Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Spa with Soul

I once worked at the spa that appeared oh so grand to those on the outside looking in. It boasted beautiful decor, a ton of amenities and a fantastic location. But for those of us on the inside, we knew the truth. The grand facade was just that, a facade. In all reality, management was mean, greedy and unpredictable and employees were anxious and unhappy. As pretty as it appeared, the spa was really just an ugly eyesore. So I left.

But I didn't know from where to facial and wax after that. I wanted to make sure the next spa I chose had heart. That its focus would be on caring for clients in the most positive manner rather than putting so much value on outward appearances.

For a long time the only place I could find that fit such a description was my home. (Hey, rent was cheap and the commute was short!) But it was a challenge for us to always keep things in that "company's coming over" condition. And my husband, son and dog would have to find a place to hide during evening appointments - especially when I was doing a bikini or brazilian wax.

Something needed to change, but the right opportunity hadn't yet presented itself.

My friends Leslie and Adrienne Rubenstein kept suggesting I rent a room at Harmony Day Spa, but the owner, Fawn, didn't have space available. But sure enough, a room there suddenly opened and in went The Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa.

Are either Harmony Day Spa or Sugar & Swank really spas? Maybe not in the traditional sense. We don't have a jacuzzi tub in which you can soak. We don't even have a shower. The building, built in the 1930's, is old and quirky. When it is hot I get there early to cool it down, when it is cold I get there early to warm it up. We don't have a receptionist. We don't have a quiet room.

But we do have soul. And most importantly, we have expertise. Knowledge. Training. Experience. Intuitiveness. So the building's old. It is also charming, clean and harmonious. And I would much rather get my money's worth in a funky old building that's filled with some of the best in the business than take my chances in a fancier joint.

And by the way, this is not to say that you won't relax with us. I've been to those appointments that are all business, no pleasure. That's no fun! We have candles. We have spa music. We have yummy smells. We'll pamper you til you feel like jello! But if you're looking to sip lemon water in a robe while sitting next to a zenned out fountain as you wait for your treatment - which may or may not be good - we aren't your answer.

So call Fawn Harmon at Harmony Day Spa at 206-232-3291 if you'd like to book a really, really good massage. She's been in the business for over 16 years and has clients that have been with her that long. They won't go anywhere else!

If you want a really, really good manicure or pedicure call Tanya at 206-355-4675. Her clients are just as loyal!

And for a super-relaxing facial (I give a 20 minute massage) with dramatically positive results call me, Jennifer Muscatel, at the Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa. 206-351-3213. As you probably know by now, not only do I do facials but I also wax, pierce ears, do body scrubs and am a make-up artist that specializes in custom blended mineral make-up.

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