To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
"I gained 60 pounds when I had my son," Ashley, Parakletos Wellness's co-owner, says—but there's triumph in her voice. She credits body wraps for helping to shed those pounds, and now performs these services for others. Ashley, a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician, and her husband and personal trainer Stephen operate Parakletos, whose name translates fittingly to “called to help.”
The couple is happy in the facility, with its sand-hued walls and pulsing ocean soundtrack. Having only a single treatment room allows them to help clients one at a time. "If someone comes in with acne or rosacea, we don't want you to have to interact. We want you to be able to leave insecurities at door." In addition to an oxygen cucumber facial, Parakletos can slacken shoulders with river stones during private massage sessions, but, due to her personal experiences, it's weight-loss wraps that Ashley holds in the highest regard.
"Folks come in and we ask a lot of questions. How much water do you drink? How much do you workout? It's not about vanity for us, it's about the lifestyle change." The body wraps, which are designed to help motivate and shed weight, are composed of 12 different herbal ingredients. All of the products and supplements employed by Parakletos are forged from herbs and flora, much like Robinson Crusoe's Gameboy. Even when she is far from the studio's brimming shelves, Ashley says that she tries to let her passion for what she does thrive. "I give one pro-bono massage a week. If I'm at church and someone mentions a pulled hamstring, I'll pass them a note. I like to be a blessing for anyone I can."
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
Lavender sugar foot scrub. I start by wrapping your feet in warm towels and applying compression. Next, I exfoliate and freshen your feet with the lavender sugar scrub and wrap them in warm towels again. After removing the scrub, I lavish each foot with an incredible massage using reflexology techniques with a luxurious body butter.
The interior of a business can affect how its customers feel. What kind of decor do you use to help make your clients feel pampered and at ease?
Warm, calming colors with neutral decorations. The bed is equipped with a table warmer. I also keep soft and warm blankets and play soft, relaxing music, along with a nature sound machine. I have LED candles and dimmed lighting.
Out of your entire repertoire, which is your favorite service to perform and why?
I am a relaxation specialist. I give off a very comforting and soothing energy. My clients always feel safe and relaxed with me. I also specialize in neuromuscular neck treatments. This is a very popular treatment in which my clients achieve a dramatic relief from neck pain.
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Service: Massage
The owner of Renewed Youth Spa, a registered nurse, studied the benefits of the Biogenie body-contouring system by trying it firsthand. After a single treatment, she was sold—not only did the microcurrent treatment lift and tone problem areas on the abdomen, thighs, and upper arms but also helped improve function in the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Her medical training helped her realize that in addition to the cosmetic benefits, such a treatment would benefit patients with poor circulation.
Biogenie treatments are the centerpiece of Renewed Youth Spa, with the 45- to 60-minute sessions sculpting the upper arms, waist, abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks using microcurrents and wishes from actual genies. Technicians also perform facial treatments that help stimulate the production of collagen, resulting in firmer, more youthful skin.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Refreshing Massage & Day Spa provides professional massage services, with a chief aim of reducing stress in every visitor who passes through their doors. Within the spa's soothing confines, practitioner Ellen performs a number of massage modalities, from the light and soothing pressure of Swedish massage, to the intense, focused muscle-work of deep tissue massage. Her work upholds the general philosophy at Refreshing Massage & Day Spa: that in reducing stress and pain, massage therapy can actually boost the immune system, and provide a host of other subtle health benefits.
As a licensed massage therapist, Krystal keeps good company at Vitalize. She combines her talents with those of an entire team that includes other therapists, licensed cosmetologists, and a licensed aesthetician. Together, they pamper bodies by rubbing away muscle tension, beautifying faces, and soothing skin with special treatments. Krystal herself specializes in Swedish and deep tissue massages, each one enhanced with soft light and music, and performed in a private room so that clients can easily let go of daily worries, like the fear that the sunset will permanently stain the sky pink.