Business

Bella Vita looking good in bright new digs

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SNOQUALMIE - The warm and inviting 2,200-square-foot spa and salon at 8002 Railroad Ave. S.E. in Snoqualmie is a far cry from what beauty mavens Marie Everett and Angie Riley were used to.

The owners of Bella Vita Spa and Salon started the shop with Jolene Kelly in a small 750-square-foot building on Falls Avenue where they worked in close quarters for three and a half years. Kelly sold her interest in the business to Everett and Riley two years ago and they moved into their spacious new digs on Nov. 1 of 2004.

"We've had several people call us to thank us for brightening up the corner," Everett said. "I love having more space."

Both Everett and Riley are longtime Valley residents with deep commitments to the community. While Bella Vita was being remodeled, friends, family and the Valley Merchants Softball Team helped out.

"They were fabulous," Everett said.

Now the bustling salon is never without clients.

Janet Rutledge ran Curt's Hairstyling out of the same building before selling her equipment to Everett and Riley.

"She gave us the opportunity to be here," Everett said. "We're really thankful ... it was a great opportunity."

Clients are welcomed with coffee or tea. Calming earth tones color the walls and the pleasant hum of friendly conversation is always in the air. Riley said their regulars are so enamored of the place they stop in "all the time" just to chat with their stylists or friends who are there having something done.

"I love it because it doesn't feel like work. Our clients enrich our lives. And it's nice to make people feel a little bit better about how they look," Riley said.

But as much as the ladies and their talented staff feel at home in the bright salon, they never lose sight of the reason they are there. All the stylists stay current with classes on the newest technology and treatments and try to achieve their clients' desired looks as best they can.

"We're always bringing in new products and services and will continue to do that," Everett said. "We'll be adding some other services down the road that we can't reveal at this time."

Bella Vita's latest options include gel nails, airbrush tans and airbrush makeup. A full line of makeup is on its way to Bella Vita as the salon will soon be carrying Glo Minerals products. The line uses pharmaceutical-grade ingredients as well as antioxidants and UV protection for makeup that doubles as skincare.

Bella Vita also uses Dermalogica facial products and the Redken coloring system.

One popular treatment is "The Ultimate Facial," a two-hour head-to-toe experience that includes benefits on pressure points to the back. Bella Vita also offers an array of all out pampering packages such as "The Cinderella," a manicure and pedicure with hairstyle, and "The Great Escape," a classic facial and spa pedicure.

Stylists also provide on-site services for weddings and special events. Bella Vita can even facilitate corporate outings.

The front of the salon bustles with sounds of hair dryers and conversations, but amazingly enough moving to the back of the building makes it all disappear. One finds a quiet oasis of private rooms with little fountains, relaxing music and candles. Massage, facials, waxing, tanning, pedicures and other treatments take place in these calming little rooms. If clients find it hard to unwind after a bothersome day, they are given hot stones to hold - just one of the small details that make the Bella Vita experience as attentive as it is unique.

"I think it's a place the whole family can come and be comfortable," Riley said.

"We tried to choose colors that would make them feel more peaceful and tranquil," Everett said. "We also chose mood lighting."

Valley residents will have a chance to test drive Bella Vita during its grand opening event on Saturday, March 12. The fourth annual "Cut-A-Thon" will kickoff with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Haircuts, mini-manicures, facials, reflexology and facial waxing services will be provided for donations only. No appointments are necessary. Money raised will be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life 2005. There will also be product specials and hourly door prizes until 3 p.m.

Bella Vita's staff of 10 stylists offer a wide range of talent and experience. One stylist has been in the beauty business for 30 years. The entire staff will be on hand during the Cut-A-Thon. Bella Vita's donation to Relay for Life is just one of many ways the salon stays involved with the community.

"I don't feel like we're doing the community a favor. They're doing us a favor," Riley said.

Everett agreed.

"I feel like I get as much out of it as the clients do," said Everett. "I never dreamt I'd be doing this. I thought I'd just be quietly working in my little chair. It just grew, grew, grew."

To contact Bella Vita, call (425) 888-4888.

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