Monday, October 12, 2015

Beauty destination: local beauty haven, The Villa


It was serendipity when the leaseholder on the iconic villa at 37 Jervois Road decided to move, for tenants Olivia Van Lierop (above) and Romy Grbic it was like the universe had answered their call.
The inspiring pair had been looking to find premises of their own for a while, finding that having just one small space each was limiting the experience for their clients looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. “We wanted more space to really let our businesses grow,” says massage therapist Van Lierop, “and back in June when we found out that we could take on the whole space at number 37 the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.” Beauty alchemist Grbic adds that the pair wanted to create more of an “experience for clients”, and they THEN set about finding complementary businesses to help fulfil that vision.
The newcomers include hair stylists Gray & Olsen, made up of experienced industry names Katherine Gray and Craig Olsen. Both have had a wealth of experience both here and internationally, and wanted to create their own boutique-style salon in the Ponsonby area. Olivia found out about the pair through an existing client of hers, and this was also the way they found skin specialist Caroline Hailstone, who takes a different approach to beauty to Romy with treatments like microdermabrasion and peels. Rounding out The Villa lineup is naturopath Twyla Watson, who attended Wellpark College with Romy and treats many clients with chronic conditions and the like.
“It all happened really quickly and really organically,” says Romy, “we needed to decide whether we’d take on the lease by a Monday deadline and had everyone lined up by the Sunday before. It couldn’t have been more easy!” Van Lierop says the mix of personalities within The Villa is also a bonus, especially Katherine who she describes as “so warm and grounding, she’s almost like a mother figure and makes us all feel so good”.
Romy’s business is redox Facials + Beauty, and she is one of the most enthusiastic and passionate therapists I have met in a long time. She absolutely exudes a love for what she does, and her passion is definitely infectious. The self described “beauty alchemist" qualified as a beauty therapist in 2007 and since then has worked in many areas of the beauty industry including managing a spa on Waiheke Island, contributing to many magazines with articles on beauty and health and working in clinic in both Auckland and Melbourne. She is also a Clinical Nutritionist, graduating with top in her class from Wellpark College in 2014 after completing a two-year diploma in Clinical Nutrition.
Her redox holistic facials are her specialty, always bespoke and designed for what your skin, body and mind need on the day. “I believe that beauty shines through and shows on the outside only when we have a healthy inside,” says Grbic. “Stress, improper diet and skincare regime, and lifestyle choices all show through your skin, and some choices dull our beauty where others nourish it.” She uses a range of organic, biodynamic and natural skincare products on clients depending on their needs, and makes her own facemasks using clays and superfood powders to suit your skin. Recent additions include an Enzyme Peel and a 70 minute Bespoke Facial with Collagen + Vitamin C booster, which is what I think everyone’s skin needs right now!
Olivia is an absolute gem of a therapist who works under the name Enrich Massage Therapy. She arrived back in New Zealand last year after nine years working internationally as a sports masseuse working with top athletes in Australia and on yachts in Europe. At one point she held the position of private masseuse, beautician and yoga instructor on one of the most prestigious luxury yachts in the world, and her experience – and caring approach – speaks for itself.
Looking for further challenges she travelled to many beautiful parts of the world, completing her yoga teacher training in Bali and then returning to New Zealand, where she has combined her talents to establish Enrich.
She incorporates both a therapeutic and pampering aspect into almost every massage that she does, even sending some clients away with yoga poses to practice to keep their bodies in check. She also teaches yoga classes out of The Villa and is planning massage workshops in the near future.
Olivia is also now actively supporting a charitable initiative by Oxfam that was set up to stop gender inequality and violence in Papua New Guinea. “Every person that sees me for their own self care, health and wellness is also giving to this project as I give a percentage of all my earnings per week to this amazing cause,” she explains. “I have always wanted to create a charitable company and I hope the busier I get the more I can give. The philosophy is in the name really - Enrich.  Enriching your own life while enriching the lives of others who really need it.”
I recently spent an afternoon at The Villa that began with a massage, followed by a bespoke facial and then blow wave with the energy-packed Craig, and the collective are hoping that more and more people will take the time to indulge in that way from here on in.

I for one can’t recommend it enough!

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