With the economy continuing to be a concern for individuals and businesses alike, it is all too easy for the entrepreneurial spirit to be quickly squelched, and with good reason. One young Roanoke business owner had the courage and confidence to go against the grain, purchasing her first business just a year ago. Christin Burdette, a Liberty University graduate, and just 25, is the owner of “Pure Spa,” located in the back of West Village Center (behind Fink’s.)
A spa is generally considered a “luxury” business, and as such, Burdette was advised to think long and hard before pursuing this venture, especially since she is so young. One CPA flat out told her not to do it. Burdette was not to be swayed; she followed her gut feeling and bought the business. It is a move she has not regretted. She says “our numbers this year are better than the three previous years.”
Maybe that is because Burdette possesses just the right mix of talent and personality to make her business work. Her passion for catering to her customers is ever-present and she is not shy about making sure they know how loyal she is to them. She is also loyal to her staff, which she considers top-notch.
Most view a spa as a niche or specialty business, but Burdette is not limiting herself to that expectation. She makes a good case that every single person can benefit from one or more of their services. The last few years have many people more stressed than ever and a visit to a spa can help people find that they are better able to regain their focus after taking a little time to take care of themselves, according to Burdette.
Burdette, who says “I’ve always been in sales; I’ve always loved people” once wrote a paper for a professor on the topic of what career to pursue. She got an “F” on the paper because she wrote about having a career which would essentially be “talking to people for a living,” which the teacher said was not topic-related. The professor gave her the option to re-write the paper for a better grade, suggesting she write along the lines of pursuing a career in motivational speaking, for example. Burdette says “I didn’t re-write the paper because I didn’t want to be a motivational speaker.” She adds almost humorously, “besides, I have a country accent.”
Later, when she bought Pure Spa, Burdette wrote the teacher to let her know that she was indeed now “talking to people for a living.” The teacher wrote back with an apology, and said that Burdette had caused her to “change her focus to grading with her ears instead of her eyes.”
One of the talents that customers most appreciate in Burdette is that of makeup artist. She is well trained but she brings an innate ability to the table in that she can quickly assess a customer’s strengths and play those up, and prioritize what needs to be addressed first. One recent makeover client, 19-year-old Victoria, lit up when her makeover was finished. Her new polished look clearly hit the mark. The young lady said she learned a lot about make-up techniques and feels her new look will help with future job interviews. She says, “Christin is awesome, fun, and easy to connect with. Her love for skin care is evident; she doesn’t care about the sales as much as helping to improve the actual skin care, and helping people look better, which is nice.”
Burdette says she does “really care more about helping clients,” and says that she doesn’t worry so much about sales because putting clients first allows “selling makeup [and services] to ‘happen.’” She says she is most fulfilled by establishing “long term relationships and being there for my clients, and helping them to be their own makeup artist.”
There have been times she has used her talent to help those who are sick or disfigured. One lady with a terrible rash from lupus had given up looking normal, much less attractive. All the makeup she tried burned and irritated … Burdette used the line she carries, “Jane Iredale” – a skin care makeup — which worked just fine. The woman says it turned her life around.
Burdette also does some travelling to work with other spas to help with things like makeup consultations and spa events; she seems to have a knack for kick-starting sales for them too. But she is committed to making Pure Spa a true retreat where clients – both men and women — feel comfortable and pampered. That has been a goal from the beginning. Notwithstanding the steady traffic in and out of the spa, it is pretty clear from Burdette’s resolve that she will continue to steer Pure Spa in the right direction.
Pure Spa is located at 3555 Electric Road, Suite H; Phone 540-904-5900. Visit puresparoanoke.com for more information.