Dr. Edna Ma is one of the most incredible and successful women out there today. Not only is she an anesthesiologist, but she’s also an entrepreneur. Her product, BareEase, helps women all the time! You might also recognize her from television as she has made appearance on Survivor, Shark Tank, and more! I had the opportunity to learn all about Dr. Edna and her busy, amazing life. Check out the interview so you can learn more about her too!
Q&A With Dr. Edna Ma
To start off, can you tell us what it is that you do and where we might have seen you before?
I am a board-certified anesthesiologist working and living in Los Angeles, so I may have been the one to put you to sleep before a surgery! I also launched a business that sells numbing kits called, Dr. Edna’s BareEase. This journey has led to opportunities on multiple television shows including Shark Tank, The Doctors, and Survivor.
Why did you decide to become an anesthesiologist?
In medical school, I enjoyed the operating room environment and I loved working as part of a team. Anesthesiology is a very technical specialty too. Plus, I enjoy working with my hands.
Your product is called BareEase. What exactly is BareEase and how does it help women?
BareEase is a prep kit that numbs the skin of the bikini area before a waxing or laser treatment to reduce pain. I launched the business in 2010, and now our products are sold in salons and online.
A few years back, a girlfriend suggested that I get a Brazilian bikini wax. Since I’m the type of person who will try anything at least once, I decided to give it a go. Boy, was it painful!
As an anesthesiologist, I knew there was a way to prep the skin to minimize and prevent discomfort during normally painful procedures. When taking care of children, we always numb the skin before placing an IV. So, why couldn’t we do the same before waxing? That’s how I came up with the idea for BareEase. I created the very first BareEase prototype literally in my kitchen and eventually launched the business a few years later.
How easy is it to use BareEase?
Very easy! It just takes a little planning ahead. Any type of numbing product requires about 20-40 minutes of skin contact for its full effect. I use it even for numbing the face before some facial procedures!
You were on Survivor: South Pacific. What made you want to be on Survivor?
Auditioning for Survivor was a total accident! I was trying to get onto Shark Tank for my business, but they weren’t casting for it at that time. Actually a friend randomly suggested that I go to a Survivor audition. Since it’s the same production team as Shark Tank (Mark Burnett productions), I thought I might be able to pitch my idea in front of them and get it fast tracked onto Shark Tank. Unfortunately that didn’t work, but the casting team did find me interesting enough to cast me for the next immediate season of Survivor. Literally two weeks after my first casting interview, I was on a plane to Samoa!
What was the actual experience of being on Survivor like?
The experience is worse in real life than portrayed on TV. It was rough out there! No toilet paper, no tooth brushing, no toilets. Only an island of desperate people willing to backstab each other for one million dollars. Your imagination can fill in the rest!
There were some pretty crazy contestants on your season! Are these “Survivor villans” as crazy as they seem on TV? Same goes for the “Survivor heroes” like Ozzy.
Ozzy was actually quite nice. But, when you’re surrounded by eclectic personalities that are specifically casted for television entertainment who are also starved and sleep deprived, you are either forced to keep your cool or unleash your own crazy! To answer your question, I think the short answer is: Yes! We/they are that crazy! Keep in mind though that we were forced to live and work together, essentially create a society together, and are only given limited resources to do so. Even a sane person (like myself) would go crazy!
You ended up getting on Shark Tank after Survivor! What was it like to be in front of the sharks like that?
It was nerve-wracking! It’s not like you get to chat with the Sharks and become friends before you pitch. The first time you see them is when you walk down the corridor. It’s only ONE Take. So when you enter the set, you’ve got to stand on your mark for about 1 minute while they adjust the lights and camera to your height. Having 5 sharks sit in silence, staring at you for a full 60 seconds is stressful! Try it yourself! Try looking at someone for one minute without talking. It’s uncomfortable!
You have such a busy life! How are you able to balance home life with work life?
How do I begin to answer that question? Like every physician, entrepreneur, spouse, and mother of young children, I think the key to finding balance is triaging and prioritizing activities. Your time is the most valuable thing in the world so I focus on those things that are the most important to me. My husband and I would not survive without using Google calendar to coordinate our schedules. Fortunately, my career as an anesthesiologist allows for some flexibility. I’m able to structure my schedule so I can prioritize spending time with my children and also acting as mommy-taxi.
What’s an interesting fact about you that might surprise our readers?
I’m currently working on my first children’s picture book. I’m hoping to have it published before the end of 2017. It’s about my son and his friends at school. This has been a creative outlet for me and I have been enjoying this process more than I expected!
You’ve had such an exciting and extraordinary life! What do you think the future has in store for you?
What a wonderful question! I don’t know! But I keep an open mind and I am open for suggestions! Do you have a project I can do?
Do you have any advice for our readers?
My advice would be to just take action, but to be patient at the same time! It seems contradictory, but the journey of 1,000 miles does start with one step. You may stumble along the way, but you’ll get up and continue on! Exercise your perseverance. You can’t control everything, but know when you can, and take action. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!