Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Aguayo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brandi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I actually started as a cosmetologist and makeup artist! I wanted to transform people’s lives and heal the world. At the age of 17, I thought the best and most profound way to help people become their best selves was through hair and makeup. If I could help someone see their beauty and their potential I would be a part of their transformation journey. However, as I grew my own definition of beauty and depend my healing journey, I felt hair and makeup was just the surface layer of what I felt I was meant to do in the world. When you’re in the beauty/ wellness service industry you hear people’s deepest fears, insecurities, pain, losses, addictions along with their joys, big moments, accomplishments, wins and success. I remember going home so many nights feeling the desire to help people on a deeper level. I wanted a legacy that went on to impact generations long after I was gone. My makeup artist mentor Ale from TNT agency told me massage school would change my life. Intrigued, I began researching different schools and relocated to the bay area to attend National Holistic School whereas Ale said my life would change forever.
I had never had a massage, meditated, experienced aromatherapy or even knew how to burn a sage stick. I did yoga 1x a week maybe; that’s as close as I came to wellness. We did most of these things everyday for over a year. I learned so much about the body, the mind and the connection between them. I was introduced to a whole world of people and theories I naturally felt home with. I really gravitated toward the sports, thai, myo fascial release modalities, and nutrition as I found them to be the most effective for injuries and chronic pain. As soon as I had enough hours to practice on people, I traded with colleagues, grabbed friends and family, advertised free, although as you can imagine it’s not that difficult finding people to practice massage and stretching. Before I graduated, I had already built a small clientele doing house calls and sports events. I remember I was charging “whatever you can afford to pay” at the time and wished I could be doing it for free as there is no better feeling (IMO) of taking someone’s pain away, giving them back their body or back to the sport they loved playing, hitting a new PR after a serious injury, or taking away someone 3 day migraine. My 11 years career has allowed me to travel the world and train with the best in my industry including Tom Meyers in Costa Rica, Dr. Ben Benjamin, MyoDetox in Canada, Kami Mc Bride in Northern California, 200 Yoga Teacher with Michelle Pasos in So Cal, etc. Everything I dreamed about when I was younger had manifested. I had a successful career helping people in a big way, I was my own boss making my own hours, and starting to see my small imprint in healing the world.
Then I started to dream even bigger. I dreamed of a place where a COMMUNITY could come together and be inspired to heal themselves. A place where words like rest and stillness were not bad words or expressions of laziness but actually practices people came to deepen and master. Where anxiety and depression transformed into peace and hope. Thats when Amethyst Healing Spa was born. My business partner and I loved how the color purple is a balance of red being the color of passion and fire with blue being the color of calm and water. Amethyst also reflects those same principles. It’s a yoga spa where people come to escape, pause, rest and realign. We have restorative yoga classes that are infused with spa touches like hot towels, massage, and warm stones, heated vinyasa, hatha, meditation classes, sound healing along with spa services such as facials, & sugaring a natural way of hair removal. Amethyst Healing Spa is my current footprint to healing the world.
Has it been a smooth road?
I once saw a picture with two images. The image on the left side was a straight line at an incline with a point A and a point B at opposite ends labeled “expectations of success”. The picture on the right had the same point A and point B in the same place but with a lot of circles, zig zags scribbles off the page, and back on labeled “reality of success”. It’s so true for me!
I think one of the biggest challenges for me was letting go of the idea that my worth depended upon the amount of success I had, the number of people I helped, the amount of trainings I finished, the amount of money I made, etc. It’s an exhausting and never ending road. I would say “Yes!” to anything and everything that I thought would help me grow and learn more. Regardless of how much time it took from my family. It eventually led me to wanting a divorce and at times wishing I wasn’t a mom! I know that sounds so horrible but that’s how deep I was in it. I felt the amount of time, love, and energy having a marriage and raising children takes was a threat to my “worth”, independence, and growth. Thank God my husband has known me since I was 5! He knows when I’m too scared and prideful to ask for help.
I needed help seeing my family was actually an asset and a huge source of inspiration; amazing reminders rest is vital for success and can actually be so rejuvenating. I needed help understanding that my passion and love for helping people IS ENOUGH. God gave me all the tools I need inside myself. Trainings, certificates, Amethyst, manual therapy, & having a family are just ways I get to express my passion and purpose. I remember it was like a lightbulb that went off. I CAN be it all! I can be an amazing mom, a loving fun wife, an entrepreneur, a healer, and still be an independent wild soul!! My automatic of doing things by myself still pops up every now and again. Along with the impulse to do another training but I allow her to have her moment and then get back onto my vision. Some things I say yes to & others I say not right now. I’m much more comfortable with the “No” word lol.
Prioritizing my time was a game changer. I used to do whatever was the biggest and shiniest thing on my to do list. The things that got me excited and energized to mark off my list. Well, that doesn’t work too well when people need to get paid, dust is building up in the corners of the rooms, the lighting is dim because of lightbulbs going out, etc. Owning a business has taught me you know are responsible to people. It’s no longer just about me and one client at a time. It is now staff and over 2,000 clients that this space is responsible to. It deserves intentional time and love. Someone once told me, “Love is in the details” and when I’m not prioritizing my time well, it definitely shows.
Just because you like/ love someone personally does not mean it will be a smart business relationship. You can invest a crazy amount of time and finances into helping growing an individual and sometimes you will not get your investment back. Ive lost friendships because I ignored that gut instinct and thought our friendship will allow us to work through anything.
Get EVERYTHING in writing!! Business 101 I know, but the most common sense things we didn’t think we needed writing for we did. Whether its small contracts, big contracts, city stuff, whatever! If it includes dates, times, finances or agreements of any kind, get it in an email. This has cost us thousands of dollars.
Having small hard conversations is easier then trying to tease apart dump piles later. I would brush stuff off with “Eh, its not that big of deal.” “She probably didn’t mean it that way.” but would secretly collect it as evidence for any future problems. Then when a problem did arise, I would have so much frustration it was no longer about that one instance it was everything that have done wrong since 2005 lol. Ive learned to clear the air and move on. Honesty and transparency I’ve learned go along way.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Amethyst is a dream come true! It’s a gorgeous yoga spa located in La Verne, CA. It’s a space where people come to escape the hustle and bustle of life. To recharge and rest. We specialize in our restorative yoga which incorporates massage, hot towel therapy, aromatherapy, & weighted bags to help calm the nervous system. Bhakti Restorative where the instructor uses African drums during class and Holy Yoga for those who have a spiritual practice with God and would like to experience yoga with prayer and worship music. We offer other unique yoga classes such as Precision and Align where we teach the fundamentals of poses while still challenging the body. We also have meditation classes and workshops to help those who are brand new to meditation and also those who would like to deepen their practice. In addition to unique yoga classes we offer spa services as well. Facials, Sugaring, Waxing, & Passive Yoga which is our version of Thai Yoga. We also host workshops every month like how to start juicing, couples massage training, how to get radiant skin, etc. to help educate our community on ways they can infuse wellness and rest into their lives outside of Amethyst.
As a company, we are most proud of the community we are creating for others. Our world often yells “self-care” when we think “community care” is far more valuable. To get outside of yourself and serve others oftentimes achieves more long term fulfillment. It’s so beautiful to see customers and clients make long term friends, or come to workshops together, or even notice when someone hasn’t been coming to class for a few times in a row. The camaraderie that takes place here is beautiful. I think my favorite is when someone does a pose they have been trying to master for a long time and everyone cheers for them. Or when someone who has had trauma done to their body and yoga is a source of rehab for them!
You often see yoga studios and day spas. It’s not everyday you see a yoga spa. With our Himalayan Salt wall, panels of moss, wooden barn doors with glass, and all of the Amethyst geodes sprinkled everywhere it is truly one of a kind. The way we sprinkle in spa touches in yoga classes, and yoga block and stretches in our treatment rooms gives Amethyst a very unique imprint.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! Los Angeles is a beautiful place to open a yoga spa! Our people love to feel good, look good, and workout. Meditation and mindfulness are now finally being incorporated into the morning and evening routines. They are in our vocabulary with the understanding of at least one or two benefits. More businesses like ours need to be around.
As beautiful as Los Angeles is, most of us are still on the hamster wheel of exhaustion to work, to pay rent, sleep, repeat. Good sleep in question. Our nervous systems are in overdrive. We need more businesses that help our community to learn how to get calm and truly understand the dangers of going nonstop. Businesses that change the relationship we have with rest and help make rest and relaxation more then just a trip to the Bahamas can change generations. How to get rest on demand whenever our bodies ASK for it instead of demand it by illness, disease, or trauma can add years to lives and quality of living. Yoga is more than a workout. It truly is a workIN. Yoga helps people learn to listen to their bodies, spa services help people take care of their bodies. A skill and a discipline few of us hone.
If I were to give advice to anyone starting out I would say be very clear on your “WHY?” What motivates you to open this business, why are you doing it. Because there will be times when you want to give it up and cut your losses. There will be times when you question if it will ever be worth it. Your why will pull you through every time. And second BE YOU. It’s so cliche but there is something that you have that no one else has and when you sprinkle it in your business it’s never duplicable. It’s unique and special. And most importantly you will always have creativity for ideas because it all stems from your essence and purpose you were given.
- Facials start at $75
- Passive Yoga starts at $50
- Yogage and Spa Yoga are $25 ea.
- Sugaring starts at $10
- Address: 1768 Arrow Hwy Suite #104
- Website: www.amethysthealingspa.com
- Phone: 909_392_9322
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amethysthealingspa/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Amethyst-Healing-Spa
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/amethyst-healing-spa-la-verne
Perfect Focus Photography, Melissa Carnes