The final feature in our series of Happening Women in March is Maria Calasso. She is the owner of a beautiful little spa called Sublime (located just off Richboro Road in Newtown). The first floor offers standard salon services, while the second floor boasts a full service spa, complete with massage rooms and pedicure stations. Though obviously busy, the staff was immediately warm and attentive to me as I walked in. I sat down with Marian to find out more about her business and the things that inspire her.
BH: What made you want to start your own business?
MC: I worked for a beauty supply company when I first started out. I eventually worked my way up to sales. I remember walking into my first Spa. I thought, I would love to do this someday! I signed up for cosmetology school shortly after.
BH: So it sounds like you were pretty set on working in the Beauty / Wellness industry once you realized you wanted to own a business. Is that true?
MC: Well, as I mentioned, I worked for a beauty supply company when I was 16 and, honestly, I just fell in love with products. I would read all the information I could find on products so I could learn what they were used for and how they benefitted the hair. I also was able to meet Arnie Miller, the founder of Matrix, at a sales meeting and I was so impressed by him. He truly loved what he did and wanted to share that with other people.
BH: I can certainly understand that. I believe that people who are passionate about what they do end up having the greatest impact on the people they meet. What challenges have you faced as a woman who owns and operates her own business, and how did you deal with those situations?
MC: I think the hardest part of owning a business is how much time it takes. I still need to be able to be a good mom and wife and some days trying to juggle it all can be tricky. Luckily, I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and that makes it much easier to cope. I truly love owning my own business and although there are a lot of challenges, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
BH: What a blessing! Having a supportive family can make a world of difference when work is so demanding. What do you enjoy most about running “Sublime”?
MC: The people. I am a people person. I feel so lucky that I truly love what I do for a living. I know so many people who don’t enjoy their work and I think that’s a shame. I get to be around all different types of people. And I get to make them feel good about themselves. Our salon is like a second home to me. We all get along very well. It’s a fun atmosphere in the salon. I have met so many wonderful people through my business.
BH: It seems like such a socially-centered business. I’m sure that your love for people really shines through to your customers. What advice would you give to other women who want to start their own business?
MC: If it’s your dream, you should do it. I think you should always try to fulfill your dreams. Life is too short not to. But I would also say to be prepared. Seek help from other professionals in the area of business in which you would like to be. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards are great too.
BH: That’s great advice. What type of impact do you hope that your business will make on Newtown as a community?
MH: I think any impact we have will be a by-product of our work. Since coming to Newtown, I feel deeply connected to the community here. It’s a busy area and we are getting a lot of new customers. I hope that by making people feel good about themselves and by giving the best customer service we can; we will make a difference to our customers.
BH: Maria, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.
MC: You’re welcome!
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