MOUNTAIN BROOK – Dr. Jenny Sobera, Village Dermatology owner and president, has been named Alabama’s 2019 Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. Sobera was honored today during the Alabama Retail Day awards luncheon in Birmingham.
When Sobera opened Village Dermatology in Mountain Brook in 2008, her first priority was to have a strong medical practice. Yet the board-certified dermatologist also wanted to help patients after they left her office. “So often physicians in medical practices take care of skin through prescriptions, maybe biopsies and procedures, but we don’t really tell our patients what to do once they go home,” Sobera said. “My dream was to have really well-trained skin care experts who could … help our patients go home and use the right things on their skin so they can really achieve great skin health overall.”
Sobera’s vision led to the creation of a state-of-the-art medical facility that also incorporates a Skin for Life skincare boutique with three full-time skincare experts. “I’m really passionate about this retail aspect,” Sobera said. The boutique exceeded its revenue goal of $1.6 million in 2018 by $100,000, aided by a strong focus on customer service as well as promotional features such as a “gift with purchase.” In addition, she launched a Core Four program that helps customers streamline product purchasing into four types of products that each person needs for optimal skin health. The retail component also includes an online store for product sales. “We package and ship the products from here, so it is really just an extension of this brick-and-mortar store.”
Sobera was nominated by the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, whose officials praised her commitment to area retail. “Dr. Sobera has taken an active leadership role in the Mountain Brook Chamber. She is currently the vice president of retail for Mountain Brook Village and has headed up a number of events,” said Vince Schelleci, the chamber’s president. “She really has done a wonderful job helping to invigorate the retailers in the Village.”
“We feel it is very important to stay involved in the community, to give back to the community. That same community supports our practice, our business,” Sobera said.
Village Dermatology is one of 14 retail businesses honored today as Retailers of the Year. The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 70 nominees.
“Dr. Jenny Sobera is retailer of the year EVERY year to Village Dermatology patients and customers, her 43 employees and the Mountain Brook, Birmingham and Oneonta communities,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.