Home Lifestyle & Travel Health & Beauty Empowering women drives this duo

Empowering women drives this duo

Nothing beats relaxation quite like a trip to the beauty salon or spa and bonding with your bestie over a bottle of bubbly and a little much-needed TLC.

We love inspirational start-up stories and better yet the inspirational people behind those stories, which is why we had to share our experience with mother-in-law (to be) Jeni Muncaster and her future daughter-in-law Sophia Lopez-Brea.

Carving out a strong niche in a tough competitive market, these two vibrant, hard-working women have discovered the secret of turning an intimate personal relationship into a beautiful business partnership and, as a result, successfully run Tweaked Wellness Centre together, with love, care, comfort and friendship in mind.

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‘Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, granddaughters – these are all relationships we don’t get to choose, but we love them, with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies. And then there are those female relationships that, while we may not get to choose them, we are part of them. Mother- and daughter-in-law’s are the most notorious of those,’ says Jeni.

‘When Sophia entered our lives (in 2016), our worlds changed. Her feisty Spanish personality and my determined OCD nature seem to play well with each other. I often say if my son gets rid of Sophia, we will get rid of him!’ she laughs.

It only took one bad experience at local salon franchise for Jeni and Sophia to upskill themselves and ‘do beauty properly’ which saw the 48-year-old and her continental sidekick hit beauty school like two bombshells ready to take on the world.

‘And the rest, as they say, is beauty history! We left beauty school together, opened a salon in Windermere Road and set our sights on running it the right way. Proper hygiene, dedicated customer care, highly professional machinery and products are at the very core of our ethics. All set in a warm, nurturing and homey environment so our clients feel like they never want to leave.’

The two combined their love for pretty, girly things, with their passion for personal service.

‘Trust and loyalty are the two biggest values we share. We probably work well together because of the difference in ages. I offer a mature perspective for our older clients (who enjoy massages and facials), while Sophia, with her natural artistic flair, flourishes in nails and knows which trends the youth appreciate and aspire to.’

Built on such a solid foundation of inspiration, belief and persistence, Jeni and Sophia have woven their business to stand for a strong women sisterhood, celebrating women’s ability to be empowered, have confidence and know that anything is possible. And as the business has grown so have their working roles.

While Jeni is more involved with decor and front-of-house, the salon’s adorable coffee shop and training, Sophia is very much the advertising guru (who actively hunts new opportunities). Both are passionate about beauty excellence and are determined to grow their ITEC qualified (international certification) therapists into six-star professionals, while they follow a first-do-no-harm policy and are very committed to on-going training through their Mentorship Program.

‘When lockdown hit, instead of hitting a slump, we pooled all our resources and decided to buy a property with more space and a more holistic environment – an old double storey Durban North home.’

Half way through October 2020 they moved into their gorgeous new Wellness Centre, equipped with beautiful furniture, a relaxing coffee shop, outdoor/indoor venue for all kinds of events and functions and several fabulous treatment rooms.  Their bamboo outdoor area faces a sparkling pool, and they will eventually be hosting yoga classes outdoors.

Warm, unexpected, happy, charming and original are just a few of the ways to describe this totally bespoke salon and the experience it offers whereby you can share your outdoor treatments with a friend or mom and watch the birdlife flutter by. The pretty coffee shop plays host to vintage clothing racks, gifts and treats of all kinds imaginable. Bags, accessories, products and goodies to delight are everywhere.

‘The coffee shop specialises in cupcakes with handmade decorations, and we offer our special vegan peanut butter cake most days. Tea is served in vintage cups with gold rimmed side plates and quirky teaspoons. Each dainty detail and finishing touch has been lovingly created by us to ensure our clients arrive as strangers but leave as perfectly pampered friends.’

ms of treatments the salon offers a range of specialised facials, professional electro-therapy body and facial treatments, micro-needling, non-surgical facelifts, slimming programs, a vast selection of massage including Indian head massage, bamboo and calabash massage, hot stone, body cupping and G5 mechanical massage. They specialise in slimming, natural and chemical peels for both face and body and manicures and pedicures, which are a heavenly experience when performed outdoors (weather permitting). Body wraps, scrubs and peels are dreamy in their dimly lit treatment rooms.

‘For me, slimming is something of a favourite, as our program is fully inclusive of faradic EMS, lymph drainage with body cupping, an eating program and Lillian Terry Aromatherapy oils. Sophia loves micro-needling and facial cupping as treatments as these heal not just physically but emotionally as well. Together we love any version of massage. As a mother-in-law-to-be and a future-daughter-in-law, this is our quiet time together.’

‘Oddly, Covid-19 forced us to make decisions that have allowed us to grow our dream. We are always on the look-out for opportunities to advertise and grow our business, and are busy restoring a 1967 VW Type 3 Fastback in true Tweaked style, with mint green paint and pretty pink stripy seats, which we will use for events (pamper parties, sweet 16th’s) and community service when lockdown regulations allow. We won’t stop growing, we won’t stop training and we won’t stop dreaming.’

Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday as well as Saturdays, and 9am to 6pm on Fridays, you’ll find them at 30 Humber Crescent, Athlone Durban North. Details: 074 031 2754

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