Black-owned spa business celebrates opening during pandemic

Black-owned spa business celebrates opening during pandemic

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The pandemic opened doors for many business owners to become their own boss in South Mississippi. Thanks to that trend, Biloxi residents have a new option to get some massage therapy.

Owner Alicia Tolliver opened Spa Ambiance in November 2020. She has 17 years of experience in massage services as she has worked at local spas in casinos like the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

Tolliver said she decided to open her own business since she had more time on her hands due to the pandemic.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the human body. Plus, the pandemic leaves you to sit and think, you’re pretty much stuck. I thought about it and my passion is this. I knew it was time. My kids are gone and grown, and I knew it was time for me,” Tolliver said.

Her services include facials, deep tissue, hot stone massages, and cupping.

While the pandemic might have given Tolliver the motivation to open her business, she explained that it caused a slight delay in her opening.

“Pretty much massage therapy shut down because of COVID. Massage therapy is touch, you’re hands-on and in their face. When CDC came out with their rules when they allowed everyone to open it was almost like you had to wear a hazmat suit, so I stayed and waited. I can’t work like that. They wanted me to wear gloves,” Tolliver said.

After Tolliver waited and opened in November, she was busy because of her loyal clients and referrals.

“I didn’t have a problem. I put that website out, connected with some of my old clients, and it kind of took off from there. Like I said, within the last few months of me opening I’ve already had to hire two people,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver said that she plans to have a full-service bed and breakfast spa within the next three years.

You can book your appointments HERE.

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