Her parents wanted her to be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. She said she liked the idea of being in the medical field, but she’s artistic, too.
Harleen Grewal, founder of Skyline Smiles on La Madrid Drive in Santa Clarita, started her business in connection with the adjoining Mind Body Infusion Med Spa, which she founded with her husband, Yuvyaj Grewal. As she was opening the doors, she ran head-on into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I always take whatever comes and make the most out of it,” she told The Signal in a recent telephone interview. “So, what we did is we started doing COVID testing because I had to make money … I just thought, ‘How can I help people and make money at the same time?’ You can make money doing the right thing, right?”
Grewal was born in England in 1983. When she was 10 years old, her parents moved the family to India because they wanted her and her brother to be raised in more of a “conservative, respectful society.”
“They sent me to a boarding school up in the Himalayas called the Sacred Heart School,” Grewal said. “It was in Dalhousie — a Catholic boarding school, run by nuns from Belgium and Ireland. So, I had a fun education,” she added sarcastically.
It was the allure of the American dream, however, which Grewal saw in movies as a kid, that ultimately brought her to the United States. Her dream was to create a successful business and help people at the same time; to be a doctor, but to be an artist. Her love of biology and art came together in the field of dentistry, she said.
“You have to be so specific when you’re contouring those teeth and making somebody’s new smile,” Grewal elaborated. “You’re shade-matching, and molding things, and making one tooth look like the other. It’s a very artistic process.”
Grewal learned dentistry in India. She went to dental school there between 2002 and 2008. Upon finishing, she did what she’d wanted to do for years and she came to America. But she couldn’t just become a dentist. She had to get American training, and so, she enrolled in USC’s school of dentistry.
“I honestly think it’s the best dental school in the world,” she said. “Every day, when I practice, I still remember all the things that were taught to me at USC dental school, and I implement those, and that’s what I’ve carried on for the last 15 years.”
But Grewal said she wanted to challenge herself further. Upon completing her schooling in 2011 at USC, she decided she wanted to get into pediatric dentistry.
Grewal did her residency at the Lutheran Medical Center, which is now a New York University satellite location in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In 2013, she finished, and for the next four years, she got married and moved around a bit, worked with Pacific Dental Services, and in 2017, she and her husband made a home in Santa Clarita near her husband’s family.
“In 2017, we moved here and I was pregnant with my first child,” Grewal continued. “I quit doing dentistry because I didn’t want to be around the laughing gas — nitrous oxide. And my husband started his private practice, which is Advanced Center for Neurology and Headache (in Valencia). But he needed some help to get that running because he’s not a businessman.”
Grewal helped him build his practice. Then she helped her father-in-law build his pain management practice and surgery center.
“I got a lot of management experience,” Grewal continued. “Then I had my second child. After that, I’m like, ‘I’m done. But you know what? I’m helping you guys, but I need to open up my own practice.’”
Grewal, however, who’s never one to do just one thing, had the idea of also opening a medical spa, which she feels goes hand in hand with dentistry.
“It’s more like a wellness center. You come in, you get your teeth cleaned, you go get some Botox filler, you need an IV infusion.”
Grewal’s husband and staff, according to the Mind Body Infusion Med Spa’s website, offer treatments to patients with the goal of providing a combination of holistic and medical treatment options for whole-body health and wellness without the need for a doctor’s appointment, medical insurance or a referral.
According to Grewal, she opened both businesses right in the middle of the pandemic. She’d been planning them before COVID-19 hit, but she eventually got both places up and running in May 2021 — sort of. With the pandemic, she was limited in what she could do. And that’s when she started doing COVID testing.
“I was sending people to people’s homes so they wouldn’t feel inconvenienced,” Grewal said. “Because these places weren’t giving you the test results until the next day or after a couple of days, and it was very inconvenient. Like, kids couldn’t go to school because they needed COVID tests.”
Eventually, after the ups and downs of the pandemic had somewhat leveled off, Grewal could focus on doing what she set out to do with Skyline Smiles. The goal, she said, was to provide a dentist’s office for young adults.
“I designed it in such a way because I didn’t want it to look like Disneyland — like most pediatric dental offices,” Grewal said. “I kind of wanted to cater to the teenage and younger adult population because, it’s like, you either have dental offices that only cater to adults, or you have these pediatric dental offices that are like Disneyland.”
She said she set out to create a space that’s high-tech-looking, but with calming colors and a soothing flow to it.
“We’ve got a lot of greenery on the ceiling,” Grewal explained. “So, when people are laying down and they’re looking at the ceiling, you want something nice up there. There are TVs that are above each chair. Everybody gets a blanket. Everybody gets headphones. They’re noise-cancelling headphones, so you really don’t hear the sound of the machines. There’s always aromatherapy on, so it doesn’t feel like you’re in a dental office and people aren’t as anxious when they come in.”
Gradually, people would come into the office and ask if she took adult patients, too. Of course, she turned no one away, and the practice has slowly transitioned to about 80% adults.
And while Mind Body Infusion Med Spa is designed a little differently than the dental office — aside from the same flooring — it still offers a similar calming environment, she said. Like Skyline Smiles, the med spa is a creation she’s extremely proud of. She said she’s living the dream, as the saying goes.
What’s most rewarding, she added, is when she receives positive feedback from patients or when she gets people who say her office came highly recommended. She especially loves when, after finishing a procedure, people say, “You’re done already?”
“It’s just really nice when you have people enjoying the experience,” she said, “and actually liking what I built and the services that we provide.”
It’s that satisfaction of helping people with their medical needs and receiving the rave reviews that an artist loves that makes Grewal believe she’s discovered the American dream, the one she imagined as a kid. Grewal became, in her own words, a doctor and an artist, creating art in her patients’ smiles, helping people and making money at the same time.