Dr Judey Pretorius: The Eternal Student
Dr Judey Pretorius is the founder and CEO of Biomedical Emporium @biomed_emporium , a biotechnology company specialising in the formulation of advanced biological products, cell culture processes and tissue engineering for advanced wound healing, and advisory on regenerative medicine. The company focuses on three main areas: medical aesthetics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Judey’s story is one of grit and determination, starting with her entry to university which did not go as smoothly as expected. Although, she was accepted to university on her preliminary grade 12 results, her finals did not go as expected and she was required to re-write two of her final exam papers in order to continue her science degree at university. However, despite this initial hurdle, Judey went on to excel at university, completing a Master’s degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology followed by a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, medicine development and design. Calling herself an eternal student, she has also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Dermal Aesthetics.
After completing her studies, Judey initially worked as a research and formulation scientist at local divisions of international pharmaceutical companies, eventually deciding that she did not like working for others and would much prefer to be her own boss. So, in 2013, she sold her home, moved back in with her mother and founded Biomedical Emporium, at first focusing on aesthetic products. Judey would rent time at a local laboratory from 5pm in the evening (when they closed their normal day-to-day business operations), until the next morning to develop all her products and during the day time, she focused on the sales and marketing side of selling her products; initially hosting groups of women over at her mother’s house for cake and coffee to introduce them to her line of products. These little marketing events started paying off and women who attended began buying her products, allowing her to build a mini client base of repeat customers which she then took to local beauty salons as a basis for building a distribution network.
Six years later, Biomedical Emporium has grown to employing 62 employees, is available in 14 countries and Judey and her products have won several awards including: the Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence de la Beaute award, a National Business award and the Standard Bank Top Woman in Business award. Judey has since established and designed her own accredited laboratory and the days of renting time in somebody else’s lab during odd hours are long gone. However, she does credit some of her success in an established market to the fact that she does not have an 8am-5pm mentality, whereas many of the established players do not. Biomedical emporium was also the headline sponsor at this year’s Pink Polo event in aid of breast cancer, in line with the company’s mission to be supportive of the continued empowerment of women.
Judey’s aim is to build “a powerful aesthetic brand company south of the equator” and she appears well on her way to achieving that goal. We are inspired by her grit and perseverance in building an aesthetics and pharmaceutical brand in an extremely competitive market both locally and internationally. In addition to her biotechnology baby, Judey is undergoing IVF to become a mother, a journey she is choosing to pursue on her own. We wish her all the very best on this new journey.
Featured artist: Karla Vink