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Russian-born Spa Owner Finds Success in Philly

By: Emily Keats
Posted: July 23, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Near the Rittenhouse Square area of downtown Philadelphia sits The Body Klinic, an urban oasis owned by Sophia Brodsky. An immigrant from Russia, Brodsky was 21-years-old when she relocated to Philadelphia with herfamily. Before moving, she worked for a modeling agency in Russia—a position that she says influenced her desire to work in the beauty industry. “Beauty is a part of my life. I always wanted to be in the beauty business.”

Brodsky devoted 14 months to earning her certification in beauty and business from a beauty institute in Russia. After moving to the United States, she transferred her certification through an American institute, proving that she had previous experience with the industry.

Her journey to this point—a day spa owner—wasn’t a short one, however. She began her U.S. beauty career by renting space in a hair salon, where she offered nail and skin care services. In a 15-year time span, Brodsky eventually came to rent seven different spaces, all of which were located in shopping malls throughout the Philadelphia area.

In 2003, after a successful stretch as an independent contractor, Brodsky made a bold move. She purchased a spa near the ritzy Rittenhouse Square—an upscale shopping and dining district in Philadelphia.

Brodsky says she chose to establish her business in this area because the urban setting allows her to meet the skin care needs for a wide range of races and ages. For example, she is able to help teenagers with acne problems and African-Americans with skin discoloration. Brodsky says she takes pride in knowing that she can help her clients feel less shy about their appearance and more confident about themselves.