The African American Woman behind it all-Focus: Meds Pharmacy & Wellness

//The African American Woman behind it all-Focus: Meds Pharmacy & Wellness

As a small business owner and account executive for the SC Black Pages in the Charleston market, I find joy and excitement in researching new businesses to support. About a month ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an article titled by “West Ashley Native Opens Charleston’s First Black-owned Pharmacy in 30 years.” I clicked the link and was instantly amazed at what I had saw. I am from the small town of Edgefield, SC and had never seen in my 27 years of life a picture like that before. My instant thought from the article title that there was going to be a man standing in front posed with community leaders, with scissors in hand, etc.… However, there was this woman {an African American woman I may add} standing in front of the store front with scissors in her hand posed to cut the blue ribbon. It was an incredible photo captured! As I continued to read about the new pharmacy I became inspired, motivated, and moved to take a visit to Focus: Meds Pharmacy & Wellness in West Ashley.  What an amazing visit and meeting I had with such an inspirational woman, an African American Pharm.D, Pharmacist-in-charge, business woman, entrepreneur, interior designer, daughter, friend, and community member named Dr. Krisalyn K, Gleaton “Krissy”. prom gown

As I entered Focus: Meds Pharmacy & Wellness my eyes were drawn to clean lines of store shelf products neatly organized and hung from the racks. There were products that you would see at your national chain store but still comparably priced with a wide range of inventory options. I was instantly greeted by Dr. Krissy’s staff – Ms. Tyiesha Brown a 2015 Charleston Southern University Biology graduate. As I waited for Dr. Krissy to finish up with clients, I went to sit in the waiting area. The waiting/lounge area you could tell had a woman’s touch. It was like Dr. Krissy took your typical doctor’s office waiting area and took it to the next design level with high quality and comfort in mind. It was thoughtfully created with a children’s waiting area filled with toys and games, a stocked fridge of refreshments to enjoy, comfortable and stylish furniture positioned in front of a window with amazing natural light, and a TV to keep your eyes glued to today’s hot topics in the news while you wait. The design looked like it came from the pages of a HGTV or home design magazine.

I was so fortunate to be able to sit down with Dr. Krissy and ask her a few questions about Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness. I met the woman behind it all and how she accomplished opening her business.

What inspired Dr. Krissy to get into Pharmacy? She has always had a love for chemistry since she was little and accredits her parents whom both are educators. Her mother taught chemistry for over 35 years at St. Johns High School. She stated that pharmacy allowed her to take her passion for chemistry and apply it as a doctor. From, I learned that Dr. Krissy upon graduating from St. Andrews Parish High School in 1998 as valedictorian, she matriculated to Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. While attending pharmacy school at Hampton University, Krisalyn was inducted into the Rho Chi Society (the Academic Honor Society in Pharmacy) and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Prior to opening her own pharmacy, Krisalyn worked in various pharmacy settings, having held roles including Pharmacy Manager for a large pharmacy chain and Prior Authorization Pharmacist for a leading managed care organization. She has obtained specialty certification in Cardiovascular Disease Management, Medication Therapy Management, and Pharmacist-administered Immunization Delivery. Krisalyn has also completed extensive training in the art of pharmaceutical compounding.

Why the name Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness? With over 15 years of experience in the pharmacy industry she has seen an evolution of pharmacy being more profit driven and not patient focused. Dr. Krissy focuses on consulting patients about the medicines they are taking and patient care. In her office behind her chair reads, “Our focus is your health” and “We will focus on improving your overall quality of life” and from there the name became “Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness.”

What is the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome when starting your own business and building the pharmacy? She thought that in a heavy regulated industry that the pharmacy guidelines and regulations would be the hardest to deal with when starting her company however she found that building the pharmacy was the hardest part. She designed the entire project and stated next time around she is hiring a project manager to assist with the not so fun and exciting duties. She wanted her pharmacy to have a coastal décor inspired design but also feel like you never left your home.

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What if I am client without insurance or have insurance but my insurance will not cover most of my medicine cost? Dr. Krissy gave some amazing tips on saving money at the pharmacy with or without insurance. 1. Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness does price match on $4 generics with local competitors in the Charleston area. 2. She also suggested consult with your doctor about over the counter options and if you did not go to the doctor before visiting the pharmacy she stated there are many great over the counter meds that are available that won’t break the bank. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist to determine what will work best. 3. Coupons from online are accepted! Who knew that some manufacture drug companies offer coupons that can be found online and Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness will honor those in the store.

What do you want Dr. Krisalyn K, Gleaton’s legacy to be? She simply and selflessly stated that I helped someone… as many people that I possibly can help.” She reflected that in this business you get so many phone calls requesting that a patients’ information be removed from your data base because he or she has passes away. She stated that her goal is to provide pharmacy care and to help change the life of her clients through focusing on putting their health and wellness first. Both she believes is essential parts of her pharmacy and life.

“I want to be a part of my patient’s life. Owning my own pharmacy allows me to do that, to get to know my patients and their needs.” Dr. Krissy

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I encourage everyone to visit Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness in West Ashley and meet Dr. Krissy and her wonderful staff. She works with many local doctor offices in the local Charleston area to help provide the best pharmacy care for her patients. So, next time you go pick up medicine or need a prescription filled make sure your doctor knows you want it sent to Focus: Meds Pharmacy and Wellness!


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Contact Information

2000 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Suite 134 Charleston, South Carolina 29407

Phone: 843-818-4638 Fax: 843-952-7157 Email:

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday- 8:30am – 6:30pm Saturday- 9:00am – 1:00pm CLOSED SUNDAYS



Article by: C.T. Burton


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