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Keli Koniver, Ph.D.

Keli Walden Koniver’s journey from her family’s farm in Tipton, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina is a tale filled with faith, hard work, and even some elements of fate mixed in. It was in this legendary coastal city where she earned her B.S., MBA and Ph.D. – all within one historic square block; later, found the love of her life and her perfect business partner; and eventually, started her own thriving medical aesthetics practice. 

Keli grew up on a large, multi-crop farm in southern Georgia that, at one point, contained the largest watermelon farm in the United States. “My dad was farm-to-table way before farm-to-table was cool and, more days than not, I was on the tractor or the combine right there with him.” Farm life taught her the value of hard work which has kept her in good stead her entire life. 

Today, as owner of Koniver Aesthetics, Keli draws upon the discipline of those 18-hour workdays as she leads a progressive medical aesthetic practice in Charleston, offering premier non-surgical anti-aging and corrective face and body procedures. Flexibility and a keen eye for recognizing when to grab life’s opportunities that rise up on your road fast-tracked her journey here.

Growing up, that farmwork ethic discipline paid off when she moved with her mother and stepfather to a small town northeast of Atlanta where she discovered her passion for gymnastics. She trained hard, competed and much to her own surprise, became very accomplished at the sport … until the mixed blessing of a height spurt cut short a promising scholarship pathway to college.

Unable to compete for scholarships at the big colleges known for gymnastics, Keli earned a golf scholarship to the University of Georgia, but before she could follow through, she found and fell in love with Charleston during her senior spring break trip. And, vowed to never leave. Even though she wasn’t a cheerleader, Keli tried out and won a full-ride cheerleading scholarship to the College of Charleston – one of 77 girls vying for five slots – because she could finally put all of those tumbling talents to good use.

Graduating in three years, Keli admits that cheering came naturally to her, and she was now getting to live in the city of her Low Country dreams. Her continued academic journey followed a similar track as she once again became a scholarship athlete while pursuing her MBA. As an undergrad, she trained with a team to run in a fund-raising marathon in Hampton Park, close to The Citadel. It was during those training runs she met The Citadel’s athletic director who suggested she join their cross-country team.

Keli initially turned it down because her best time was “tragic” compared to serious runners. However, when she was offered a full scholarship to become part of the team in order for them to meet the minimum number of runners necessary to compete, she agreed. Keli figured as an alternate she would not have to run, until the fifth runner was injured at the start of season. So, with one year of NCAA eligibility left, Keli ran in every cross-country meet that season for The Citadel. She finished last in every meet, but she also finished her MBA in one year.

Keli soon started a career in accounting at powerhouse Deloitte and Touche in the evolving health care sector – fast-paced, exciting, with a non-stop travel schedule. Her husband meanwhile encouraged her to also consider pursuing the passion she always had for skin and the field of aesthetics. Unsure of what she might do with it, Keli earned her South Carolina certification as a medical aesthetic laser technician. Because she loved everything about it, she also did ongoing research, continual training, and getting treatments at medi-spas throughout the city to understand the patient experience better. All the while, she was still traveling extensively and pursuing her top tier career in health care risk services management.

In 2009, her son was born with health issues serious enough to bring that “screeching halt moment in life,” as she explains. Staying home and caring for her son as his health was thankfully restored also gave her a needed break to rethink what was next. 

Keli then earned her doctorate in Health Administration at the Medical University of South Carolina, fully intending, like her class colleagues, to secure a senior leadership position in health care administration. But, during that time, she also would become a single mom, and wasn’t sure she truly wanted the high stress of a senior level position.

Still with a deep love of aesthetics, Keli began to entertain the thought, “What would stop me from opening my own medical aesthetics practice in Charleston?” As she did her due diligence and the pieces began to fall together, she moved forward, but with one significant missing piece – a medical doctor for oversight. 

“As fate would have it, Craig Koniver, M.D., walked into my life and my heart. His professional passions for health, well-being, beauty, and performance mesh perfectly with mine,” she adds. The founder of Koniver Wellness, Dr. Koniver has been practicing Performance Medicine for almost two decades. He helps optimize clients’ health and performance through time-tested, nutrient and science-driven protocols that are the cutting-edge of medicine.

“So, my new husband also became my new business partner and we opened Koniver Aesthetics in 2015 with, quite honestly, modest expectations. I knew exactly how I wanted to build this. Since I was certified in advanced laser technology and IPL treatments, we started with Fraxel and Clear and Brilliant. We also saw the potential of the innovative energy treatment, Ultherapy.”  Keli would later become the most experienced Ultherapy provider in South Carolina. “We began with skin tightening and skin resurfacing and injectables, as well as a medical grade skin care line.”

In the state of South Carolina, injectables must be administered by an MD, an RN, an NP (nurse practitioner) or a PA (physician assistant). From the first day, Keli insisted on building a highly- credentialed professional medical team. Today her team encompasses two nurse practitioners, one registered nurse, one MD, and two LE’s (licensed estheticians).

 “At two years in, even without a website yet and word of mouth promotion only, our practice hit the tipping point and our pace of service became non-stop gangbusters!” 

What is Koniver Aesthetics’ differentiator? “When I visited other practices, I saw a gap in what was being offered clients and what clients want – a practice that is knowledgeable about minimally and non-invasive techniques  (innovative options outside plastic surgery), a medical director who understands the newest trends in aesthetics and wellness, and a professional staff who treat patients very well.”

“Our focused approach to education also sets us apart. When I consult with a patient, I have clinicals at my fingertips. I am well-schooled in minimally and non-invasive options. I can educate my patients on options and their benefits, from microneedling, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, energy treatments, photofacial IPL therapy, chemical peels to carbon facials, and more. I have been trained in and researched every one of these treatment options.”

“During our patient consultations, we also talk about life and work – what bothers them? What are their dreams for themselves? We look at the whole person. When you educate patients and have their best interests at heart for their appearance and wellness, they will make the right decision,” she adds.

Keli’s patient service approach is grounded in treating everyone as she would like to be treated.  “I don’t like to be “sold” anything,” she explains. “We develop a comprehensive aesthetic plan for each patient, but in our consultation, there is no pressure to do anything. Whatever their goals – we accommodate them as their time and budget allows – to help achieve those goals. It’s the kind of respect I want from others and as a matter of policy, the respect we extend to all our patients.”

“And, people keep coming to us, and then coming back, in droves.”

Learn more about Koniver Aesthetics.

Keli and husband Craig Koniver enjoy traveling, staying fit, and on balmy coastal fall afternoons, attending their son’s football games. They have renovated an old house on the water where the family loves to fish, swim and spend lots of time on the water.

“Our focused approach to education also sets us apart. When I consult with a patient, I have clinicals at my fingertips. I am well-schooled in minimally and non-invasive options. I can educate my patients on options and their benefits, from microneedling, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, energy treatments, photofacial IPL therapy, chemical peels to carbon facials, and more. I have been trained in and researched every one of these treatment options.”

“During our patient consultations, we also talk about life and work – what bothers them? What are their dreams for themselves? We look at the whole person. When you educate patients and have their best interests at heart for their appearance and wellness, they will make the right decision,” she adds.

Keli’s patient service approach is grounded in treating everyone as she would like to be treated.  “I don’t like to be “sold” anything,” she explains. “We develop a comprehensive aesthetic plan for each patient, but in our consultation, there is no pressure to do anything. Whatever their goals – we accommodate them as their time and budget allows – to help achieve those goals. It’s the kind of respect I want from others and as a matter of policy, the respect we extend to all our patients.”

“And, people keep coming to us, and then coming back, in droves.”

Learn more about Koniver Aesthetics.

Keli and husband Craig Koniver enjoy traveling, staying fit, and on balmy coastal fall afternoons, attending their son’s football games. They have renovated an old house on the water where the family loves to fish, swim and spend lots of time on the water.