When Yvonne Seaward first started in the esthetics industry a quarter century ago, it wasn’t exactly glamorous work.
Occupying a tiny cubby hole at the back of Pampered Perfection clothing store on 30th Avenue, Seaward would have to lug buckets of water from a communal sink so she could perform electrolysis and pedicure treatments at her budding Just For You Spa and Salon.
All the hard work and perseverance have paid off for Seaward, who quickly developed the company into the first full-service day spa in Vernon. Seaward, who will celebrate her company’s 25th anniversary on Feb. 1, looks back on a quarter century of steady progress with pride.
“Starting small is the biggest part of it, and then growing as you needed to grow,” said Seaward, who enrolled in a business grant program to get the business off the ground.
“The lady I rented the space from, Gloria Crawford, she told me that I should get into full esthetics. I just grew so quickly and then needed to expand.”
Outgrowing the back room at Pampered Perfection, Seaward moved the business to a bigger location across from the Greyhound bus depot before settling into her current address on 53rd Avenue four years ago. She owns the tastefully designed, 2,700 square-foot facility – complete with five hairdressing stations, five spa treatment rooms, four pedicure stations and a manicure bar – with her sister, Sandra. Her parents, Robert and Marlene Ambler, also help out with the business, with Robert helping renovate their new building and Marlene performing payroll and bookkeeping duties.
“The dream was always to have everything in one location so people didn’t have to go anywhere else to get their hair done and nails done…it’s a one-stop shopping kind of thing,” said Seaward, who employs a staff of 17.
“I wanted quality for my staff as well. Some of them have been here for 17 or 18 years, and I always wanted them to have the better quality of location, better parking.”
With a buffet of treatments, Just For You’s menu has plenty of options to pamper just about anyone – waxing, massage, body scrubs and wraps, facials, hand and foot care, hair care and spa packages.
Just For You manager Tracey Cameron notes treatments are as much about taking care of one’s body as they are about indulging it. However, she notes it doesn’t hurt that their pedicure thrones have jet tubs and massaging chairs, and their massage beds are heated.
“I don’t even know if it’s pampering as much as it is maintenance,” said Cameron. “They (customers) want to take care of themselves, they want to feel good about themselves and that’s where we come in. We help that process along.
“They don’t want to age without a fight. They’re like ‘Ya, I’m going to age, but I’m going to do it gracefully.’”
Seaward, who grew up in Salmon Arm and lives in Sorrento, is looking to spend more time at home so she can be with daughter Kailynn, 15, and son Dylan, 13.
“My kids have suffered because I live out of town and I commute from Sorrento, so they’ve missed out on certain things,” she said.
In her place, Cameron will be overseeing more of Just For You’s operation.
“I know her vision and I think we work really well together with that,” said Cameron, originally from Prince George. “I started out in a teeny little room too, I had to haul water…and think it helps to appreciate where we’re at now.”
Added Seaward: “I can just see the changes already in the spa. You’ve been doing something for so long, and to have someone else’s opinion on change is always good for growth.”
To thank customers, Just For You will be hosting an anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 1, featuring in-store discounts and cake.