by Kate McGregor
Taking care of ourselves includes nourishing and nurturing our bodies. It provides a respite from the whirlwind of chores and work many of us experience on a daily basis. Anyone who books a facial, manicure or massage knows the immediate joy and benefits of “time out.”
Lina Jimenez is the owner of Fifth Avenue Spa and Nails, a new business that opened in the Glebe in May 2016. She understands the importance and impact of the services she offers to customers who are tired, who just want to feel good and who want to spend a bit of time relaxing, whether the treatment is a facial, massage, wax, pedicure or manicure.
Born in Medillin, Colombia, Jimenez immigrated to Canada in 2012. She chose Ottawa as her new home, a city that she viewed as quiet, clean and safe and where she had friends. A high school math and physics teacher by profession, she secured a job at a daycare on Fifth Avenue, where she eventually took over the business from the previous owner.
While Jimenez loved her work with children, she longed to find a way to practice her English with adults. Tapping into her love for esthetics, she decided to register as a full-time student at Versailles Academy for the intensive, 10-month program in esthetics. She had found her calling. Not only did she learn everything about the principles of her new career, but she had a wonderful opportunity to spend her days strengthening her English language skills with supportive classmates who became new friends. As Jimenez recalls, “In Colombia you get two to three new friends every day. You even meet new friends on the bus. In Ottawa, many people tend to keep their friends from high school.”
Jimenez also met her future husband in Ottawa, Carlos Polinario, originally from Cuba.
When the commercial building next door to the daycare became available – site of the former Bytown H2o Studio – Jimenez realized she had found the perfect location for her new esthetics business. The couple did all of the work themselves over a six-month period while Jiminez was still at school and studying for her final exams. The business plan she had created as part of her training at Versailles Academy was put to the test. To keep costs down, and where practical, Jimenez and Polinario purchased furniture from Ikea. They installed new floors and painted from top to bottom. Jimenez chose interior colours to match her personality – a warm and relaxing colour palette. She picked a lotus for her logo with the tag line Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate. She also bought two large and inviting pedicure chairs for the front room and a massage table for the back room.
When Fifth Avenue Spa and Nails first opened, Jimenez promoted her business with a flyer drop off to local businesses and households. She also created a Facebook page.
Since opening, Jimenez has had an opportunity to share her vision about her services to customers from the Glebe and beyond. As she says, “Esthetics is more than beauty. It is about women or men feeling good about themselves. I offer good energy.” And to that I would add that all of her services are delivered with a lot of Colombian warmth. As I left Fifth Avenue Spa and Nails, Jimenez waved goodbye to me and said, “Drop by for a coffee next time you’re in the neighbourhood.”
Kate McGregor writes the Business Buzz column for the Glebe Report and is a certified Integral Master Coach™. To inquire about her services: 613-884-1864; email@example.com ; www.kmcoaching.ca
Fifth Avenue Spa and Nails
218 Fifth Avenue, Ottawa
Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.