Defining Your Best Self cover

Defining Your Best Self

Business partners Alexandra Rogers ’14, ’15 (left), and Alexa Nicholls Costa ’14, ’15, opened their second LexRx location on Newbury Street in 2016.

By Kristen Walsh

Portraits By Kathleen Dooher

Regis Today Spring 2017

The definition of “self-confidence” sounds straightforward: confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. Finding ways to foster self-confidence, however, is another story. But Alexa Nicholls Costa ’14, ’15, and Alexandra Rogers ’14, ’15, are using their nurse practitioner experience to help empower their clients using a simple philosophy: “Look good, feel good, play good.”

Their business, LexRx, is a boutique practice with a focus on minimally invasive cosmetic procedures with a conservative approach. It brings together many commonalities of the two alumnae (beyond their names). They both graduated from Regis’ accelerated BSN/MSN nursing program. They are committed to bringing passion, intelligence, and creativity to the ever-changing field of medicine. And they want to empower men and women by helping them look good and feel good.

“Our practice is approachable and has truly taken a stance in the industry by reducing stigmas and shame that were once associated with procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers,” says Costa.

While all ages and genders come in for procedures, the company’s largest demographic is millennials (ages 18 to 34), who, according to Costa, are interested in both preventative and corrective procedures, and “appreciate quality work.”

Alexa Nicholls Costa at her graduation with President Hays

“Quality” includes a consultation prior to treatment to review medical history, allergies, contraindications, risks, benefits, and realistic outcome goals. This is where the alumnae’s education and medical background come in. Costa received an undergraduate degree in pre-medicine/health science from Boston University and Rogers received an undergraduate degree in biostatistics from Emmanuel College. Rogers’ professional experience includes adult and pediatric urgent care at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston. She currently works full time as an urgent care nurse practitioner in Natick, Massachusetts. In these roles, she has gained immense clinical knowledge and exposure to many complex medical problems.

Costa worked at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory alongside the division chief. She also trained with Heather Parker Bouchard ’05, lead nurse practitioner in the MGH Plastic Surgery Clinic, and was selected as a fellow in the prestigious emergency medicine fellowship program (EMPED) through Brown Medical School, working as a nurse practitioner in the emergency departments at Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital. She now works full time in the MGH Emergency Department (“a lifelong dream!”). Costa (pictured above with President Hays) received the Master’s of Nursing Excellence Award at Regis—an honor presented to one candidate each year.

“As NPs, our practice maintains the highest level of education, professionalism, and confidentiality,” Rogers says. “We respect our patients’ rights, empower them through education, and encourage them to practice autonomy by doing their own research before choosing their medical providers.”

The women agree that to be the best in the industry, a strong academic background and hands-on experience is vital. Costa incorporated her skills and knowledge base from working in both research and clinical settings at MGH to initiate core LexRx principles, while Rogers has utilized her aptitude, creativity, academics, and experience.

Some of the most successful businesses are those that are focused, diligent, and masters of their craft—the motivating drive behind our approach.”
Alexa Nicholls Costa ’14, ’15

Meeting of the minds

Costa and Rogers met during their first semester at Regis and grew close during one of their first nursing clinicals on a surgical unit at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in the Boston neighborhood of West Roxbury.

“We quickly bonded over the crazy student-nurse life and, of course, our names,” Costa recalls.

The two worked together for a private-duty nursing company (Boston NAPS), and eventually went on to launch the first Graduate Student Government at Regis—Costa as president and Rogers as vice president. After the experience, they realized how well they worked together—and how much they enjoyed it.

“We knew we could do something great with our NP degrees,” Rogers says, “and we were inspired by our entrepreneurial nursing friends who created Boston NAPS.”

In addition to core nursing classes, Rogers and Costa were engaged in management and practice development courses at Regis that provided them with the background and guidance necessary to launch a successful business.

“We were largely supported by Regis when we started the Graduate Student Government,” Rogers says. “By initiating this organization as president and VP, we practiced entrepreneurship skills such as organization, management, development, and financial strategy.”

Having had experience with aesthetic practice through her work in plastic surgery at MGH, Costa knew that there was an opportunity for a niche practice in the field. She identified a small but profitable segment of the plastics/dermatology specialty and was passionate about injectable procedures.

“We started brainstorming during our last year at Regis,” Costa says. “And we hit the ground running right after graduating from our NP program in May 2015.”

The beauty of collaboration

A key piece in developing a successful LexRx business model, according to Rogers, was following the Regis philosophy of collaboration and partnerships. “As prepared as we felt, remaining modest, humble, and aware of our limitations allowed us to bring on partners with diverse areas of expertise and guidance. Being able to ask for help is a business key to success.”

Costa and Rogers are equal owners of the company and perform all of the injections. When they first launched at their original location in August 2015 in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, they hired a business adviser to help lead the marketing vision and communication strategy. Business took off, with clients traveling from Boston and points south, including Cape Cod and Rhode Island. The team grew with the addition of a creative director and a publicist, and LexRx made headlines in publications such as Boston Magazine, Cosmetic Surgery Times, InStyle, Prevention, and Women’s Health. A little more than a year later, they opened a second location on Newbury Street in Boston.

LexRx became a family affair when their husbands offered their areas of expertise and consulting into the business model. Costa’s husband, Gregory, is a certified public accountant and “master of strategic growth for businesses.” Rogers’ husband, Jay, a licensed financial business consultant, has been a mentor by encouraging the women to “think outside the box” and remain motivated.

Costa also circles back to Bouchard, who taught her about advanced suture techniques, breast health, and how to “perfect the art of injectables.” Bouchard’s guidance and insight on her career as a nurse practitioner ultimately drove Costa’s decision to apply to Regis.

“Heather is a true master of injections and an accomplished, admirable nurse practitioner,” says Costa, who serves on the Regis Alumni Board. “I owe tremendous credit to her for helping me develop skills and knowledge that I will carry with me throughout my career.”

Business partners Alexandra Rogers ’14, ’15 (left), and Alexa Nicholls Costa ’14, ’15, in their LexRx office

Masters at crafting confidence

On Newbury Street, LexRx sits among high-end designer clothing stores, art galleries, hair salons, and medical spas. Standing out, however, is not a concern.

“We focus strictly on lips, lines, and lashes—nothing more and nothing less—making us experts in our technique,” Costa explains. “Some of the most successful businesses are those that are focused, diligent, and masters of their craft—the motivating drive behind our approach.”

And back to self-confidence: Costa and Rogers agree that it takes time to build.

“I truly believe that experiences and education build confidence,” Costa says. “The more opportunities you have to experience new concepts, whether it be in day-to-day tasks or job-related activities, the more prepared and well-rounded you become—thus translating into composure and confidence.”

As for Rogers: “I am constantly trying to learn and better myself by doing things that do not come naturally to me or that are outside of my comfort zone. My eagerness to learn has a lot to do with where I am today. Make small goals, take time to practice and study toward these goals, and celebrate every single victory.”

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