Even during COVID-19 pandemic, appearances still count at Sea of Beauty Med Spa in South Tempe

Shop owner Cecilia Brown (left) advises a client at Sea of Beauty Med Spa in Tempe. –Photos courtesy of Cecilia Brown

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Business profile

Cecilia Brown’s three young children were at a point where she found opening her own small business offered both the flexibility and earning potential she desired.

The owner of Sea of Beauty Med Spa, in the Michael Pollack plaza on the southeastern corner of Rural and Elliot roads, sat down with Wrangler News to talk about the relatively new business in town.

Sea of Beauty Med Spa recently celebrated its two-year anniversary.

“I am new to the small-business market,” Brown said. “I did substitute teaching, but before that, I stayed home with the kids. My background is education, but once I had my oldest, I stayed home and raised them.”

Cecilia Brown invites the public to try her beauty shop at Rural and Elliot roads.

Being on the so-called mommy track was “100 percent worth it,” Brown said. Her children, Zeke, 12; Clara, 10; and McKenzie, 4 are all in school now, but Brown is still available for Parent Teacher Organization meetings and sports events because of her flexible schedule as a business owner. For now, the kids are attending school virtually due to the rising COVID numbers in the community.

Brown said she has an autoimmune condition that could bump her into a higher risk category for severe complications from COVID-19.

She opened Sea of Beauty Med Spa in the summer of 2019, a scant five months before news of the COVID-19 pandemic broke.

By March, Brown’s fledgling business, like scores of others across Tempe and West Chandler, was shuttered.

“We opened in August of 2019 and then just plugged along. Everything was wonderful. Got through all of our opening hiccups and challenges and hiring our first set of staff and learning to get everything fine-tuned and put together. And then, here comes COVID on the news,” Brown said.

She was able to get a small amount of federal grant money due to the pandemic, but because she’d only been in business a short time, she didn’t qualify for more.

“We didn’t have the financials in the quarters that they needed to predate the pandemic,” Brown said.

By July of 2020, Sea of Beauty Med Spa was open for business again.

“It was almost like we never missed a beat,” Brown said. “It was great.”

There was one small problem, however.

“We were open with no staff because everyone stayed on unemployment. So, we had to hire new staff and then train them, still navigating all the COVID requirements and the social distancing,” she said.

Somehow, they got through it. Brown went back to school to become an aesthetician so that she could give facials. She’d already been trained in using the body-contour machine and in performing laser-hair reduction procedures. Brown is also a certified health coach having received training from the Institute for Integrative Health based in New York.

“I believe in the spa and I believe in the approach we take,” Brown said. “I’m not one to give up.”

She wants the Tempe and West Chandler community to know that Sea of Beauty Med Spa is a locally owned, woman-owned, small business that caters to all.

And, Brown pointed out, Sea of Beauty Med Spa was recognized by the Better Business Bureau for its innovative approach. The BBB also chose Sea of Beauty Med Spa to participate in its Main Street Initiative. The 10-week business development and growth program was a boost and “helped solidify the direction that we’re going,” Brown said.

Sea of Beauty Med Spa, 953 E. Elliot Road, Suite 101 in Tempe, offers a range of services, including HydraFacials, body contouring, laser hair reduction, waxing, organic spray tans and laser photo facials.

“We do everything with a twist. So we do a lot of contouring and we pair that with health coaching,” Brown said.

The body contouring is aimed at toning, tightening and lifting targeted areas and helps reduce cellulite, she said.

In light of the pandemic, extra safety precautions are being taken at Sea of Beauty. Everyone in the spa wears a mask at all times, handwashing and sanitizing by staff and guests is a must, extra guests are not permitted, high-touch areas are cleaned multiple times per day and there are no steam facials at this time.

Information: seaofbeauty.biz or call 480-444-6829.

Joyce Coronel
Joyce Coronel has been interviewing and writing stories since she was 12, and she’s got the scrapbooks to prove it. The mother of five grown sons and native of Arizona is passionate about local news and has been involved in media since 2002, coming aboard at Wrangler News in 2015. Joyce believes strongly that newspapers are a lifeline to an informed public and a means by which neighbors can build a sense of community—vitally important in today’s complex world.

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