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  • The Confidence Lab guide to the West Loop of Chicago

    The Confidences Lab is located in the vibrant West Loop of Chicago. A frequently asked question by our attendees is where to stay and eat. To help we have created a guide to assist you. A West Loop Guide Welcome to The West Loop, one of Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhoods, defined by boutique shopping, public art, and adventurous dining. Just blocks away from Chicago’s Greektown and the United Center (home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks) and trendy Fulton Market district. The West Loop offers sights, sounds, and tastes that will satisfy every traveler's desire. Location The West Loop is located about 35 minutes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. You catch the CTA Blue Line from the airport and ride it downtown to transfer to the CTA Green Line at Clark/Lake in the Loop. There, it’s an easy (and free!) transfer to the Green Line, which you can ride to Clinton, Morgan or Ashland and find yourself in the West Loop. You can also take the westbound #20/Madison bus from State/Madison. You can also grab an Uber/Lyft from the airport or if you want to head to downtown Chicago from the West Loop, an Uber/Lyft gets you there in about 10 minutes Where to Stay Ace Hotel Chicago: This hotel features modern, industrial-inspired design and is located in the heart of the West Loop. The hotel has a rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as a lobby bar and coffee shop. The Hoxton: This trendy hotel offers stylish rooms and a lively atmosphere. The hotel has a rooftop bar, a restaurant, and a coffee shop. The Robey: This boutique hotel is housed in a historic art deco building and features a rooftop lounge with great views of the city. The Publishing House Bed & Breakfast: Housed in the former Free Methodist Publishing House built in 1909--balances modern style and Midwest hospitality. The B&B hosts just 24 guests at a time across 11 private rooms, each with an in-suite bathroom (complete with claw-foot tub), highly personalized service and fully customized breakfast options. Hyatt House Chicago: It offers spacious and comfortable guest rooms, as well as amenities such as a fitness center, complimentary breakfast, and a 24-hour market (ps its one block from The Confidence Lab) Restaurants The West Loop has attracted many of Chicago’s greatest culinary talents, and rightfully acquired the “restaurant row” label. The neighborhood now houses more critically acclaimed restaurants and bars than any other part of the city, which means you'll need some help sorting out the crème de la crème. Mediterranean Explore Aba’s fresh spin on Mediterranean small plates, boasting big flavors and reimagined classics from Greece, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey. Rose Mary a Croatian spot, have things like a refreshing and flavorful salad with tomato, farro, and asparagus, a delicious crni rizot that tasted like it was made with stock from the tears of a hundred lobsters (that’s a compliment), and incredible pastas. Avec: Is a staple in the neighborhood and you must order chorizo-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates and the taleggio flatbread! American Au Cheval has an excellent burger. But this casual spot has a lot of other fantastic things on the menu, too. Dishes like the chilaquiles, chicken wings, and foie gras with eggs should also be on the table. They don’t take reservations, and waits can be a pain, but sometimes you just need to commit. If you love meat and potatoes, Green Street Smoked Meats brings smokey, Texas BBQ. Rana says the pork belly is like eating a desert. This place works well for a date or dinner with a small group when you can’t get a reservation at Bavette’s or Gilt Bar. Bavettes is a traditional Chicago steakhouse with a modern New American twist. Reservations should be made in advance, but if you plan early, it is totally worth the dining experience at this ornate, upscale spot. Located slightly East near Millennium Park, Gilt Bar’s playful elegance and cozy seating make this New American eatery and lounge worth a visit. It can be tough to get into, so we recommend reservations in advance. Italian Trivoli Tavern is in Gin Alley, and from the same team as Au Cheval and Green Street Smoked Meats. This means they have a twinkly lit cobblestoned patio. Or you could sit inside, where it’s dark and full of overstuffed leather furniture. They serve upscale bar food like fish and chips, handmade pastas, steaks, and a very good burger. This place works well for a date or dinner with a small group when you can’t get a reservation at Bavette’s or Gilt Bar. Monteverde, has some of the best Italian food in the city. Every pasta dish here is fantastic, particularly the cacio e pepe. Japanese Momotaro, designed by world-renowned restaurant and experience designers AvroKO, offers an elevated dining experience for lovers of Japanese cuisine. Downstairs the Izakaya bar and lounge transports guests back to the streets of old Tokyo. Gajin is a trendy new spot that offers Japanese comfort foods like yakisoba and okonomiyaki in unique styles specific to Osaka and Hirsohima alongside delicious shaved ice desserts and highballs. Omakase Yume offers a high-end 16-course sushi tasting curated by Chef SangTae Park. Lunch/Coffee Groundswell Coffee Roasters in The West Loop: Groundswell Coffee Roasters is a Chicago micro-roaster, that began in Ravenswood, offering visitors a comfortable variety of brewed coffee and espresso Beatrix Market Fulton Market. A quick grab & go market experience. The menu features a large self-serve salad, soup and hot food bars, rotating chef-prepared salads, sandwiches and snacks, as well as a Beatrix coffee and pastry counter. Publican Quality Meats. PQM is a butcher shop, cafe, bakery, mini market, and even the private dining room for The Publican at night. But its best role is as a small and casual cafe from morning until early in the evening Kid Friendly Although we’re certain that there are things that any young ones can eat at the other restaurants on our list, these are our recommendations for more kid-centric dining: Parlor Pizza Bar is a warm and inviting meeting place where everyone can share unique pizzas and enjoy craft beers/cocktails with an expansive patio and rooftop. Polombia is a unique, Polish-Colombian fusion spot located in TimeOut Market, a food hall home to a number of other up and coming restaurants. The menu, although small offers a variety of eats that cater to both the more adventourous as well as reliable snacks, like potatoes, lentil soup and kolaczkis. Bars and Nightlife Drinking at The Darling is like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole (the good parts, at least). Charming, intimate, and featuring a reservation-only library with hidden entrance and pop-up cabaret performances, the cocktail lounge serves a number of exquisitely balanced cocktails and food options while hosting some of the city’s best DJs. The Aviary offers an array of creative cocktails and intimate spaces that are bookable in advance online. They are part of Chicago’s Alinea Group, a renowned collection of restaurants and cocktail lounges universally praised for their innovative approach to dining and crafting unique and memorable experiences for guests. Moneygun is a hip, understated, booth-lined spot that serves traditional cocktails. Perfect for a night cap or to spend the night with friends, this is an excellent dressed-down option for a very Chicago-esque experience. Events The United Center is a world-class arena located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago (The Confidence Lab is less than 5 minutes away). It is considered one of the best venues for sports and concerts because of its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class amenities. As the home of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks, the arena has hosted some of the most memorable moments in sports history. It is also a premier destination for concerts and other live events, with a seating capacity of over 20,000 and advanced sound and lighting systems that ensure an unforgettable experience for fans. Traveling with family? If you’re traveling with your spouse, children, friends or all of the above, here are a few excellent ways to spend your time between trainings and meals: Museum of Contemporary Art: The MCA is Chicago’s contemporary and modern art museum. It features a rotating cast of their collected works –– ranging from the likes of famous designer Virgil Abloh to local artists like Jeanne Dunning. It’s featured exhibitions, often by ticket purchase only, touch on themes like ambiguity, The Internet, politics and poetry. Admission is a suggested donation of $3 with a “pay-what-you-can” policy, and the Museum is open 10am-9pm Wed-Sun, 10am-9pm Tues and closed Mondays. The Art Institute of Chicago: This world-renowned museum is home to a number of iconic exhibitions such as a display of works by Mark Rothko as well as archives of ancient art from across the world. It’s simply a must-see when in Chicago. Tickets can be bought online or in-person and are $19 with discounts for seniors and students. The Art Institute is open from 11am to 6pm on Mondays and Thursday through Sunday. Museums at Museum Campus: Museum Campus is home to the Alder Planetarium, The Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History – all featuring their own sites and wonders in a single 57-acre museum park right by Lake Michigan. Hours and ticket prices vary per museum and tickets can be bought in bundles here: Seasonal Ice Skating in Maggie Daley Park: The iconic ice-skating ribbon in Maggie Daley Park is open through March 13th, and is a wonderful way to get outside, hit the ice and take in the sites of downtown Chicago. The skating rink features rentals, food vendors and, this season, a Vincent Van Gogh Skating. This is an immersive skating experience that projects the works of Van Gogh onto the rink at Maggie Daley Park. The park has day and evening hours. Tickets can be booked in advanced here:

  • Our Training Models Do Their Research

    Take a look at this video showcasing the transformation of a patient at The Confidence Bar into a model at The Confidence Lab. Models have a vital role in our training sessions, providing attendees with the valuable opportunity to gain hands-on injection experience while enjoying incredible treatments at a 50% discount. These models also offer priceless feedback on the treatments to attendees. Furthermore, becoming a model offers you a unique chance to acquire a deeper understanding of the treatments we offer, as you have a front-row seat to witness Rana and her educators educating the attendees If you aspire to become a model for a Confidence Lab training, click here to start the process of enrolling in our Be a Model program.

  • Rana featuring on the Inside Aesthetics Podcast

    Rana gives us unique a perspective into the US injectable market, consultations, training and more in this episode of the Inside Aesthetics podcast. Inside Aesthetics (IA) podcast explores cosmetic and injectable-related topics including toxins & fillers, devices, lasers, injecting theory as well as aesthetic business topics. Hosted by Dr Jake Sloane (a leading aesthetic doctor & international injectables trainer) & David Segal (an aesthetic business entrepreneur & mentor), Inside Aesthetics hosts globally-renowned experts to discuss their specialty in the aesthetics & injectables industry.

  • Watch Model Reactions After Receiving an Treatment at an Aesthetic Training

    Observe the emotional responses of our model's after receiving a treatment during one of our hands-on aesthetics training events. If you aspire to become a model, click here to start the process of enrolling in our Be a Model program. Models will be injected by the trainees, under the guidance of our trainers. As a thank-you for being a model, you will receive the treatment at 50% off

  • Rana Kennelly On How She Handles Patient Consultations

    Rana details her journey in crafting her patient consultation aesthetic procedure. She emphasizes the significance of dedicating ample time to actively listen to the patient, establishing a foundation of trust. She underscores the value of uncovering the emotional motivations driving a patient's pursuit of treatment. Additionally, she highlights the importance of capturing high-quality before and after photos, employing compassionate kind language when exploring treatment alternatives, and thoroughly outlining the potential side effects and risks associated with the proposed treatment.

  • Rana Kennelly’s New Injector Advice

    Enjoy this interview with Rana and Cassie Lane (founder of Injectables EDU) talking about advice for new aesthetic injectors

  • Where Are They Now? Nico Palanti RN

    Welcome to "Where Are They Now?", a series that follows the journey of individuals who have attended one of our courses and how they have applied the skills and knowledge gained with us in their professional and personal lives. We believe that learning is a lifelong journey, and we take pride in knowing that our program has had a positive impact on the lives of our attendees. Nivo Palanti RN Introducing Nico our latest addition to our "Where Are They Now?" series brings us great excitement. Nico took part in a training way back in 2019. Since Nico has also become one our expert trainers at The Confidence Lab. What were you doing before you got into aesthetics? Prior to aesthetics, I was working grueling hours in the emergency department of a Chicago suburb hospital. It wasn’t until a few years into practice at the patient bedside that I experienced the emotional and physical signs of nursing “burnout”. What inspired you to pursue a career in aesthetics? I thought that helping others in critical care with lifesaving resuscitation interventions would fulfil my desire and internal call for helping others. Initially, this was the career path I had always dreamed of holding. However, I was wrong and fell victim to the churn and burn of hospital employment. Growing up, I used to be fascinated with plastic surgery. However, having spent time in the operating room as an anesthesia tech prior to nursing, I learned that the OR was not a place for me. I learned that outpatient cosmetic procedures make an impactful result without going “under the knife”. Why did you choose The Confidence Lab's training program? I pursued my education with The Confidence Lab’s training program due to the immersive structure of a two-day workshop seminar that provides didactic and hands-on training. The organization of this program provides a student with the best application of applying hands on education following valuable in class lectures. The Confidence Lab’s training program provides practice models, which streamlines the process to hands-on learning without a student needing to find a model of their own. Why look elsewhere when everything is accessible and easy! What is your favorite aspect of working in the field of aesthetics? The field of aesthetics is an evolving area of medicine, where evidence-based practice and advancements in technology is continuously shaping and improving standards of care. Aesthetic medicine provides a high degree of patient autonomy that allows creativity and artistry to mold within the spectrum of medicine. I have found my niche! The relationships that I build with my patients is unmatched from any other healthcare setting that I have experienced. I truly believe that when you look good, you feel good. Aesthetic medicine allows a provider to boost one’s confidence and self-esteem. I can personally attest to the positive rewards that I leave with each impactful appointment among my patients that I never felt in the emergency room. What are you doing now? Currently, I am a top producing aesthetic injector at a Chicago metro medical spa, SpaDerma. I have been practicing at SpaDerma for 4 years, directly following my introductory training at The Confidence Lab. I have recently tapped into my passion for teaching and aspiring others, as a new educator at The Confidence Lab! It is here where I am continuously uplifted by a group of brilliant, and knowledgeable women sharing my own values of providing safe and ethical standard of aesthetic medicine. What advice would you give to those considering a career in this field? The best advice that I can provide to a prospective candidate interested in pursuing a career in aesthetics is to simply take the plunge! My biggest fear was losing clinical knowledge from the bedside in which I invested many years in school, and not to mention debt of student loans. However, aesthetic injectors use clinical reasoning with every patient, not limited to consultations, assessments, and implementation of an aesthetic care plan. I feel more empowered and driven in any career that I have held within medicine. Get your foot into the door of aesthetics and restore the work-life balance that you deserve!

  • Empowering Confidence by Lisa Rivero MS, FNP-BC, APRN

    Lisa Rivero, an essential member of The Confidence Lab's education team, imparts her invaluable expertise, wisdom, and insights drawn from her decade-long role as an injector and educator. In a world of nurses, aesthetic providers and aesthetic educators, there are individuals who embody the spirit of empathy, education, and empowerment. I can only aspire to have those words be used to describe me one day. I began my professional journey as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Memorial Hospital, now known as Lurie Children’s Hospital. As a young nurse, I was guided by compassion and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of those little ones struggling with morbidity they did not deserve. Helping them feel “normal” was my constant compass as they battled testing, lab draws, medication and surgery. I wanted them to feel strong and indestructible. I wanted them to feel empowered. After earning my advanced nurse practitioner degree from DePaul University in 2006, I continued to follow my calling of service and care. I was extremely fortunate to be employed at a federally qualified health center in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. I was able to offer my expertise and compassion to those facing barriers to healthcare due to lack of insurance or financial means. I prided myself on being the best educator to my patients to help them navigate the many diagnoses that were rampant in low-income societies. I wanted to offer them a sense of understanding and support they so many times we not given. In 2012, a new chapter began as I entered the aesthetic industry. The start of my career was challenging. I took a position as a mobile aesthetic provider where I had to drive to the homes of my patients to perform aesthetic services. Aesthetics was not your typical avenue for nurses. I was not supporting patients through health issues but rather boosting self-confidence and allowing them to take charge of the aging process. I realized that I was helping to make a difference in their personal lives, their professional lives, and to their mental wellbeing. I realized I was EMPOWERING my patients with aesthetic treatments. In 2022, I joined the esteemed team at The Confidence Bar. It was here that I finally found my WHY in my life again. I adore my patients. I am always striving to be the best provider for them. I love building their self-esteem. But I found a SECOND WHY in my life. And one I found to be even more powerful. It wasn’t until I was offered the chance to educate other aesthetic providers, that I was brought back to my core passion of empowering others, but now as an educator. Through education, I am able to help individuals reach levels of self-assuredness they are all striving to have. I am able to build a sense of confidence that propels them forward to become even better. I am able to help them recognize the that aesthetics is STILL MEDICINE and we need to be safe and thoughtful with all our treatments. Being an educator of aesthetic providers has not only become my profession, but also my purpose and motivation in the aesthetic industry. The role of an educator demand significant effort on my part to uphold the pillars of empathy, education, and empowerment, principles I firmly believe in. Principles that I strive for in my personal and professional life and principles that I feel are exemplified and taught at The Confidence Bar.

  • NEW Sculptra Training with Lauren Gardstrom MSN, APRN, NP-C

    Discover the sought-after Sculptra dilution ratios and methods for effectively managing fine lines, wrinkles, skin texture, age-related volume depletion, and achieving the signature Sculptra glow! Through request we are delighted to present out first Confidence Lab Sculptra In-house CME approved training on Oct 27 2023 with our resident expert on the product Lauren Gardstrom. Lauren's primary injectable of choice is Sculptra when it comes to addressing fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and age related volume loss. Lauren began using Sculptra before it was hot on the market, and has years of experience with the product prior to the product becoming FDA indicated for treating skin texture, Lauren began to notice her patients were presenting with a post injection glow, now dubbed the "Sculptra glow." She has always been one step ahead of the market for PLLA injections and continues to do so by attending esteemed injector conferences and courses, fueling her passion for education and training on products she loves and believes in. The Agenda CME Credits This activity is in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of MECOP and The Confidence Lab. MECOP is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The activity is approved for 6 CME credits. Session Outline: Didactic Presentation by Lauren: The training begins with a comprehensive presentation. Lauren will provide in-depth insights into Sculptra Aesthetic, explaining its uses, benefits, and the science behind PLLA injections. Live Model Demonstration: Following the presentation, there will be a live demonstration on a model to showcase the application of Sculptra Aesthetic. Lauren will illustrate the injection techniques and treatment areas that are her favourite. Hands-On Experience: Each session is limited to three attendees to ensure personalized attention. Each attendee will have dedicated one-on-one time with Lauren for hands-on experience. This practical segment involves supervised injections, allowing participants to apply what they've learned into their own practice.

  • What does a Patreon posting look like?

    Up until now, Rana has shared more than 850 posts on Patreon. Every Sunday, Rana consistently provides a minimum of 3-4 informative posts. Here's a glimpse of the kind of knowledge you gain as a patron:

  • What branding?

    I received an unexpected message from someone asking about my branding, and I couldn't help but chuckle. I thought, "What branding?" But it turns out, they genuinely wanted to know who I used for branding, and that's quite a flattering compliment. Before I embarked on The Confidence Bar journey, I laid down the cornerstone by crafting the logo, mission statement, and core values. This foundation needed to be rock-solid, the heartbeat driving the growth of the business. It became my unwavering commitment - I would die against this sword! Maybe a little too dramatic Rana (haha). Once your mission and values are solid, you step into the choices of colours (so many bloody colours)!) and imagery, which is the more exciting part. Colour Palette: My choice of colours was inspired by skin tones. I intentionally avoided the conventional white, black, or yellow. I settled on a rose tone to embrace all skin types for my main colour. At that time, everyone seemed stuck on blues and whites, which didn't resonate with me. I was reluctant, fearing failure, but I reminded myself that my appearance didn't fit the typical mold of an aesthetic provider. So, why should my brand? Our foundation color is rose gold, complemented by a hint of green, a homage to the lush grass of New Zealand that's so breathtaking it can move you to tears and make your eyes hurt with the bright glare! Imagery: My inspiration draws from my birthplace, New Zealand, and the rich Maori culture, blending our heritage with the natural beauty of the landscape. I injected a touch of playfulness too, breaking away from the clinical, sterile aesthetics. For The Confidence Lab, I embraced a mad scientist vibe, and for The Confidence Bar, a mix of metals, woods, and a few unexpected elements like animal heads. Strangely enough, I've never used vision boards or Pinterest for this - I imagined this as a beautiful project holding, smelling and loving on fabrics, woods etc but I simply didn't have the time. It's more about surrounding myself with things that resonate with me and create positive feelings – something I'm rediscovering as I share this with you. Our logo is a daily reminder of our identity, stemming from the Maori koru pendant that my son wears around his neck, gifted by his grandmother. What's incredible is that I didn't fully realize that my brand visuals were organically communicating these core values to our audience. It's grown that way because it genuinely our foundation. Currently, Ian (my better calmer half) and I are working on a new website, even changing our fonts. Interestingly, our team leaned towards the more feminine, flowing text rather than my preference for clean and seamless. I believe in incorporating our team's input, after all, it's their workplace too. Watch this space for some girlie text chose by our team (too girlie for me). I'm excited to unveil the new website soon. I'll be back here to share insights into crafting your core values, a process that evolves over months and can be reshaped by challenges along the way. Recently, I added "honesty" to our core values – something you'd assume is a given, but even the most obvious principles need to be reinforced. This is a blog post that is very important to share. Over and out from me for now, with love, Rana

  • Have you heard of Patreon?

    Have you heard of Patreon and what the fuss is all about? Rana and her team of educators at The Confidence Lab share behind-the-scenes knowledge on consultation, evaluation, product information, injection techniques, business pearls, and much, much more. Patreon is all about creating a community of sharing where we can ask questions and help one another.⁣ Every week, we post a minimum of four new videos with a plethora of 'behind the scenes'. Pearls for both beginning and experienced providers wishing to build on existing talents. ⁣ ⁣We are glad to say that it starts at only $15 per month and that we offer a free 7-day trial to aesthetic practitioners ONLY. Check it out; we'd love to hear your thoughts, and even better, please share what you'd like to see.⁣ ⁣ We are happy to say that Patreon community is expanding. Here are some amazing accounts to follow and do let us know who we missed and who you enjoy following. ⁣ Links to our fav Patreon account: @drstef_gatica_dnp⁣ @amiemartinrn⁣ @dani_sparkle_pa⁣ @botoxbunny⁣ @unfilteredinjector⁣ @instituteofaesthetics⁣ @rechelle.trejo.aesthetics⁣ @lipsdontlikesharkira ⁣ @jubliant.julie

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