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Educated Spa Owner Makes a Difference in Her Community

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 30, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

I love to move and love to build, and I feel like I should leave something behind or give something to others that is meaningful,” says Nikima Frenche, spa director and owner of Le Chateau de Frenche Day Spa & Private Tea Room in Brooklyn, New York. It is this attitude that has driven Frenche to make a difference in her community and be at the head of an innovative spa concept in the middle of the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Although she immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago when she was 23, her love for skin care began on the islands. “I was always interested in taking care of skin, both mine and my sister’s,” says Frenche, who pursued a career in acting off-Broadway when she first arrived in the country. However, in 2001, when Frenche began managing a single skin care room in her friend’s hair salon, it became obvious to her she had a lot to learn when it came to skin care. “I felt that I didn’t know enough and it was something that I was interested in, so I decided to go to school for skin care,” she explains, noting that, at the same time, she also decided to pursue her certificate in culinary management from The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.

And it was while completing her certificate in September 2002that Frenche was exposed to theconcept of high tea. “In school,I met a woman from the Waldorf Astoria who served afternoon tea, and I realized I was interested in that aspect of the culinary world. I love the serenity of high tea and decided that would be my differential advantage when I opened my spa,” says Frenche, who next went after her esthetic license from Aveda Institute New York in New York City.

“The school process went by quickly,” she says. “I rediscovered my love for esthetics and remembered how important it was for people to really have good skin care.” She graduated with the honor of “Best Sales” in 2003.

Frenche was also going through a personal situation at this time, which she credits as her catalyst for starting her own business. While she was attending the Aveda Institute, her boyfriend was battling cancer, and not long after Frenche obtained her license, he passed away.