The Story of Spa Haus Nashville
I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and thank everyone for supporting my small business and share the full story of how Spa Haus came about.
When I was a kid and into my teenage years, I took dance classes. I did everything; tap, jazz, ballet, belly, hip hop and modern. When I was 9 I decided I wanted to open up a dance studio when I became an adult. I put together a business plan (in terms of a 9 year old), a dance schedule and a contract. I jumped on my Grandpas lap and pitched my business plan ’….Grandpa, when I am 18 years old, I am going to open a dance studio, sign this contract that you will fund my dance business.” Not only did I have this plan, but I also got all the kids in the neighborhood together and put on productions and dance routines That is when my family knew I was going to be an entrepreneur.
Another fun story…I went on a camping trip with my parents around that time and decided to pick poppies and arrange them on a piece of bark and sell them to the other campers. Welp, if you live in California you know that California poppies are illegal to pick (oops), and not only was I picking them, but I was selling them…that got my parents and I in trouble, but luckily just a slap on the wrist.
Anyways….lets talk about the spa path….
When I was a teenager I had pretty bad acne, I got acne before everyone else and it didn't go away for years. I hated the way I looked and the way I felt. When I was 14 or 15 my mom took me to a day spa for a skin care treatment. I will never forget laying on the treatment be, tucked in with the dim lights, soothing music and aromatic scents and thinking…this is exactly what I am meant to do. I wanted to be the one who heals not only other people’s skin but their soul.
After I graduated high school I took a semester of college, thinking I’d go to school for business…but I couldn’t get my mind of Esthetics, so that summer I enrolled in Palomar Institute of Cosmetology in San Diego, as the youngest student in my class of 20. The school was amazing and I studied everyday, fascinated about skin care and the aspects of healing. I knew I was right where I was meant to be….studying to be an Esthetician and knowing i’d open a day spa when the time was right.
SAN DIEGO LIFE
I then got my first spa job at a beautiful spa in San Diego, called The Hidden Spa. The owner at the time, Jill Pomi, gave me the opportunity to really learn how the industry worked. I became the Spa Manager and it was my dream job. I then went to work for another day spa & salon as well as a medical day spa. I got burnt out and was ready for a change, so one day I picked up my bags and put in my 30 day notice to move to Tennessee. My plan was to go back to San Diego and open up a spa there…but obviously that didn’t go as planned.
Fast forward a bit, and I decided to move to Nashville, TN on a whim. When I moved here I wasn't sure what my plan was….except I knew rent was cheap and Nashville pace was slower. So I decided to do a full life change and picked up odd jobs. I tried managing a chain spa, but it wasn’t for me. I then worked as an assistant to a Real Estate Agent, I was a Marlboro cigarette girl, promo girl for AT&T and Fifth Third Bank (exciting right), took serving jobs at Bella Napoli Pizzeria and Whiskey Kitchen. All throughout these odd jobs, I was saving as much as I could to open up my own spa . I also had to go back to school in Tennessee to transfer over my Esthetics license, which took a few months.
SPA LIFE AS LOVE SKIN NASHVILLE
Once I graduated, I took out my savings and bought equipment to work for myself and rented a room in a hair salon. Below is a photo of my first own Esthetics room and my friends helping me put it together! I knew I would expand in the future, so I opened it up under the name Love Skin Nashville!
At that time I got certified in Eyelash Extensions, Reiki energy healing 1 & 2, Yonka facial techniques and chemical peels. I learned how to manage my own schedule and truly work for myself, I taught myself new techniques and really loved what I did. As soon as my books were getting full, I decided to start looking for a spa to call my own.
From the bottom of my heart I knew Berry Hill was supposed to be where my spa was located. Every day for 6 months I drove up, down and around the Berry Hill area to try to find something for rent in my price range Then one day it happened. I found the spot! The landlord was incredible. I came in, business plan in hand and explained to him why I needed this small building. I also told him I needed to add a (make-shift) relaxation room to the back and put up some walls. He smiled and handed me the keys. I will forever be thankful for my old landlord and now friend, Stuart Naylor.
I hired my first employees and worked my a** off making sure excellent customer service was given and every attention to detail was not forgotten. It was extremely overwhelming at times but worth every tear.
After being there for a couple years, we out grew the space! It is so incredible to have a vision, see it, work hard for it, nurture it and see it grow. Even thinking of it now, I am tearing up, as it is such a beautiful feeling.
Here are some photos of Love Skin Nashville:
LOVE SKIN BECOMES SPA HAUS NASHVILLE
Stuart told me he was selling the building to me or an investor. I told him as much as I loved the space, we out grew it. He then told me that a building down the street is for sale and I should check it out. When I walked through those doors, I knew I found my new building. It needed a lot of re-modeling so I drew up a new business plan and I embarked on my journey.
Here are before photos of the building:
I went to the bank, got a loan and started to put together my plans for remodeling. I took the “cost effective” route and decided to be my own general contractor…which I do not recommend. I will say though, the experience made me stronger than I could of ever imagined. At the time I have never experienced so much stress, worry, anxiety, tears, sleepless nights…it was intense. I thought I had experienced stress before, but it was nothing compared to this buildout. I knew I was on the right path, but there were so many unexpected issues, it was hard to be in the right mindset to handle what life was throwing at me. However, I made it through and I am SO proud of myself.
I also decided that we were going to be more of a spa then skin studio, so I made the decision to change the name from Love Skin Nashville to Spa Haus Nashville. Which at the time felt like a huge risk, as we gained such a great reputation as Love Skin. (Spoiler alert - it was a great decision after the initial client confusion).
Here are some photos of the construction:
SPA HAUS NASHVILLE COMES TO LIFE
On December 19th 2017, the doors of Spa Haus Nashville were open to clients! The growing pain doesn’t end there. We expanded from 3 treatment rooms to 7. I had to hire more employees and went up to 14 people working for me. I still am in awe of all these incredible people that make Spa Haus so special. I spent time hiring and getting to know everyone and wanted like minded people.I truly care about others, want a healthy and welcoming space and filled it with other people who feel the same way. I am so thankful for my staff.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
Lets bring all the good vibes! Let’s continue to grow and work on ourselves together. What am I thinking of for the future? I am dabbling with the idea to open up a second concept in the area, when the time is right, it will happen (I am a huge believer of manifestation). I also am studying to be a life coach with a holistic energy healing approach. I haven’t decided what my niche will be, but all I want to do is help others feel better about themselves and love who they are as well as the others around them. I am studying as much as I can before I offer this service to clients.
I am so thankful for every client that supports us, either in person or word of mouth. I appreciate my employees hard work and dedication. I love what Spa Haus is and what we stand for. Our Haus is your Haus and everyone is welcome.
My advice is that life is so beautiful if you let it be. Be grateful, be thankful and embrace this journey called life. Never forget that we are all just floating around on a rock in the universe, the small things don’t matter when you look at the big picture. (Do I need my own advice somedays? Yes, yes I do.)
Follow your dreams. Do what you want to do, no matter how crazy or hard it seems. The sleepless nights and tears pay off if you let them.
With the good will come the bad, people will try to tear you down, you can’t always make everyone happy and s*** sometimes happens, but as long as you are true to yourself and always have the best interest in mind, you can’t go wrong. Some days will be better than others and that is okay.
Ignore negativity and spread good vibes. We only have one life, so live it with the best and loving intensions.