Jessica Birrell, CDT, FACE
Capture Dental Arts
Saratoga Springs, UT
Years in industry: 13
Lab opened: 2009
"Being a ceramist and giving the patient a reason to smile are what drive me. It's what I love about this profession," says Jessica Birrell, CDT, FACE, who opened Capture Dental Arts in her Saratoga Springs, UT, home three years ago. After working in a larger laboratory, Birrell aspired to be her own boss and wanted the freedom to be more creative, explore new ideas and focus on the partnership approach to dentistry.
An added bonus: being home for her three children, ranging from four to 11 years old. She's created a kid-friendly environment in the laboratory, complete with a play area, and employees who are happy to show "mini-technicians" a technique or two. Her four-year-old son, Logan, has already learned the names of all the teeth.
Combining a business startup with motherhood has been a challenging juggling act and she's pulled a lot of all-nighters. Even her children are aware of how hard she works; her other son, Connor, who is eight, once said, "Mommy, teach me to make teeth so you can go to bed."
But being there for her family and watching her children grow have made it worthwhile. "I've shown my kids that if you have a dream, you can push through all the hard work and make any goal a reality. My life is a crazy, mixed up wild mess--and I love every minute of it!" she says.
After one and a half years of working solo, she hired two part-time employees--an office assistant and model technician--and just recently added an intern and full-time technician to the team. Birrell's passion is to imitate natural esthetics as closely as possible while staying conservative, specializing in smile design cases. She is also an accomplished photographer and was recently licensed as a makeup artist so she now offers her dentist-clients marketing packages with before-and-after pictures, providing them with makeup artistry, photography and graphic design services.
Looking forward, Birrell plans to move out of the house once her children are in school full time. She wants to maintain a three- to five-person staff but would like to incorporate a training/education area for dentists and technicians in the lab. She's currently talking to town officials and the local bank about the possibility of building a city arts center in town that will also house Capture Dental Arts. "It's my way of giving back to the community and helping to take my lab to the next level. I believe there's no limit to what we can accomplish in life and with this exciting company. I love what each day brings," says Birrell.
Be sure to check out the profiles below of 9 other home-based laboratories whose owners are proud of their businesses and eager to show off their facilities.