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Meet Deisy Suarez of DESUAR Spa in Downtown Los Angeles

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

Deisy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a little girl, I began concocting mud masks and making home scrubs to make myself more beautiful. Now I am a licensed Esthetician & Certified Massage Therapist, and entrepreneur. Recently graduated from University of California Irvine Continuing Education Division, majored in Spa and Hospitality Management. Also certified by Cidesco for Advanced Skin Analysis and by Phytomer. With over 15 years of experience in the beauty and wellness industry.

I learned the ins and outs of skincare and makeup artistry with Christian Dior cosmetics and while working and major department store cosmetics counters in NYC. I then branched out in 2004, starting my own cosmetic line DESUAR Cosmetics. Working with Frencharoma Imports Co., and their research director Dr. Srinivas R Srivas, I learned much of the technical data related to the formulation and manufacture of cosmetics and skincare products.

To improve my makeup skills, I received a certification in Editorial makeup, Body Art Painting, and Special Effects Makeup from the Learning Institute of Beauty Science (LIBS) in NY, NY in 2005. I then worked on various studio sets and fashion shows until 2007 when I relocated to Los Angeles.

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, I worked freelance jobs. In 2010 I had a brief business partnership with a hair salon located in North Hollywood while there I ran my spa operations, and later In 2011 I parted ways with my salon partner and opened my own home-based spa. Offering facials, skin treatments, and beauty services. in 2015 DESUAR Spa became too big to operate from a home, and with my personal mantra, “forward!” DESUAR Spa has become my outlet. The exterior is signature me, glamour and whimsy, but the services offered are serious.

DESUAR Spa has grown to provide outstanding treatment with proven results, clinical skincare procedures, ultrasonic & microdermabrasion facials, and my very own “secret” body scrub formula, along with excellent massage treatments and waxing services. I want each guest to enjoy the time they spend at DESUAR Spa and to leave happy and feeling better about themselves.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a bumpy road for the entire ride! From the financial issues, including not having a thriving, dependable business which would allow me to focus my entire attention on this adventure. Consistently, I was terribly worried as I was not earning a substantial income while pushing forward. It was a struggle just to find marketing money to brand and promote my business.

Even though at one point I was forced to postpone my dreams and work in another industry (just to save the money to fund my dream), I never gave up!

The struggle continued as finding the perfect location to move the spa from my home to a new location was far more difficult than expected. For some reason the downtown Los Angeles landlords were staying away from beauty spas as tenants, restaurant/bar/venues were their only focus! Those that I could convince to consider me would offer the most ridiculous lease deals that would put me out of business in the first 24 months.

It was a nightmare, but just as I would get positively charged again, the horror would continue: the city of LA permitting constantly delayed eating my budget, day by day. I was making loan payments with interest using the money that was granted for my actual business operations!

The stress was tremendous. I finally realized it was ALL or nothing. I began to search out a temporary location to continue to run my business, move outside of my home as my new husband and step-family needed a proper home.

Strangely enough, my future landlord had a tiny storage room where he offered (for a price) me the opportunity to run the spa temporarily while my space was being built out. The space was actually an abandoned chimney in a historic building that had become a nesting home for the “Vaux Swifts” for decades while the building was previously abandoned in the historic core of DTLA. Of course, the space was not complaint with ADA and had no running water, ZERO AC and/or heater system. My husband and I took on the challenge and turned this tiny chimney into a converted little gem. We came up with ideas to make the space work, including portable sinks and heaters, window AC units, and lots of aesthetic touches. Somehow, we persevered and have been able to make this place an underground gem and speakeasy locale. We continue to run the spa here temporarily during the buildout.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DESUAR Spa – what should we know?
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 relaxing high-end treatments. Our slogan is “Where communicating with your body, means listening with our hands”.

Our spa is a place where you can spend an hour of your time to experience an amazing high-end therapeutic massage, facial and skin or body treatment without the guilt of breaking the bank. We specialize in many high-end, personalized treatments at an affordable price.

There are so many mountains, yet so many proud moments too. Being able to convert “literally” an abandoned 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 unique, and our story is definitely one for the books!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am so grateful for many, many real-life angels who continue to manifest throughout my life. Not only did they guide me along the way, they offered their knowledge, their strength, and inspiration to keep me on my path during the hardest of times.

Starting with Brian who was my life partner of five years who passed away suddenly in 2014. He supported me throughout my business venture. I can truly say he continues to support me after his early death. He played a huge and sincere role in my current and future successes.

Of course, my mother for raising with an iron fist, that while it seemed harsh at times always had the best intentions and continues to show me the right path, keep me motivated and encourage me to continue educating myself. Funny, she was never wrong (surprising!)… she created who I am today.

There were also close friends along the way. (They’ve become my second family!). For instance, my close friend Tiffany Gatto (Smart LA Realty) whose expertise in real state and the downtown LA market gave me the tools to get out of one of the most ridiculous leases in DTLA. She negotiated “tooth and nail” and continues to push this project forward. Truly, without her help, I would probably still be looking for a space in a pool of “landlord sharks”.

My outstanding staff for their dedication and willingness to work with me at this random location while still delivering outstanding treatments to our loyal clients.

And of course, finally, my loving, supporting (puts up with me day in and out) husband: Keith. Keith has a government management 9-5 job, but he will never say no to me or us. We are a team and it truly shows. No matter what obstacle we face, or what wild, eccentric ideas I have for our spa, he will be there with me till the end.
Keith gives everything including his nights, weekends, and holidays to enter an industry he had absolutely no knowledge or experience in. Between the daily grind and DESUAR Spa, my husband works 18-hour days, 7 days a week. He is a true angel.

Pricing:

  • 55 min – Swedish Massage (first-time client special) $54 reg $80
  • 55 min – Deep Tissue Massage (first-time client special) $69 reg $69
  • 60 min – Sea Scape Renew Deep Cleansing Facial- (first-time client special) $54 reg $95
  • Smooth and Soothe (one-time special) 55 min Swedish massage & 60 min Sea Scape Facial $99 reg $175

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
6 Photos are all property of Desuar spa
1 (first one by Downtown News)

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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