An Exciting New Enterprise – Andrew and Emma Campbell (nee Pook)

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with a couple of Kristin Alumni who are carving a new and innovative path in the world of dentistry.

Only two weeks after opening the doors at The Tooth Company, Andrew and Emma Campbell’s brand new practice was fully booked. A mere ten months later and they are gearing up to open a second new practice in the city. Not a bad effort for the pair who, by traditional industry standards, could well have expected to spend a decade or two working their way up the ranks in a relatively conservative industry.
The couple met while at Kristin and after graduating in 2002 they both moved south to Otago University – Andrew to study his Bachelor of Dental Surgery, and Emma a BCom in Marketing and BA in Design. Upon graduation they both returned to Auckland and went out into their respective industries. After a few years an idea had begun to form in the back of Andrew’s mind, and when the opportunity came along it seemed like the best time to bring the vision to reality.

“One of the things that excited me most about dentistry – aside from the teeth of course – was the potential for business development” said Andrew while explaining their vision for The Tooth Company. “There tends to be a traditional ethos in the industry where it’s all about being a health practitioner and the business aspects all sit to the side. We had to ask ourselves, does it have to be done that way for the sake of the healthcare?”

Utilising Emma’s experience in marketing and commerce and Andrew’s passion for business, the pair built their vision for a new style of dentistry with their customers in mind. “One in two people do not visit their dentist regularly. We really tried to look at why this was and build our business to suit our customers’ needs”.

This approach led to their decisions about location, ease of access, opening hours and services, all of which are in response to their extensive research of their customers. The result is something new and fresh, but not entirely unfamiliar. The pair have taken influence from the retail and hospitality industries and while the practice is clearly a state-of-the-art dental surgery, it is a far cry from the dated and medicinal offices which many people may expect.

“We’ve started with a ground floor retail approach” explained Emma, “People have responded to it really well. Our customers are noticing a change, and so are our staff. It’s not always something they can put their finger on, but it gets their attention and they like it.”

Everything about this venture speaks volumes about the nature of the pair who are behind it. They are relatable, open minded and their vision is clearly established. They are not limited by fear of the unknown; instead they are putting in the hard yards to make their dream a reality.
Both Emma and Andrew are quick to acknowledge the help and support of their friends and family who have been an integral part of their journey so far. “We quickly realised that once all the homework had been done, the only thing that could slow us down was confidence. There were a lot of people who questioned the whole concept but we were surrounded by great people in our friends and family. Before we knew it, we were away”

They also both see their time at Kristin as an asset which set them up well for university and life beyond school. “There were so many opportunities”, reflects Emma, “I don’t think we realised how lucky we were to be exposed to so many things – especially to the teachers.”

“They just kept drilling us; keep going, keep going, keep going,” joins in Andrew, “and it was great that we were associating with others who believed that no goal was unachievable. Even at sixteen we all had an idea of where we wanted to go in life” The pair still maintains close friendships with their friends from Kristin and will both be attending their ten year reunion in October.

Kristin School Kaleidoscope