Dharma is a concept of both the Buddhist and Hindu religions that, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, defines “the basic principles of cosmic or individual existence.” And although it may be difficult to wrap your head around this concept, Bonnie Waters understands it personally. “They say when we are close to our dharma in life, it comes effortlessly, and we can lose ourselves in it. I’ve been blessed to find my dharma in the spa industry.”
Now a 33-year veteran of the beauty profession, Waters first opened the doors of a small nail salon in downtown Walnut Creek, California, after graduating beauty school at the age of 17. “I thought I should learn a trade to earn more money so I could go to college,” she says. But she never made it to college—her head was turned by the charms of the beauty industry instead. “I fell into it as a trade, but grew to love it and what it represented. As a technician, you’re able to get an instant feeling of gratification from what you’re doing. I think that’s why people get drawn into it on a technical level, but those of us who work in a spa know it is a business,” explains Waters.
This business aspect also appealed to Waters, who loved to play office and accounting when she was a little girl. “I’ve always been fascinated with business—listening, learning, applying, trying—I’ve been very intrigued with it,” she says.