PROFILE: A Petite Retreat
A change in location, focus and name for the former Andover Hair and Skin Salon.
A Petite Retreat, 305 North Main Street, in the Tactician Building, is described by Owner Jean Theberge an “oasis where clients can carve out a snippet of time to revive, reinvigorate, and renew body and spirit without going to a destination spa."
Theberge, who is certified as a Reflexologist, Aesthetician, Reiki II Practitioner and Nail Technician has been in the beauty and spa business for 30 years.
The spa opened September 11, after relocating from Andover Village and changing its focus and name.
The salon was known as Andover Hair and Skin Salon where Theberge started her career in 1983 as an employee. Six years later, she bought the salon which was then located on Riverina Road.
Theberge said she managed the family hair salon for 10 years before downsizing the business and moving it to Olde Andover Village.
While she wanted to focus mainly on relaxation services, she rented to hair stylists, and also to Michele Charest, Licensed Massage Therapist. But when her current lease was expiring, Theberge felt it was a good time to refocus the business.
“Coming here allowed me to retire the hair aspect and focus on the wellness; Reiki and reflexology, while maintaining the manicures, pedicures and facials," she explained.
Charest maintains her massage therapy practice there, as well as Diana Dow, who offers hot stone massage. Both therapists keep their own schedules and appointments.
Theberge said she continues to carry holistic skin care product lines including Jane Iredale, France Laure, and Nelly DeVuyst Skin Care. She is also available for makeup consultation and application services.
She said the new location, decorated by Andover Interior Design, is 700 Sq. feet, half the size of the former space, yet feels more open and bright with windows and high ceilings. Theberge pointed out that the furniture is vintage, and the ambiance is warm, quiet, relaxing and inviting.
"I love the vibe of the building,” she said. It is right around the corner from where Theberge began her career, and she said it felt like coming home.
Clients, some who have been her as long as 30 years, are grateful that the salon is on the first floor. There is also free parking.
“When I retired the hair business, I was searching for a brand, and I realized I was the brand, and the name should identify what I was doing,” she said.
Many of her clients come to spend an hour or two really relaxing and reconnecting with themselves. “The name, A Petite Retreat captures that,” she explained.
Thebege emphasized that relaxation is subjective, and she offers a variety of customized services. "I work on a personal basis,” she said. She first offers tea to her clients in the sitting area while they plan out their hour or two of their retreat.
Theberge said her new website was only launched a few weeks ago, and reflects her new focus. Her philosophy, services, products and prices are easily accessed on line. "The brand is personal and one to one, and I want the website to reflect that,” she explained.
Keeping up with technology, Theberge said she reduced her yellow pages ads, opting instead for increased Google and Yelp visibility.
“Most of my new clients have smart phones. I am learning as I go,” But she also emphasized the importance of "word of mouth."
Theberge said she is currently enrolled in a Wellness and Healing Arts Certificate at North Shore Community College and regularly attends continuing education programs and travels to spa industry shows.
Theberge sees clients Tuesday-Friday by appointment only. The phone number is 978-475-1639. For more information, check out the website.