By John M. Hayden
Be well. Seems simple, but it’s harder than it sounds. The stress from everyday life can be tough enough. Add in a pandemic and, well, you can quickly find yourself looking a lot worse for the wear. BeWell MedSpa specializes in helping take away some of the toll that life takes on the body.
From BOTOX® and a facelift alternative to dermal fillers and lip enhancements, they have services for all your needs, including the newest CoolSculpting® elite technology for fat removal and a wonderful facial membership program. BeWell owners Michal Kitai and Oren Kiriat have a menu of services to help you look better, and feel better about yourself. “As a medical practitioner I do a lot of education with my clients. It’s a goal that we work together,” Michal told us. She emphasizes it’s not just about giving a patient a treatment, it’s about working with them to achieve their goals. She began her career as a medic in the Israeli Defense Forces before going to school in Jerusalem and moving to the states where she did her advanced degree and residency at NYU Medical Center. Michal has been doing injections since she was 18 years old and has it down to a science.
BeWell focuses on subtle changes. Their goal is for people to notice something about you after a treatment, but not be able to tell what exactly is different. “Whether you want to look like you did when you were 20, or enhance an area that’s seen more signs of time, we do really well with people who want to look like their best self,” Oren says. “People really want not to notice that you had anything done, but notice that you look great.”
They are introducing CoolSculpting®, a process in which body fat is “frozen.” Over a few weeks, the fat cells eventually dissipate and die. Like so many of their treatments, this service makes gradual changes, until one day people notice the difference.
Michal and Oren also specialize in facelift alternatives, generally redefining the concept of the traditional facelift concept. “People hear the term ‘facelift’ and many think that they are looking at plastic surgery, but that’s really a bygone era,” Oren said. “We can address a facelift using dermal fillers that can enhance our client’s appearance. You won’t need surgery or downtime. The cost is also much more considerable.” The key is understanding their clients, while taking the time to get to know their needs. “The majority of people,” Oren continued, “do not need actual surgery. They’re going to see results by coming to us. We can provide unique solutions and we know how to work well with different client types. These are the strengths that we bring to those that come to see us.”
BeWell also offers a $59 monthly facial membership. Once we get out of our mid-twenties our skin’s exfoliation process slows down dramatically. Oren stresses that monthly maintenance is key to staying ahead of the game. “Just a basic facial that includes exfoliation, moisturizer, removal of impurities, and a balancing of skin tones will help expedite the process. These help develop collagen, which acts like the scaffolding for your skin. The more robust your collagen, the more your skin is able to hold firmly in place.”
They also work with clients on BOTOX® injections, targeting their specific areas and keeping patients looking great. “Our skin is just another organ and it shows what’s exposed to us,” Michal stresses. “I have some people where I go to inject BOTOX®, but also I talk to them about diet and lifestyle. I always ask what are their habits? What do they do? I also develop recommendations that are customized for each individual.” Michal likens it to having a gym membership. “I talk to them a lot about maintenance. BOTOX® is not one time and done. I compare it to going to the gym. You can’t go to the gym one time, work on biceps, and expect to have huge biceps.”
Functional medicine services are also offered; such as testing for heavy metals, food allergy testing, and micro-nutrient evaluations which are key to know vitamin deficiencies and what is truly affecting your health and skin.
BeWell MedSpa has a very cool and laid back vibe and offers a refreshing beverage when you walk in. They all try to create a sense of family among the staff and clients. One way they do that is in the hours they keep. They’re open late a couple nights a week, but are closed Saturday and Sundays, and start their weekends by wrapping up at 2:00PM on Fridays. “It is very much intended to build around our family time. It’s also how we believe as much as possible we should all be acting. If we can make a living that is adequate for you, and not have to work late everyday, to be home regularly, etc. If I can make that happen for my team, that makes me very happy.”
It’s a big change from the days of 100 hour workweeks of just a few years ago. With two sets of twins under two years old, Michal and Oren decided to shake things up and moved from New York City to South Florida. With faith in her skills they decided to open up BeWell MedSpa on NE 26th Street in Wilton Manors. “We started from scratch five years ago,” Oren told us. “We had no clients, no brand name.” They quickly blended into their new neighborhood. “We immediately became friends with people at The Pride Center at Equality Park. We became ‘founders,’ which means we give every month. We participate in some of their events. We joined the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and was part of their GLBX Council (Gay and Lesbian Business Exchange), which is their LGBTQ+ alliance.” Oren’s civic efforts were recognized in 2019, when the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce named him Small Business Person of the Year.
Back home in Israel, Michal was very involved in the LGBTQ+ community. “My goal was to open a nursing home for the gay community. I find it so amazing I ended up in Wilton Manors.”
The husband and wife team grew the practice and recently moved to new facilities on Oakland Park Boulevard. The new location doubled the amount of treatment rooms and they are already expanding again and offering new services. With three aestheticians on staff, they’re able to do even more facials, chemical peels, BOTOX®, and injections for the non-surgical facelifts, as well as lip work and treating double chins. Michal believes that preventive care is key to maintaining your look. “I’m very passionate about educating wellness and care. My goal is to treat you as you and work together. Everyone has different movements. I like to do a lot of preventative care.”
BeWell’s new building is easy to spot, as it has a colorful mural along one of its walls. Oren says artist Lori Pratico was looking for a wall to paint and as luck would have it, he had a wall. The response has been so positive that Oren says she’s taking her talents inside. “She’s coming to do more art in our space. She’s working on something to paint in each treatment room so we can add some more pizazz.”
In addition to their work with The Pride Center at Equality Park, Oren says they participate in the AIDS Walk and, a couple of years ago he also rode in The SMART Ride. “I raised a couple of thousand dollars and made a million new friends. Personally and community-wise, it’s something very special to do.” Glen Weinzmier, The SMART Ride’s founder is always excited to have them as part of the team, adding, “Oren was a great addition to the ride. His energy and commitment to making others’ lives better is remarkable. We love partnering with other businesses and individuals in the community. It is truly only because of these partnerships that we are able to raise the funds we raise and help eradicate new infections.”
He mentioned the idea to ride with a good friend and Wilton Manors’ City Commissioner Chris Caputo, who decided there’s no time like the present to start training. “The next day Oren’s at my house at 5:00AM with a bike and says it’s time to start training.”
Oren is thinking about doing the ride again next year. He loves his adopted home and believes giving back and being part of the community is key. “I really like an environment of diversity; it’s important to me. It’s just nice to be among nice people.”
BeWell MedSpa’s new location is at 1699 East Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 160, Oakland Park, FL, 33334, and you can check out their website at BeWellMedSpa.com. Whether it’s being part of the community or a part of their patients’ lives, BeWell’s personal number one goal is to be a positive part of everyone’s day. From there, all good things will follow. “It’s important to treat people the way you want to be treated, or better, and be a good part of people’s day.”