'I used to be a client," she says. 'It's a place I'd want to go."
A native of North Carolina, Painter opened her first Bamboo Apothecary in Charlotte, N.C., seven years ago. Last year, she closed that location and opened one in New Orleans. It immediately drew customers who were curious about its hip name and sleek, minimalist architecture (designed by Charlotte architect Perry Poole). What really clinches the deal is the selection of services and products.
'I wanted to merge a spa and retail space where all the products we use in the services are the same products we sell on the floor," says Painter. 'By performing the services with the products that you're selling, clients have an opportunity to experience something without having to make a huge commitment first."
The spa's target client is educated and discerning. Most have visited one or more spas and are savvy about what's making news in the fields of massage, skin care, beauty and fragrance. Bamboo satisfies them with a menu of services that includes manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, waxing, makeup sessions and spray tanning. One of the newer additions is the Japan Treatment, an hour-and-a-half service that is based on Japanese bathing rituals and combines six steps designed to purify, polish, hydrate and soften the skin. There's also a warm-stone massage, a skin-repairing vitamin C facial and microdermabrasion.
'You can have everything done from head to toe, except your hair," says Painter. On the other hand, Bamboo Apothecary does sell hair-care lines by Frederic Fekkai, Ojon, Molton Brown and Terax as well as Laura Mercier makeup and skin care, Bond No. 9 fragrances, Red Flower candles and more. It's the only area retailer of Natura Bisse, an advanced skin-care line from Spain.
'We're very customer service oriented," says Painter. 'We provide the best service and products that we can in a nice, relaxed, non-chaotic environment."