Find Tropical Soul and Southern Heart at AriaHouse Spa

After falling in love with a diver she met while working on a cruise ship, English hairstylist Rachel Smith took her passion for indulging vacationers to the Lone Star State.

<p>Opened in August of last year, AriaHouse Spa sits above its sister salon, Razmataz Hair Salon, which opened in 2004.  </p>Inspiration in Waves

Quick Look

Salon name: AriaHouse Spa

Location: Georgetown, Texas

Owner: Rachel Smith

Square Footage: 1,650

Opened: August 2017

Number of Nail Techs/Employees: 2/4

Specialties: Manicures, pedicures, facials,

body scrubs, eyelash extensions

Compensation Structure: Commission


Originally from Plymouth, England, AriaHouse Spa owner Rachel Smith travelled the world as a hairstylist onboard cruise ships for five years before settling down in Georgetown, Texas, where she lives with her husband, a former diver who also worked onboard.

<p>Owner Rachel Smith poses in front of the salon’s stone wall exterior. AriaHouse is located in the historic downtown district of Georgetown, Texas.</p>

“We travelled to a lot of exciting places, some of which were tropical,” Smith recalls. “As you can imagine, I spent my days off in the Caribbean lounging on the beach and sipping margaritas.”

Although Smith gained a wealth of cultural knowledge and collected unforgettable memories while onboard, she says it could be stressful: Clients were often on tight time deadlines for dinner reservations and frequently cancelled appointments due to sea sickness. There was also the adjustment to living and working with teammates in small quarters. Despite this, Smith describes the experience as “magical.”

“We motivated each other, and as a team we were unstoppable, always striving to hit our personal and business goals,” she says. 

But eventually she decided to get married and start a more traditional life with a stationary home and career.

In 2004, she opened Razmataz Hair Salon, which has received recognition from Salon Today and won Austin’s Battle of the Salons. In August 2017, she opened AriaHouse Spa on the floor above.

She carried her aptitude for cohesive teamwork, strict punctuality, and relaxing services at sea into the two salons.

<p>The salon has a clean look with original wood floors, and gray and white furniture and walls.</p>

From Head to Toe

Because Smith already operated Razmataz below, opening a second business was instinctive. However, her world had always been hair, so she had to expand her knowledge of nail and spa services. AriaHouse now offers a customizable menu and uses locally made products by FarmHouse Fresh.

“We’re more intimate than other nail salons, and our clients can choose from different lotions, scrubs, and masks — we have spa services that last from 15 minutes to two-and-a-half hours, so our clients have a lot of choices,” she says.

<p>Downtown shoppers often stop by AriaHouse for a foot soak with their choice of relaxing aromas like coconut cream and rosemary mint tea.</p>

<p>AriaHouse uses products from the local skin care brand FarmHouse Fresh.</p>

Seeking Perfection

Smith wanted to find the perfect fit for the role of lead nail tech when they expanded into the nail-focused second floor. But the hunt was proving to be difficult, and it occurred to Smith that perhaps her beauty-loving receptionist, Emily Davis, might be interested in the opportunity. The two worked out a deal where Smith paid for Davis to attend school.

AriaHouse also supports the whole team with onsite trainings and monthly meetings, while the salon offers its clients a vast array of services, from nails to spa to hair to retail. No matter whether a client or employee, Smith says she wants everyone involved to embrace the salon’s slogan: “Escape reality and find tranquility.”

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