by Kate McGregor
This year, Accent on Beauty celebrates 25 years in the Glebe. In addition to special spa packages, the business focuses on skin care and self-care services for women and men.
Doreen Rush opened Accent on Beauty in 1991 across the street from its current location. She started out with 400 square feet and offered facials. She moved to the second floor of Fifth Avenue Court three years later, slowly expanded the space to its current 1,400 square feet and branched out into other areas of the skin care industry.
Rush was born in Edinburgh Scotland and started her career in the dental field. She came to Canada seeking adventure at age 20 with a plan to stay in Ottawa for a year as a nanny. She worked for a family on Fourth Avenue, then moved to another family in Rockcliffe Park. For the next 12 years, she branched out, juggling her time as a nanny and aerobics instructor, studying esthetics and working in an esthetics shop at Esplanade Laurier in downtown Ottawa. There, she met her future husband – photographer, artist and teacher Michael Vuckovic.
Rush’s self-discipline and focus are reflected in her personal life. In addition to step-dancing with friends twice a week, she gets up at 6 a.m. daily to work out for an hour to an hour and a half, six days a week, a discipline she has maintained for 30 years.
Rush’s vision and passion for her work have allowed Accent on Beauty to thrive in an ever-evolving and competitive retail business market. She keeps up to date on new trends and technologies and makes smart business decisions. Starting out alone, she now employs four full-time staff. As she notes, “If you have happy workers, things will run smoothly.”
Rush also acknowledges the importance of having happy customers. “It is very satisfying when you can help someone and you see them get results…it’s a really good feeling,” she says. She pays close attention to what her clients want and how they want to spend their time at Accent on Beauty. Her shop is calm and spotless, a tranquil refuge for weary customers who just want to close their eyes and relax while they are receiving their treatments.
Treatments include facials, peels, hair removal, waxing, electrolysis, spider vein removal, stretch mark treatments and Venus Freeze anti-aging services. She also offers makeup, manicures, pedicures, reflexology and massage.
“I think it’s an industry where you can do well,” she says. “I am hands on, I still do all the treatments…I enjoy the variety… between the technology and the products, the results are very good.”
Rush has witnessed a lot of changes in the neighbourhood over the years – businesses that have come and gone, the fire that gutted the commercial building at the corner of Bank and Fifth and the demand for online shopping that has changed people’s spending habits.
Accent on Beauty is like a steady boat in a rocky sea of retail ups and downs. Its staying power speaks to Rush’s unwavering commitment to good customer service and quality esthetic services. And word of mouth about her services keeps her bustling.
Rush came to Ottawa as a young Scottish woman seeking adventure. We’re glad she did. The Glebe Report salutes the enormous contribution she has made to the community for the past 25 years and we wish her and Accent on Beauty continued success for years to come.
Accent on Beauty
25-99 Fifth Avenue (Fifth Avenue Court)
Hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursdays & Fridays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays & Mondays: closed