
Getting an injectable is an intimate experience, whether it is your first-time getting Botox or fillers, or something else. It’s important for our team to understand what every client is experiencing when they walk through the door. The key to our success has been always putting our customers first and providing them with the best experience possible. Our approach ispersonalized for every single patient we see, and we try to address all of their concerns even if it is over several appointments. We have convenient night and weekend hours, and our location was selected by design––we know convenience is key.
How would you describe JECT?
Our spaces are warm, inviting and sophisticated and many of clients are often calling to bring their significant other, their mom or sister, friend because they love JECT so much. JECT is your effortless best friend who isn’t afraid to tell you when it’s time to get something done. It is not a place where you feel shamed about getting aesthetic treatments, you feel embraced to come back for more after feeling even more confident.
What differentiates JECT from other med-spas out there?
JECT is about confidence. We focus on what you like best about yourself and how to enhance the features you love. So many people get caught up in small flaws and asymmetry – I tell patients all the time this is what makes them beautiful and not something to harp on. Instead, we focus on overall balance and harmony to the face.
At JECT we like to say “adieu taboo.” Injectables shouldn’t be shameful, it should be part of our regular maintenance as we age.Our goal is to continue to maximize our potential in all aspects of life as we age by using medical grade products to help regulate and return cell turnover, restore collagen and elastin, and improve sun damage to a more youthful rate. We use Botox injections to smoothen lines and wrinkles, as well as dermal fillers to restore facial harmony and balance. This plan utilizes preventative measures while addressing immediate concerns.
Can you share your five-year plan for JECT?
We are in the process of expanding inside and outside New York. I can’t give any more details, but safe to say expansion is in the works. We’re also in the process of hiring top talent to grow our team and support additional locations.
What has been your most exciting moment so far with JECT?
I loved seeing JECT wrapped around the Hampton Jitney and realizing the bus stops exactly at our UES location, where I spent years training. Also building a Bridgehampton location, where I always dreamed of having JECT, was a pretty exciting moment to see come to life.
What’s your favorite treatment at JECT?
To perform, I love doing a full face rejuvenation. It’s a combination treatment for the full face with Botox, dermal fillers, and Aquagold for the skin.I also like receiving the full face rejuvenation. Throughout the year I receive a combination of wrinkle reducer sessions, dermal fillers, and skin treatments, like microneedling, chemical peels, and Aquagold. Between treatments I typically do radiofrequency to build collagen and maintain the skin elasticity.