While a husband’s compliment may turn his wife’s day around, very rarely does it turn into a business. But that’s what happened when Pat Helmandollar’s husband called her a savvy business woman. Since 1967, Helmandollar has used her beauty savvy to work inside salons, own three businesses, teach stylists from all over the world, and helm a team of licensed beauty professionals.
Stylists cut and color hair or add texture, hair extensions, or hair tinsel that decorates strands and gives cats something else to eat. Alternatively, estheticians can remove tension in the face with heated basalt stones and cold marble stones or render a customized chemical peel to get rid of dead skin cells and smoothen skin. Massage therapists balance chakras by blending visualization and touch or add luxury to massages by laying down a literal bed of roses for clients to rest upon in candlelight, rather than the more common industrial torch light used in other salons.
Aside from using their relaxation- and beauty-inducing treatments as a tonic for stress, the salon and day spa also contributes to non-profit causes. Savvy makes donations to the Make A Wish Foundation and rewards clients who give more than $5 worth of monetary or toy donations by entering them into a drawing for one gratis service per month for an entire year.
The Esthetic Engineer owner Tiffany Schoefield understands the stressors of the 9-to-5 world. After she ran a ghostwriting business and managed political campaigns, her career took an about-face when she realized she was more interested in slowing down to appreciate life than in speeding it up. It was then that Tiffany turned to what has become her true calling—skincare—and she now devotes herself to helping her clients find their own quiet reprieves from daily life in her inviting spa.
For more than 15 years, Tiffany has trained in some of the skincare industry’s most trusted brands, including Aveda and SkinCeuticals. The spa’s licensed aestheticians help clients improve their skin’s appearance with treatments that include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and facials with a variety of trusted skincare brands, including Éminence Organic Skin Care and Glo Therapeutics. Among the center’s many specialties are body waxing and makeovers, during which artists apply lash extensions, tint brows, or apply full makeup. Tiffany’s philosophy that her spa is an oasis for self-care and rejuvenation stands at the forefront throughout all of her services, and her staff emphasizes making clients happy with personalized attention and treatments.
With its crystal-laden chandelier and iconic images of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jenkins's workspace would probably look different today if not for his career change. "I actually started accounting before [styling] and totally hated it," he says. "I didn't like looking at numbers."
So in 2001, Michael made a "major switch" and embarked on a hairstyling adventure. These days, within a spacious double room rented from Sola Salon, he and his assistant Tabitha Stricklin transform hair with the aid of Keune Haircosmetics colors—which he picks for their vibrancy—and Aquage styling products.
Although Michael loves "fun, funky styles" and bold colors, he makes sure to listen carefully to his clients' desires. "I always do a consultation with the client, no matter if they've been with me 10 years or if they're new," he says. He offers them water to sip when they come in and lavishes scalps with a massage as he shampoos their hair. Dance music keeps the atmosphere upbeat as he adds texture to looks with highlights, banishes frizz with keratin treatments, and politely asks split ends to jump ship.
From within their cottage-style studio in downtown Cornelius, licensed aestheticians and makeup artists Casey Nelson and Lauren Knox treat faces to a menu of skin and makeup services. Glamorous purple hues and red accents fill their lounge—inspired by a French boudoir—where they tackle acne and aging with chemical peels and free pores of dirt and whack-a-moles with their 60-minute signature facial. Once faces are clean and fresh, Casey and Lauren gussy up features with a spectrum of makeup applications, from “just the eyes” to a full makeover. They also prune overgrown areas with waxing treatments for the legs, bikini area, and brows.
The staff at Simply Sassy Kids Spa knows that children aren't immune to stress, whether it's caused by school, sports, or convincing their parents to eat broccoli. That's why its colorful, pastel-hued salon aims to relax young girls and instill them with positive self-images. They accomplish this through services that add kid-friendly touches to spa classics, such as mani-pedis with bubblegum hand soaks and fizzy, ice-cream-scented footbaths. The pint-sized pamperings—which also include updos and makeup application—delight girls during everyday visits as well as parties, which let kids nibble cupcakes atop cushy beanbag chairs.
Both co-owners of HealthPoint RX help patients decide what to put in their bodies—family nurse practitioner Ginger Dailey by recommending medications and delivering injections of Botox and Juvéderm, and licensed dietician Annsley Ulrich by designing nutrition plans. Together, they run a facility where sclerotherapy vanquishes spider veins and appetite suppressants curb the urge to splice your genes with those of a cake. Perhaps most importantly, their monthly nutritional counseling outfits clients with personalized meal plans, a practice that helps them lose weight without endangering their health.