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Meet Deisy Suarez of Desuar Spa in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deisy Suarez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Deisy. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
As a young girl, I was already concocting scrubs & masks to beautify myself and anyone around me. Since an early age, I would always tell my friends I will be a beautician and have a salon one day. After graduating H.S, I attempted to go to beauty school but had to drop out due to limited funds and I was unable to give up my job for school since living in NYC was very expensive.

I later attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for Marketing Communications but my calling was in the beauty industry, I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than that. I later enrolled at LIBS in NYC for Make-up artistry, body painting, and special effects make-up. I also took a few massage classes to enhance my natural massage skills. I worked as a free-lance healer and makeup artist.

It was during one of those make-up jobs on a movie set for an indie-movie that I met someone, and with this person I relocated to LA. Los Angeles was different, and I had no clients, so I had to start all over. I did freelance makeup and massage work. In 2009, I enrolled at National Holistic Institute to enhance my massage techniques and get my California certification.

Then in 2011, I enrolled in Marinello school of beauty to get my certification as an esthetician. Little by little I started to extend my practice and build a clientele right from a small room inside my loft in downtown LA.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it hasn’t been smooth at all. In fact, it’s still a daily challenge to keep growing and defeating obstacles. From the financial aspect to finding a good team. Before I was able to build my 4,400 sq ft day spa, I was working in different industries to survive and pay bills., and of course this would force me to postpone my dreams.

It was very difficult for me not being able to give my whole heart and time to my life passion. I had to do it in order to just save money to fund my dream. Often I was sick to my stomach and worried as I was not earning enough income while pushing forward. It was difficult to find marketing money to promote my business or find anyone that will help me and work with me for a small pay or even barter with.

One of hardest things was finding a location to relocate my home spa into a real commercial location something more comfortable. For whatever reason DTLA landlords were only interested in renting to restaurants or bars. I was just this small girl who was running a small home spa and wanting to open a beauty/spa in DTLA. They didn’t see me as a good tenant many times I thought I was being discriminated against due to my race and sex.

Some landlords that did offer to speak to me offered me such high rent prices that if I was ever to accept I would go out of business in six months. On one occasion a commercial agent that was taking me to see locations asked me to not mention to potential landlords about massage or spa, just to say I am searching for a location to do a beauty salon. I didn’t understand why until a landlord asked me if I was going to open an illegal massage parlor.

It was a headache, but I wouldn’t let anything discourage me from continuing to push forward. Finally, after my husband started showing up at meetings with me (he was BF at the time) things started to take a different tone, landlords would be more engaging and receptive to talk to him (not me) but him that at the time had nothing to do with the business just showing up with me, I realized I was going to have better chances of renting with him. So, I utilized that to my advantage and somehow allowed him to legitimize my business in their eyes.

One day we signed a lease and rented a basement in the historic core of downtown of LA. It was a lot of work and money. Meanwhile, while I waited for construction we needed to find a temporary location to operate from, so my landlord rented us a small utility storage or abandoned chimney room of 480sqft to operate from, this storage facility had no restroom, AC/Heater & or running water. But we made it work; the will was there, so we found a way!

Somehow, we persevered and were able to make that place an underground gem and speakeasy locale. We operated from the temporary spa until our new location was built. However, the horrors wouldn’t stop; now it was with the city of LA permitting department, constantly delaying my plans, eating up my budget, day by day. We were making loan interest payments using the money that was borrowed for my actual business operation.

Desuar Spa – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
DESUAR Spa is a day spa located in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles.

DESUAR is a private day spa incorporating a philosophy that is fundamental to human experience, the quest for a balanced lifestyle. Balancing mind and body creates a new state of mental and physical health, beauty and self-esteem. DESUAR Spa offers healing as well as high-end relaxing treatments.

Our spa is a place where you can spend a small time of your day to experience an amazing high-end therapeutic massage, body scrubs, facials, wraps, slimming treatment, spray tanning, waxing or soaks baths, without the guilt of breaking the bank. We specialize in many high-end, personalized treatments at a reasonable price.

There are so many mountains, yet so many proud moments too. Being able to convert “literally” an abandoned chimney room that was once a bird aviary into a spa; managing to “beat the odds” which were all against succeeding into something amazing and positive; having clients telling their friends about us and our unconventional and singular location.

And being aware and capable of hiring incredibly talented professionals from the local neighborhood of DTLA that have joined me on this journey. Our story, our location, our community spirit are all parts of DESUAR Spa that set us apart from the competition. Our clients become family, our location is absolutely unique, and our particular story is definitely one for the books!

Pricing:

  • First time client enjoy a 50min Swedish Massage for $70
  • Microdermabrasion treatment for 30 min $70
  • Sugar scrub 30 min for $65
  • Hydrafacial MD 30 min $150

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Melissa Valladares for Desuar spa

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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