“I had no plans to open a spa, or even to hire any employees,” says Jessica Harpe, owner of Belle Santé Medical Spa and Licensed Esthetician and Massage Therapist. “I started out as a solo practitioner in 2008. I just enjoyed what I did and never had any aspirations of being a business owner. My passion for beauty and wellness was enough to get me started, and I had built up a large following—so large that I reached a point where if I wanted to expand, I would have to hire others to help meet demand and move out of my mom’s basement.”
Once Jessica made the decision to go into business for herself, it continued to bloom. “Over the years,” she says, “I have moved locations a few times as my business continued to grow. I eventually settled in the Lakeshore Plaza of St. Clair Shoes at 13 Mile and Harper, where I have been ever since. I was very proud of the spa I had built.”
Unfortunately, despite her success, Jessica faced a significant setback. “In March of 2021, our spa had a fire. We lost everything overnight. All of the hard work I put into my business went up in smoke and I had to spend some time doing some real soul-searching as to what I wanted to do next. I had a dream of turning my day spa into a medical spa. I wanted to be able to continue offering the same services to my customers that they had come to know and love but add a few more things to our service menu. I will be honest, as much as I loved the idea, I knew I could not do it alone. I had no idea what running a medical spa would be like. I spent time learning about this new side of the industry and making sure I hired the right team to guide me and help run my business. After a few months of construction, we reopened our doors as Belle Santé Medical Spa in December of 2021.”
Part of the team Jessica relies upon is Josh Gartner, Belle Santé Medical Spa’s Creative Director and Operations Manager. With warmer weather here, and many of us wanting to get our skin looking its best for the beach while keeping it safe from the damaging effects of the sun, Josh says Belle Santé can help. At Belle Santé Medical Spa, clients can choose from a menu of services from fillers to waxing, and from laser hair removal to skincare products targeted to your needs. Belle Santé also offers a variety of spa packages for those looking to indulge themselves in a little well-deserved pampering, including their popular “Half Day Bliss” option, which includes a massage, soothing muscle treatment, preventative facial and eye mask.
For keeping summer skin safe from damaging rays, Josh suggests always wearing sunscreen. “Even if it’s cloudy out or it’s raining,” he says, “Put on some sunscreen. The sun can cause so much damage to our skin in just a few minutes, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself and putting on sunscreen every single day no matter what.”
Josh also emphasizes the importance of proper cleansing to keep your skin looking great. “A deep facial once a month is perfect to maintain and protect healthy skin all summer long,” he notes. Belle Santé offers a variety of facials depending on your individual needs, including preventative, hydrafacials, and corrective facials customized by the aesthetician for each client.
The range of choices can seem overwhelming, but Josh emphasizes the best option is to come in for a free consultation. “We have the best staff,” he says. “They are so knowledgeable and truly have mastered what they do. Not everyone has the same skin, and we are all built differently—so there is not a one size fits all answer.” Their aestheticians, says Josh, “can put together a custom plan for you.”
From its start in Jessica’s mother’s basement to its rebirth as Belle Santé Medical Spa, Jessica reflects on the journey. “It has been a real learning curve over the last year and a half. I know that there’s always more to learn—and that’s why I continue to attend conferences, network with people in the industry and stay on top of what the latest and greatest technology is in the beauty industry.”
At Belle Santé Medical Spa, clients can choose from a menu of services from fillers to waxing, and from laser hair removal to skincare products targeted to your needs.