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Spa Snapshot: Besu Salon and Day Spa

Cathy Christensen October 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Besu provides a luxurious oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Besu provides a luxurious oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Continuing its successful first year in its new location, BeSu Salon and Day Spa was recently named the Repêchage Spa de Beauté Day Spa of the Year. “I wanted BeSu to be a luxurious oasis in the middle of the city, where clients could run in and get a facial,” says owner Rebecca Lieberman of the spa portion of the business. Originally a 480-square-foot hair salon, BeSu recently moved to its 1,900-square-foot space where Lieberman was finally able to realize her goal of opening the spa portion of the business, which takes up at least 800 square feet of the new location.. Initially, the salon’s existing clients were unsure about taking advantage of the business’ spa services. “It took a while for people to trust us, but it’s beginning to really pay off. So now we’re growing our client list through word-of-mouth and unbelievable treatments,” she says.

Another more unique method that has been successful in spreading the word about the spa is television. A variety of popular programs, including Celebrity Apprentice and Marry Me in NYC, have either used the spa as a location or focused on Lieberman herself. Never one to pass up a chance to promote the business, every time a program airs, Lieberman invites all of her clients for a viewing party, complete with cocktails, appetizers and a 20% discount for appointments made during the event. And when it comes to her ability to take advantage of these incredible public relations opportunities, it’s all about connections ... and hard work. “I’m always on the lookout for opportunities and a lot of opportunities come to me. I do a lot of charity events and gift-basket giving, and it does come back,” she emphasizes.

As for the facility itself, the services take place in the soundproof spa area, in four state-of-the-art treatment rooms decorated with mirrors and Jerusalem stone for an endless, fluid feel. A popular option for clients at BeSu are spa parties, during which the spa portion of the facility can be closed down for the privacy and enjoyment of the participants. “The spa isn’t that big, so if we do a spa party, they are able to just have the place to themselves,” explains Lieberman.

As far as the business’ success, Lieberman credits BeSu’s one-on-one style. “My clients all get to know me, and we have a lot of fun things we do. It’s like coming to a friend’s, and you have a good gossip and a drink and you get your hair and skin done,” she says. “We’re not just a business; we are a group of women. In the heavily corporate environment of New York City, this is a small mom-and-pop ... except it’s just a mom. There are few businesses like this here.”

And it is the personal touch in a largely impersonal environment that has carved out a very successful niche for Lieberman and BeSu. “People here ask how your day is, and we all actually care about your answer,” says Lieberman, and it is this small gesture that, in New York City, says it all.



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Spa Details: Besu Salon and Day Spa

234 Third Ave.

New York, NY 10003


Established: 2005; the spa was established in 2010

Owner: Rebecca Lieberman

Staff: Seven spa employees: four estheticians and three massage therapists

Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 am–8 pm; Sunday, 11 am–6 pm

Product lines: Repêchage

Spa philosophy: A luxurious skin care oasis in the middle of the city.

Newest treatment: The Biolight Facial

Most unique spa feature: A soundproof spa area featuring treatment rooms with Jerusalem stone half moon-shaped arches and strategically placed mirrors that give an endless feel and appearance to the rooms.

Business collaborations: The spa barters with businesses in the Grammercy Park neighborhood, trading spa services for business services, such as web development.

Inspiration: To provide a personal, friendly atmosphere where friends can gather in the middle of the city.

Retail philosophy: BeSu skin care professionals don’t force retail, but work with clients to help them understand that if they don’t take care of their skin at home, they are only enjoying half of the benefits they could be getting from their treatment. The team focuses especially on providing products for skin ravaged by the unavoidable environmental damage experienced in New York City.

Best marketing campaign: BeSu and its owner have appeared on a variety of television programs, and with each debut, Lieberman hosts a viewing party with appetizers and cocktails, inviting her entire client list and giving them a booking incentive.

Future plans: Lieberman plans to expand to three additional New York locations in the near future, starting with a facility in the Upper East Side.

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