By Kristin Boza
With stress levels rising high, finding the time to relax and engage in self-care is absolutely necessary to preserve mental health and give the body a much-needed boost. Veola’s Day Spa and Wellness Center, 2150 W. 95th St., owned by mother-daughter duo Veola James and Jasmine James, has developed its own reopening strategy to ensure the safety of their clients and staff.
Jasmine James was invited to speak at one of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s daily press conferences on the topic of reopening a salon. She touted Veola’s ABCDs of Reopening procedure, developed specific to the personal service industry: A: Appointment Only; B: Body Temperature Check; C: Cover Your Nose and Mouth; and D: Disinfect Your Hands.
“Nobody could have prepared for the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, we had to learn how to roll with the punches,” Jasmine said. “We have always been a service-oriented business and would consider that one of our major strengths. With this safety plan, in conjunction with plexiglass installed throughout the common areas and our one-on-one therapist to client policy, we have reopened with confidence.”
The pandemic also forced the spa to get creative and engage on a larger scale online. They launched a new website, ISPAWorldwide.com, to serve existing clients and market to prospective clients by giving them the opportunity to purchase much-needed spa products online.
Veola James has been at the core of the Beverly/Morgan Park business community for more than 40 years, starting with Plush & Etc. in the 1980s and Veola’s Boutique in the 1990s before opening the spa and wellness center. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn. in an entrepreneurial family. Her mother, Theresa Wright, opened a beauty salon there in the early 1950s, which was unheard of at the time, according to Jasmine.
After earning her cosmetology license and moving to Chicago at age 18, Veola began her career as a hairstylist and ultimately a dental assistant, where she met her husband, the late Dr. Edward Jerome James. After raising her family, she still had the drive to create beauty. She became a jewelry designer and was featured in fashion magazines and showcases around the world, even becoming the first African American female jewelry designer to be featured at Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Avenue. After many years, Veola decided to get back to her beauty roots and was joined by Jasmine, then a business administration graduate from Florida A&M University, to open Veola’s Day Spa and Wellness Center in 2001.
“We consider it a blessing to be able to serve the community that has poured so much into us over the years,” Jasmine said. “We will continue to provide professional personal services and products to individuals that are in need of healing and reflection.”
Spa patrons can relax with facials, waxing, body scrubs, body wraps, hydrotherapy tub treatments, steam treatments, nail care, hair care and more. The wellness center aims to be a place for people to release tension and stress, and carries products that focus on building and strengthening the immune system.
According to Jasmine, the Rub & Scrub treatment is popular during the fall season as it exfoliates to remove dead skin and ends with a 30-minute massage to hydrate the skin and relax the muscles.
“Our most popular products are from the Fiji Islands, including shower gels, hydrating mists, body butters, massage oils and more,” Jasmine said. “The ImmuniKit is in high demand because it helps build a strong immune system using organic, all-natural herbs.”
To find out more about the products or book an appointment, visit ISPAWorldwide.com.