Mari-D Glass of Salon Life Spa began to realize her talent for hairstyling as a teenager, when friends and neighbors would flock to her door seeking a new look. The burgeoning demand for her services inspired her supportive parents to invest in a styling station, hooded dryer, and other salon tools to fuel her creative fire. Twenty-one years later, Glass stays on top of industry trends with regular educational classes, learning the latest techniques for cutting, coloring, and relaxing hair.
Glass also believes in the restorative power of touch, which inspired her to extend her gift for enhancing outward beauty to help fortify inner harmony. She has earned certifications in both holistic healing and massage therapy, banishing muscle aches and energy-draining stress using seven different modalities. Glass enhances gentle Swedish strokes or Thai stretches with essential oils and warmed river stones. :m]]
Jamar Williams was on his way to becoming an arena football player when a head injury sustained during a game temporarily paralyzed his legs. After turning to massage therapy for recovery and witnessing its healing properties, Williams decided to pursue a career in the field. After graduating with high honors from Everest College, he founded Accelerated Therapy, INC to help fellow athletes reap the benefits of massage, including boosting range of motion, reducing muscle injuries, and addressing back pain more effectively than agreeing to adopt a second spine. In addition to sports massage, he and his staff offer a wealth of other modalities such as pregnancy massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and reflexology.
Years of sitting at a desk in the corporate world took its toll of Jodi. She suffered from chronic pain in her neck, shoulders, and mid-back before seeking out a massage therapist for help. Not only did her pains dissipate, but she was also taught how to prevent future problems. Soon after, Jodi left her job and enrolled in massage-therapy school. She now helps others facing the same issues she once battled using Swedish, deep-tissue, and aromatherapy massages.
Nekesa Smith unleashes her styling prowess on each client, making sure they leave her salon feeling radiant and confident in their new looks. Using her own line of haircare products, Nekesa helps women embrace their hair texture with a variety of salon services, from loc grooming to applying avocado hair masks, which are more effective than guacamole masks. These transformations take place in her airy studio—which she describes as a "lofty femme salon atmosphere"—that pairs feminine violet walls and crisp white styling chairs with the industrial vibe of exposed brick walls.
Although Nekesa's profession helps women enhance their outer appearances, she also believes in beautifying the inner self. As such, she developed a nonprofit, Doing It Her Way, which focuses on entrepreneurship, education, and empowerment for women.
Billowing drapes, exposed brick walls, and playful zebra-print furniture fill Swan Skin and Nail Spa, where owner Swangela Barlow brings her clientele up to speed on the latest developments in mani-pedis, facials, eyelashes, and waxing services. Barlow's diverse nail services—a specialty—include children's manicures, long-lasting shellac-gel treatments, and Minx manicures, a wholly customizable favorite of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.