Susan Haise, owner of Milwaukee-based Neroli Salon & Spa, has launched a new beauty business despite recent industry downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concept is a medispa (short for medical spa), called SKN BAR RX, which opened its first two locations Monday, at 4005 N. Downer Ave. in Shorewood and 145 W. Wisconsin Ave. and Pewaukee.
SKN BAR RX specializes in aesthetic laser skin care services and hair removal, facials, peels and injectables with a spa-like experience, according to a news release.
“We saw that there was an opportunity to provide a more complete experience for those seeking medispa (services),” Haise said. “So, we’ve brought together the best talent in the industry and created beautiful spaces that will take our medispa services to a new level.”
Both locations had been slated to open in early April, but the process was delayed by the COVID-19 shut down, Haise said in an interview with BizTimes Milwaukee last month.
Her seven Neroli stores (six in the Milwaukee area and one in downtown Madison) were temporarily closed from mid-March to late May under statewide stay-at-home restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The salon and spa has reopened in phases over the past three weeks, having implemented a number new protocols to keep customers and employees safe.
Haise said she invested about $5,000 to $6,000 per store in PPE for employees and customers, plexiglass dividers for retail areas, and additional sanitation equipment and supplies, including non-touch hand sanitizer dispensers.
The new SKN BAR RX, facilities include a “bar” area where patients receive detailed photo analysis of their skin as well as space for private events. Chicago-based beauty designer Michele Pelafas headed the business’ interior design.
Services are administered by medical professionals. SKN BAR’s website lists Dr. Daniel Butz, medical director and plastic surgeon; Kathy Mortl, aesthetic nurse injector; and Cindy Turner, who is also an aesthetic nurse injector.
“I’ve been working in the field for many years,” Mortl said. “I came to SKN BAR RX because our approach is unique. We work from the inside out as well as the outside in to bring about ageless confidence for our patients. It’s a holistic approach that you won’t find at other medispas.”
Haise also owns two beauty schools, The Institute of Beauty & Wellness in the Third Ward and The Aveda Institute in Madison. Almost all of the 278 students at the two schools transitioned to virtual learning once the coronavirus outbreak hit the area.
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