WESTFIELD-“Westfield felt like home to me,” said Monique Boisvert, LMT, owner of the recently opened The Spa at Little River on Elm Street.
The spa, located between Mama Cakes and Two Rivers Burrito Co. at 38 Elm St., Suite 11, was just the right size for Boisvert who has wanted to open her own shop for “a long time.”
Boisvert, who had been providing massage therapy in Rhode Island, said after visiting her daughter and son who live in Feeding Hills more often due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to “make the leap.”
Boisvert said her son, Staff Sgt. Andrew Boisvert, with the 104th Fighter Wing aircraft structural maintenance department at Barnes, kept mentioning the little shops available that reminded him of Providence, R.I.
“After a couple of months looking in Agawam and West Springfield, as soon as I was on Elm Street in Westfield it just felt right,” said Boisvert, adding she also spent time talking to as many small business owners as she could.
“Between Mama Cakes and Two Rivers Burrito I saw a sign, called, and looked at the space,” said Boisvert. “I’ve always wanted to own my own spa and I just had a really good feeling about this location.”
What also fell into place for Boisvert is that her daughter, Stephanie Boisvert, a licensed aesthetician, had been employed by Global Educators in Northampton, a parent company for nine study abroad programs.
“I was there for 11 months as the staff accountant but as the pandemic persisted I was let go,” said Boisvert. “I absolutely loved my job and everyone I worked with which is why I wasn’t practicing esthetics during the time employed. Once I was let go and had trouble finding another ‘perfect fit’ for a job, my mom found our space in Westfield and the rest is history.”
As the spa began taking shape, Boisvert settled on earth tones – brown, tan, soft blue and gold – accented with old trunks and succulents.
“I love the old trunk look since it provides a warm, soothing environment,” said Boisvert, noting that creating a warm environment puts her at peace before she puts her hands on a client.
“Stephanie has also been wonderful in helping to create the look at the spa,” she said.
All safety measures are being taken to ensure clients are safe while having one of the 30-, 60-, 90- or 120-minute massages. Service enhancements include using CBD oil, hot stones, hand and scalp treatments or a foot scrub. Offerings also include body scrub/polish along with mud and hydrating wraps.
“CBD oil really has healing properties,” said Boisvert, noting the treatment is especially good for sore muscles.
Boisvert noted that face masks are required for the client and the therapist, and she also wears a face shield and an apron. Hand sanitizers are also available, and a room air purifier runs continuously.
“I also keep a window opened just a bit for air circulation,” she said, noting the client is always comfy since the massage table has a warming mechanism.
“Once the client leaves, both windows are opened completely and I do my disinfecting,” she said.
For Stephanie Boisvert and her role at the spa – she is eager to share her expertise offering facials and peels with a focus on clients suffering from acne.
“Growing up I never really struggled with acne until my 20s,” said Stephanie Boisvert. “It was around that time my mom and I tried natural products which I loved but my acne still persisted.”
Boisvert said at that time she decided “skin care was my calling.”
“I wanted to heal myself and others struggling with acne,” she said. “I had tried so many treatments and doctors but no one had ever really taught me about correct products, how to use the products, and how to take care of my skin outside of the appointments.”
Boisvert said over the years she felt “a lot of shame” about her skin.
“Doctors and estheticians never provided any skin care education or gave me realistic expectations,” she said. “I knew I could relate to clients on a personal level with real skin concerns, be sensitive to their needs, and teach them what years of struggling has taught me and get them to reach an attainable goal.”
Stephanie Boisvert said they will offer different product lines and will have a natural non-toxic line for both massage and facials.
“I will be using Esthemax whose philosophy is performance, purity and pleasure, and Skin Script for advanced clinical skin care treatments,” said Boisvert, adding, “Their line contains everything from retinols, glycolics, lactic and natural brighteners such as pineapple and papaya.”
Some of the more intriguing names of Esthemax USA mask products range from “Skin Warrior Ageless,” “Intensive Aftercare,” and “Renewal Boost,” to “Resilience Caviar” and “Vampire Plla Infusion.”
Another unique spa offering is a 2-in-1 soy lotion candle. The Creative Energy product is an organic, hand-poured soy candle that melts to create not only a “beautiful scent,” but also a healthy body lotion that is suitable for all skin types. The unique recipe features natural anti-aging properties and the healthy moisturizing effects of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins A, E and K.
The mother-daughter team will also be offering a variety of retail skin care products, as well as Boisvert’s handcrafted River Rock Soaps made with natural oils.
Monique Boisvert is a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island, Therapeutic Massage Program in Newport, and Stephanie Boisvert is a graduate of the Elizabeth Grady School of Aesthetics in Medford.
The Spa at Little River is open Mondays, 5-9 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Square is the booking site at the-spa-at-little-river.square.site or appointments can be made by calling or texting to (413) 388-5787.
“We will be offering a free foot scrub and gift with every massage booked Feb. 12-14,” said Boisvert.
As the mother-daughter team join forces to bring health and healing to the Greater Westfield area, they are hopeful that the timing of opening this business will prove successful.
“I feel strongly about self-care and that people need to take care of themselves,” said Boisvert. “While some spas may have a quick turnover between each client, for me, I want to create an experience. From a warm, friendly welcome, to having a conversation with each client to determine what they are looking for and expecting, I can then customize a plan for that person.”