WEEKLY BRIEFING: Owner of Wellness Spa Keeps Healthy Outlook

After earning a license from the state bureau of barbering and cosmetology to work as an esthetician working in the world of beauty it took Michelle Ornstein 13 years to open her own store. Initially, she worked out of her apartment, later renting space in a Beverly Hills salon. In 1997, Ornstein, now 36, needed additional space to sell her own line of products, so she opened L.A.-based Enessa Wellness Spa.



"I needed to create a home for my product line and a place to train other estheticians. I make facial masks, cleansers, moisturizers, facial scrubs and blended oils. I have over 30 different products. Most of my (body oil) blend products are my own invention. Forty percent of my business is selling products and 60 percent is from offering services.

"We do facials, hair removal waxing and threading, which is an ancient Middle Eastern technique of taking a thread, knotting the hairs and pulling them from the root. It is painful. But people don't think it's as painful as waxing. We do legs, bikini lines and eyebrows, generally for women. But we also wax men's backs.

"I've been practicing aromatherapy for 12 years. It's the art of using essential oils for therapeutic purposes. I use it for treating different types of skin care needs, such as acne, sensitive or dry skin to help balance and hydrate it.

"I use over 30 different essential oils, which are extracts from plants. Each one has a different healing property. You cannot apply essential oils directly onto the skin because they will cause your skin to burn. So I blend them with cold pressed oils, which carry the healing properties of the essential oils into the skin.

"I also do seaweed body polish. We actually prepare a blend, which consists of Dead Sea salts I import directly from Israel seaweed powder from France and cold pressed oils and essential oils blended into it. It exfoliates the skin, stimulates the blood circulation. It's a great treatment for preventing cellulite.

"We recommend that customers complete that treatment with a moor body wrap, which is a natural dark black mud from Austria that is very rich in amino acids and vitamins and it also helps to get rid of toxins.

"We have a lot of clients from the entertainment business: Shannon Elizabeth, Salma Hayek, and Courtney Love. David Schwimmer is a fan of my products.

"I have two employees and two independent contractors a massage therapist and a esthetician. Services and sales have been growing every year. Last year was over $100,000. This year I'm projecting $130,000."

David Greenberg

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