This New NoLibs Spa is Staffed by Laid-Off Estheticians and Massage Therapists from Rescue Spa
The boutique spa, founded by former Rescue esthetician Taralyn Freda, offers massage, facials, acupuncture and health coaching.
Though 2020 was an extremely tough year for small businesses, we’ve still seen plenty of new ones open against the odds — some being new initiatives founded by the laid-off workers of larger institutions. This wellness medical spa is one example. Brand-new boutique spot Nirvana Health and Beauty opened in NoLibs this summer after popular local day spa Rescue Spa laid off many of its workers at the end of March — including Taralyn Freda.
“I thought I was going to be at Rescue for a long time,” says Freda, esthetician and founder of Nirvana Health and Beauty. “I started there in 2018. I loved working there. It was busy. Admittedly, I was running on low because I was picking up shifts all the time, but I loved what I did, so it didn’t bother me to be working so much. Then, when the pandemic hit, I was laid off. I felt so out of place. I was used to working five days a week, all day long.”
Out of work, Freda started doing meditation and yoga every day in addition to studying reiki and expanding her existing knowledge of wellness and spa services. “I realized I wanted to do something deeper than solely skin care,” she says. “I wanted to pursue health coaching and expand the services we could offer.”
Freda had her eye on opening her own spa, one that suited her vision. She talked with a massage therapist who had also been let go from Rescue due to the pandemic and found she was interested in coming aboard. Freda began searching for a location and found an ideal spot right in her Northern Liberties neighborhood. Nirvana opened its doors in August at 1100 North Front Street. The spa is now staffed with a medical director, Freda as esthetician and health coach, an acupuncturist, and another esthetician and two massage therapists who all came from Rescue — making four former Rescue employees in total.
Freda’s on her way to achieving her dream of having a med-spa that’s geared towards wellness — one where clients can experience facials, massage, laser treatments, reiki, acupuncture, health coaching, an infrared sauna and more. She’s adding laser treatments and an infrared sauna in 2021, and the spa currently offers facials ranging from micro-current and microdermabrasion to gua sha, with add-ons like brow shaping and a lash lift and tint available. “Our facials are clinical and healing at the same time,” says Freda. “I want all of our clients to leave feeling radiant inside and out.”
The massages on offer range from prenatal massage to customizable options including cupping, dry brushing and CBD. Nirvana also has various medical specialties; for example, Freda is certified in oncology skin care, treatments for people going through or recently out of chemotherapy or radiation. “I have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, so it’s near to my heart to be able to offer that,” she explains.
Since we’re still in the thick of COVID-19, keeping clients safe is essential. “We’re a small, intimate spa business,” says Freda. “We have a strict stay-at-home policy if anyone is sick or has any symptoms at all. We are double-masked and shielded, and between each client, we run an industrial-strength fogger in the treatment rooms to kill airborne and surface viruses.” (The website lists the spa’s full COVID-19 precautions.)
Though there’s no doubt Nirvana dawned in a difficult year, Freda says they’re in it for the long haul. “By opening this year, I feel like anything is possible,” says Freda. “It’s worth following your dream and your gut.” Find out more about the new wellness medical spa and its latest offerings on the website or Instagram.