This year, to celebrate International Women's Day we interviewed 3 inspiring women from the Sodashi Community. Megan Larsen, Tania Taylor and Chrissy Dress are three successful female leaders who have made an impact in the natural skincare and luxury spa space.
We are beyond excited to share these inspiring stories with you and we hope these interviews empower women and girls around the world to follow their passion and dreams. Discover their unique journeys, the challenges they faced, women they admire and of course, their favourite Sodashi Products.
In this blog post we introduce you to Chrissy Dress, founder of Cure De Repos, located in Philadelphia, USA.
Cure De Repos is an award-winning boutique spa in Philadelphia, can you please tell us a little bit about your journey to building this incredible business?
I have never worked a corporate job, even when I started my first job as an Aesthetician in 2007' making $15 the first week. This is when I first graduated from school and moved to AZ to get a job in "Spa country". No one would hire me at these luxury resorts, as I did not have 2 years of experience. This is when I met Annie Mayo, a celebrity makeup Artist and quickly became her assistant. I started doing makeup for film and TV. This was an unexpected turn in my career but allowed me the creativity and to be able to meet a lot of celebrities.
Life is full of ups and downs, especially when building a business. Are there any particular challenges that you’ve had to overcome whilst building Cure De Repos?
I have had many challenges while building CURE. This summer we will be in business for 6 years. In 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I found out when I did my first Mammogram, I was ticking boxes to start an IVF journey, but a turn of events took place. I recovered from surgery over Valentine's Day celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary, only 3 weeks later to close my spa due to COVID. During lock down, I went through IVF to store my fertility, while the RIOTS were happening. My husband and I went to get everything out of my location (machines/ products) leaving behind wax pots..
During this time, I also had three employees lie to me and join another spa, while collecting unemployment from me. They also emailed my client list to try to steal them.
This business can be cutthroat, but I will not let that change who I am or my positive outlook on business and life. It's like I say, if covid or cancer hasn't taken my business, then nothing will.
You’ve had a very exciting career thus far, working with some large networks (MTV, FOX Good Morning News) and five-star hotel spas (The Ritz Carton), what has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was when I took the opportunity to study at Biologique Recherche in Paris 8 years ago on my own. I learned a lot of techniques and manipulations that are not taught in the U.S. I felt like "Emily in Paris" less the wardrobe.
When growing up what did you dream of becoming?
When growing up, my mother was a cosmetologist and Avon Lady while raising myself and 2 brothers. I was always into makeup and skin care from a young age. I was pizza face in high school, so my mother also got me to a dermatologist at a young age. Skin was always a focus. My Mother would never let me touch her face, even to this day. LOL This influence led me to going to school to study to be a DR., but when I met Organic Chemistry, I decided business was best suited for me.
Which influential woman/women do you admire the most?
I have to say my mother 100% hands down.
How do you like to support other women?
I support other women by offering them to do pop up shops within my spa that do not own a brick and mortar to help to get their brand and name out there.
I also will feature my co-workers in local magazines from time to time to get their names out there.
I donate to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
I offer my backyard to Yoga Instructors when the weather is warm to extend their class offerings and gain new clients.
We also host moonlight meditation in the back yard as an activity to gather.
Do you have any advice for women would are looking to follow their passion?
My advice for woman who are looking to follow their passion is to not to listen to the ney sayers. For instance, I love my Stepfather but when I was starting out, he said I would not succeed. I think he was just trying to be protective. Along the way I would Bartend, wait tables, and even was a LYFT driver for 3 months. No job is above you if it will get you to your goal. Put words into action and start before you are ready. You will figure it out as you go. I imagine it is the same as having a child.
What is your favourite Sodashi product at the moment? Why?
My Current Sodashi Crush is the Body Balance Salt Therapy Exfoliant because I definitely experience dry, itchy winter skin and this product feels like heaven as it is not too aggressive. & I would be remiss if I didn't mention I love finishing with wet skin and Sodashi Toxicleanse Body oil after my shower. Pure Winter Bliss. Just add a cup of hot tea.
Discover Chrissy Dress' Boutique Day Spa Cure De Repos here.