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EBW Salon & Spa

Family Matters at One of the Longest-Serving Day Spas and Salons in Town

Article by West Knoxville Lifestyle Staff

Photography by South Made Marketing

Originally published in West Knoxville Lifestyle

Mary Cate became a West Knoxville business owner after a full-time career as wife and mother.  “After my divorce in 1996, I looked around for a business I could buy,” the owner of EBW Salon & Spa says. “I hadn’t worked before except three years teaching. But my real skill sets were hospitality and entertaining – making people feel welcome and comfortable – and always special.”

Mary bought the three-month-old business from its original owner, moved the business to its current location in 1998 and never looked back. Mary says, “My mother put her house up for collateral so I could buy it.”  No one in her family thought she would make it, but almost three decades later, it’s one of the longest-serving day spas and salons in Knoxville with a fiercely loyal clientele. “In fact,” Mary acknowledges, “in the State of Tennessee register, our spa’s massage license is #4.”

“I have just loved it. It’s like inviting people into my home. I do not do any of the services. It’s just coffee, tea or me,” she says, laughing.  As a staunch fan of the rare Southern art of ‘visiting,’ Mary adds, “I know our clients’ names, children, grandchildren, and life stories. They’re family to us. They know they will feel special every time they walk through our doors.”

Family matters at EBW Salon & Spa, known as European Body Works to many of its long-time clientele. Mary’s daughters, Stephanie Noble and Stacy Mead, UT graduates like their mom, are preparing to take over as she approaches retirement.

Stephanie has worked for ten years as manager and is a driving force behind the spa’s expansion in skin care services – a passion of hers since age twelve, long before teen skincare was a multi-billion-dollar market. Her daughter, UT senior Caroline, works part-time on social media and marketing, and her younger daughter, a high school junior, will help out this summer. Stacy has brought IT management and administrative support, and recently added a more client-faced role. She looks forward to expanding her role once her three high school sons graduate.

“We are a true day spa,” Stacy explains. “A lot of spas have moved to a medi-spa, which is a really different atmosphere. You come to us for relaxing, pampering, and rejuvenating - not a medical experience.”

“Our clients are very loyal to our licensed massage therapists, estheticians, cosmetologists and nail technicians,” Stephanie adds. “As both a full-service salon and day spa, we can pamper the whole family from head to toe!”

“Many clients are regulars for haircut and color, European facials, massages, manis and pedis, or body treatments. For others, we are their special place for full day pampering packages. Husbands know they can’t go wrong purchasing a gift certificate for their wives.” Stacy adds.

With the addition of HydraFacial equipment to their skincare menu, Stephanie explains the spa offers multi-generation benefits of light therapy: blue light for teens with acne issues, red light therapy for older skin or pigmentation issues. Since 90% of skin care happens at home, they educate clients on easy daily routines “We carry IMAGE skin care, a clean clinical line that delivers incredible results at a great price point. We also carry Jane Iredale the Skincare Makeup, the OG of clean makeup.”

What changes might a new generation bring? “Stephanie and I look forward to focusing on education and staying at the forefront of industry trends.” says Stacy. “We would also love to introduce EBW to the many new Knoxville residents and start treating them like family, too!”

But most important is the continuity of the client-focused, relationship-based service Mary started in 1996. Her daughters know however often she visits the spa in retirement, they will be asked daily, How’s your mom

When their mother bought the business, her daughters admit they thought she was crazy, even coming from a family of entrepreneurs.  But caught up in their own lives of college graduations, marriages and births, they understood their mom was at a point in her life when she was ready to throw herself into something entirely new.

“Her endurance was formidable – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. She could have stopped with I gave it a shot, but this isn’t fun anymore.” But she didn’t and she never lost focus.

“Hospitality and taking care of people are our mother’s superpowers and this business gave her a chance to polish those skill sets beautifully and really shine.” Stacy adds, “It’s a treat to hear how admired and loved she is. Our mother took such great care of us growing up. It’s incredibly gratifying to see how well she has now taken care of other people all these years.”

Both of Mary’s daughters acknowledge that in taking over the business, “They certainly are big shoes to fill.” But Stacy and Stephanie are excited to step into that challenge for new generations. 

No doubt in open-toe sandals … to show off their EBW pedicures.

Learn more and book appointments, visit or call (865) 693-0485.

 “Hospitality and taking care of people are our mother’s superpowers and this business gave her a chance to polish those skill sets beautifully and really shine.”

Mary’s daughters, Stephanie Noble and Stacy Mead, UT graduates like their mom, are preparing to take over EBW (known as European Body Works to current clients) as she approaches retirement. Granddaughter Caroline also helps out her ‘Gigi.’

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