Beauty. Strength. Confidence.
Clients often tell me that I am obviously in the right profession and am doing what I am was destined to do. I took a winding road on my journey to Stacey O Studio, but am very thankful for all the stops along the way. I grew up right here in Columbia, South Carolina. After high school, I attended the University of Georgia where I earned my degree in Journalism. I then enjoyed a very rewarding, ten year career in Public Relations, as the PR Director of InSite Magazine in Atlanta and then with the Athens Regional Library System in Athens. People often ask if I wish I had gone immediately into the spa profession, and I always answer with a resounding "NO!" My life’s journey has evolved just as it was meant to. My PR and journalism background help me everyday with business operations and my role as a small business owner. Not to mention I had an amazing amount of fun in the dear city of Athens. I made life-long friends, discovered my passion and love for spinning and teaching fitness classes, played the bass in a rock-and-roll band and gave birth to my ridiculously wonderful child, Tess (ps - my favorite book is Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy).
Wanting to live closer to my big sister Amy, Tess and I moved back to Columbia. Journalism was great, but I was yearning for a career that would enable me to make a personal impact on individual lives. So I daydreamed about opening up a "spa" in my back yard. I envisioned a happy place where I could teach spin classes around the pool, with everyone jumping in afterwards to cool off, and people could pick fresh fruit off trees to make a smoothie concoction at the bar (mixed with whey protein powder and a little splash of vodka for good measure). I would give facials and massages in a little straw hut while sweet birds chirped around us. I laugh about this daydream now, but I also realize that it is exactly the motivation that helped me to create Stacey O. Studio. One night while joking to my sister about the backyard "party spa," I decided to go for it. Not the vodka smoothies, straw hut or noisy birds, but the dream of making people happy by making them feel good about themselves.
There are a number of good spas in the Midlands, all doing great things, but I was determined to make Stacey O. Studio even better. I started off renting a tiny room in the upstairs of the Columbia Athletic Club right behind the noisy racquetball court. After Gold's Gym bought out that location, I moved into their new facility and rented a room at Gold's on Forest Drive for 6 very successful years. I never dreamed I would be booking up weeks in advance and grow so many incredible relationships and bonds with my clients. But I knew the time had come to take the next step and expand. I have been saving and looking for my dream spot for all those years and finally found it at 2911 Devine Street. Tess and I literally stumbled upon it one day when we were walking to lunch and when I noticed it was empty, I called around and found the owner. Although there was no For Sale sign on the door, I knew I needed to look into it. The old, grey house from the 1930s has an amazing energy and the moment Mr. Caughman, the previous owner, let me in, I knew I had to make it happen. However, I had no idea how I could buy a space when I had enough trouble finding an affordable one to rent. With a lot of creative financing, a ton of moral support from friends and my sister, Amy, and my daughter, Tess, and a ton of signs from the universe that this was meant to be, 2911 Devine became mine. We spent 3 months renovating it with careful attention to soundproofing techniques to ensure quiet treatment rooms. Thanks to a wonderful contractor, Allen Rutter, we were able to keep the really cool, original touches like the fireplace and heart of pine floors, and get rid of the drop tiled ceilings and bright red and orange paint and make it a space with a unique, creative, intimate, warm feeling. Georgia Lake, local artist and my Aunt, painted an amazing, peaceful sky in the front room. There are also many nods to the great influence that India has had on my life on the walls of the studio. I went to India in 2012 to study ayurvedic medicine at Rasa Ayurveda in Kerala, India. That experience was a bit of everything - beautiful, intense, passionate, hard, frightening and soul-soothing. I sprinkle many ayurvedic touches throughout my treatments and you'll see Indian influences in the decor of the studio.
I opened the doors of the Devine Street studio on November 2, 2015 and have been in love with the space ever since. I now have 3 massage therapists and another esthetician working with me that I hand selected for their talent, intuitive healing instincts, compassion and good energy.
I don't ever want to rush clients or look at the bottom line as the only line. I think that many of today's problems are due to the reality that we are a touch-deprived society and the fact that I get to spend all day in a candle-lit room sharing good energy and vibes and making people look and feel better is something that I give thanks for each and every day. I believe beauty comes from a harmonious blend of mind, body and spirit. I give my all to each client that walks through my door. I don't want you to be satisfied, I want you to be thrilled.
You'll see that with the new space, I decided it was time for a new logo. My daughter was a big part of the logo process and helped me shift through dozens of ideas I had floating in my head. We knew we wanted it to be a piece of art, not a graphic image and we love the final product. The lion came about from a few different influences for me and Tess (humble, strong, giving Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia is high on the list). I get my greatest joy at work not just from making people LOOK better, but from making them FEEL better. Beauty is a fine balance of confidence and strength and feeling your best. True beauty stems from confidence and I have seen countless clients come to me insecure and unhappy with their looks and life and come out so much happier because they feel stronger and better about themselves. And that is why I'm so passionate about my career.
I'll give you all the spa extras, but results are the real prize when you step into my door. Come see why Stacey O. Studio is different. You're going to love it....
I want to thank my incredibly supportive clients, family and friends (especially Tess, Amy, Rob Lewis, Momma R.I.P., Grandmother R.I.P. and Grandaddy R.I.P.), super-talented photographer friends (Tim Peters and Joshua Beard) and some extraordinary instructors (Elan Schacter, Don Kerr and Mr. Bill). The odds of this dream becoming a reality were slim, but you are the reason my dream is thriving.