Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair Finds Great Demand for Their Day Spas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair Finds Great Demand for Their Day Spas

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRISTOPHER CALNAN

Two business women with Jacksonville roots have the perfect place to offset the stress created by operating their 16-location chain of stores.

Fortunately, they don't have to go far because their own business is the cause and the cure to any such ills.

Cici Coffee and Celia Tully, Natural Body Spa and Shoppe's chief executive and manager director of marketing, respectively, returned to Jacksonville earlier this year for the opening of a booming new location at the St. Johns Town Center.

The spa and adjoining store has done more business during its first two months than any of their other spas.

Store sales exceeded projections every week since the spa opened March 17, but the success was apparent on the first day of operation when the store had to re-order to deal with the unexpected demand.

"It was like Christmas," Coffee said. "It was the most successful grand opening we've ever had."

Natural Body is more than a spa. It's also a retail store carrying a variety of body-care products such as skin lotions, shampoos and soaps.

Slide back a thick wooden door and visitors enter the spa portion of the business, which includes 13 treatment rooms for facials and massages. Spa services comprise about 60 percent of the business, Coffee said.

She started Natural Body in Atlanta 16 years ago and tried several different spa-related offerings, such as hair styling and vitamins. But a continual tweaking and retooling of the business has resulted in a popular formula.

How popular? Natural Spa is in the process of opening four locations in an eight-month period: Raleigh, N.C., in December; Jacksonville in March; followed by openings in Atlanta and then Memphis, Tenn.

Another is being proposed for Birmingham, Ala., but Coffee wants to apply the brakes a little to give the 160-employee company a chance to catch up with its growth. …

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