PENARTH businesswoman Dr Sarah Cuffin is celebrating ten years of success in the town – but rather than resting on her laurels, the award-winning owner of Smile Studio continues to look for exciting new ways to expand.

Sarah opened Smile Studio back in 2003, just after the birth of her second child. Taking over the premises of a previous dental practice in Plymouth Road, she built up the business by introducing the latest technology to complement traditional dental treatments – earning a loyal and ever-expanding customer base in the process.

And she says the key to her continuing success is the good old-fashioned family ethos that underpins the whole business.

“Some people think the practice is a franchise, or part of a chain, but that’s not the case,” said Sarah, who studied dentistry at Guy’s Hospital in London.

“It’s a family business, based on sound medical principles, which I couldn’t run without the practical and moral support of my husband Chris, father-in-law Ray, and my children.”

Sarah’s also proud that the practice has become an established part of the Penarth community, with visits to schools and clubs to talk about the importance of dental hygiene; regular fundraisers for local charities like Ty Hafan as well as national charities including Breast Cancer Care, Macmillan, The Pituitary Foundation and the MND Association; sponsorship support for a local junior football team and other sporting events; and a host of other activities.

“Penarth is a wonderful town with such a strong community, and I think it’s important for local businesses to be as much a part of that as possible,” she said.

A decade on from setting up Smile Studio, the business continues to grow, with the opening of the Refresh Skin Studio last year adding another string to Sarah’s bow.

“Many of my dental patients were telling me they’d like to try aesthetic, anti-ageing and skin treatments, but were worried about the lack of expertise among practitioners,” said Sarah, who studied dentistry at Guy’s Hospital in London.

“It’s not something people want to take a chance with after all, so it occurred to me that with my medical and dental training, it was a natural step to expand into that area.”

So in 2007, Sarah took the decision to train in Facial Aesthetics, and over the next few years she built up her knowledge and expertise, slowly introducing treatments at Smile Studio – before feeling ready to open the Refresh Skin Clinic on the top floor of the building last year.

Offering non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments and the latest skin rejuvenation therapies aimed at enhancing patients’ natural beauty as well as treating scarring and skin problems – and all backed up by full medical expertise - the studio is now regarded as a centre of excellence within the industry.

So much so that Sarah is set to train other practitioners on site, in what is now a recognised training centre for clinicians, ensuring her students take forward her own principles of putting patients’ health and wellbeing first and foremost.

It’s the latest industry recognition for the mum-of-two, who also picked up honours at the National Smile Awards 2011 and 2012 in the category of Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics, and was shortlisted again in 2013 in what are now known as the Aesthetic Dentistry Awards, rewarding clinical excellence in dental and facial aesthetics, as well as exemplary standards of care.

“It’s been a fantastic first ten years,” added Sarah.

“I hope the next ten years will be even better – and I’ll be doing my best to keep Penarth smiling!”