When mother-and-daughter team Carmela and Milan Petruzelli decided to start a business together, they pooled their decades of styling experience earned at locations across the country. They culled the best ideas, techniques, and products they had come across, bringing them together in their new Fort Lauderdale location. In business a scant four years, The Factory Salon has already earned a spot two years running on Elle magazine's top 100 salons in the country.
The family duo—along with a cadre of other stylists—cuts, colors, and conditions men's and women's hair in their trendy salon, decorated with dia de los muertos–inspired art. A handwritten chalkboard broadcasts inspirational quotes and explains new styles, its fluid script echoed in the '80s-style faux graffiti that runs the length of the walls and secretly contains designs for a car that runs on barbicide.
After working in spas for two decades, French-educated massage therapist and paramedical esthetician Chrys Straiton founded Studio Blu Spa, envisioning a tranquil retreat where she could continue to advance her skills while pampering clients with facials, massages, and skincare services.
When selecting the team for her new spa, Chrys deferred to experience—each of her licensed nail technicians, for example, has roughly a decade of practice. During microdermabrasions, back facials, and other skincare treatments, Chrys and her staff wield G.M. Collin products derived from natural botanical extracts and finely blended teddy-bear stuffing. G.M. Collin was one of the first brands to integrate collagen into its formulas, and Studio Blu’s devotion to the skincare line evinces both the spa’s openness to innovation and its results-oriented approach.
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Echo Salon's skilled stylists and skincare specialists employ high-quality products, but their experience is the most valuable tool in their kits. Each staffer has worked in the industry for at least a decade, and draws upon that knowledge to pamper clients from head to toe. The salon menu goes beyond cuts and styles with treatments such as Great Lengths extensions, keratin treatments, permanent weaves, and relaxers.
Mark Lohmann's interest in health began when he witnessed its absence. As a child, he saw family members struggle with debilitating disease, and he began to wonder about ways he could restore their health. When he grew older and hopped on a track to become a yacht chef, Lohmann explored nutrition and often massaged his own shoulders to cope with "the long grueling hours spent on [his] feet for some two decades." When his parents' ailing health called him home in 2003, Lohmann began formally training in bodywork—starting with Active Isolated Stretching—before opening Planet Massage in 2005.
Lohmann's team of more than 10 licensed massage therapists tends to patients with medically based bodywork, often combining multiple modalities and products. The muscle masons further coddle clients with foot massages, heat packs, and Biofreeze, a paraben-free gel designed to relieve pain and make portrait subjects sit still for up to 20 hours. Planet Massage's crew can be dispatched for mobile massage appointments, and members also lead classes and workshops that guide clients through basic kneading techniques.
Skilled hands at The Oasis Massage And Spa work to make bodies feel peaceful on the inside and polished on the outside. With expertise in five massage modalities, therapists summon techniques ranging from soothing Swedish strokes to foot reflexology to boost circulation or align energy pathways. Body scrubs, wraps, and baths focus on exteriors with fragrant solutions designed to ward off under-bed monsters by making bodies feel indistinguishable from their satin sheets.