Maya Medispa is situated in the affluent Sydney suburb of Woollahra, established in November 2009 by Maya Bilalis who had been working in beauty therapy for many years. Maya is a great example of how true passion can get you far and opening your own salon can become an achievable and successful reality.

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“My beauty career literally fell into my lap; I was traveling in Australia, from Israel, in 1995, and my traveller’s visa expired,” she says. “I wanted to stay a little longer and to extend it but back then the only way I could was through a student visa. When I looked at what I could study, the international beauty therapist diploma stood out. I applied and was pleasantly surprised to be accepted. At that point, I’d never even had any beauty treatments before! Not even eyebrow shaping or a pedicure. I was a tomboy and not your average beauty student.”

Just two weeks into training at the Strand College of Beauty Therapy, Maya was hooked and loved every minute. On graduation, she was offered a job as a trainer which she did for two years. Following this, she worked as a beauty therapist including from home for seven years. Shortly after getting married she decided it was time to separate her home and work life. “It was also time to expand and I needed more space to grow and develop my business. I was in Paddington before and loved the area. After a bit of a research, I noticed the neighbouring suburb of Woollahra didn’t have a medispa, at the time. When I found the premises I was simply hooked. It was perfect! Central but a little discreet, spacious but warm with plenty of potential to grow.”

With its clean, white walls, tasteful prints and light and airy feel, the medispa is often described by guests as “peaceful,” “quiet” and “serene” despite its suburban location. “I have made sure all the treatment rooms are spacious but cosy, with clean and inviting décor. My typical client is educated in looking after her skin but in need of some good quality escapism. Many are busy women – mums, career women or both. Some are older with grandchildren and most are very time poor, which is why results-focused treatments play such a big part in our service.”

The medispa offers a range of non-invasive, anti-ageing treatments including facials, chemical peels, light therapy and body massages. They specialise in treatments with no down time and maximum results with the use of advanced cosmesceutical skin care and Omnilux light therapy.

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The most popular treatment, Power of 2- Peel and Light, lasts 45 minutes and includes a chemical peel, to increase cell turnover, smooth and soften skin, and light therapy, to boost collagen production, hydration and radiance. Mineral skin care foundation is applied at the end so clients leave looking, as well as feeling, refreshed, with a balanced and even complexion.

When it comes to ranges, Maya has chosen a few – Decleor, Priori and Hydropeptide. “We find a few ranges offer diversity in treatments and can comfortably be mixed around at home for better results or simply due to a change in season. One of my favourite therapies in the industry is aromatherapy; Decleor exceeds my expectations when it comes to spa facials as a cocktail for the senses. Priori allows us to boost any spa treatment and take exfoliation and anti-ageing to the next level. Hydropeptide is a little bit of both, giving effective anti-ageing and skin renewal results, while plumping and relaxing the most tired or sensitive skin.”

Staff training is provided through the brands’ supplier, True Solutions, whose trainers provide extensive product knowledge and, who Maya says, have contagious passion for the products, their ingredients and the industry. “Everyone should be passionate in their profession. In the beauty industry you must be passionate! I believe it is so important we sometimes close the medispa to attend training.” Other in-salon training is done by Maya or an independent trainer who comes in to demonstrate a new treatment or technique.

To encourage return clients, guests receive a complimentary treatment when they sign up for a course, such as peels, facials or massages. A loyalty program rewards guests with points they can redeem towards services or products. Most importantly, Maya says the focus is to give every client the best experience every time so they will want to make a visit a regular part of their life.

When it comes to making business decisions, Maya draws on both her head and heart, which has worked well for her so far, “Something my coach said to me once was to ask myself, before every decision, ‘Does it make your boat go faster?’ and, ever since, with every decision and step I’ve taken, I’ve always asked myself this first and gone with my immediate instinct. Another one of my beliefs is to always do things that make you happy.”

Maya’s passion is infectious and her motivation stems from her love of life and people. “I have dedicated my life through my career to make people feel better about themselves. Every day I stay true to myself, my staff and my clientele.” It is this positive attitude which has helped her business flourish.

The beauty industry has grown so much since she first started, eighteen years ago. Looking to the future she hopes more of us will prioritise relaxation and quality time, leaving the harsher treatments to cosmetic surgeons. “I hope more women will accept and love themselves, even with a few lines and wrinkles,” she smiles. “After all, it is mostly their smiles and life experiences that caused them in the first place.”

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