The owner of Vankleek Hill’s newest business brings with her a wealth of international experience which should impress new clients.
Alyson Kelly, owner of The Beauty Corner, located on Main Street at the corner of Union, was born and raised by Irish parents in Hong Kong. She qualified as a beauty technician in Ireland, obtaining certificates in C.I.D.E.S.C.O. and I.T.E.C. After graduating, she worked in Hong Kong, then opened her own clinic in Ireland before coming to Canada in 2009, with her husband, Gus and their three children.
Despite her shop’s name, Ms. Kelly emphasizes health rather than beauty in the range of services she offers. A trained aromatherapist, she includes it in the specialty skin care she provides. “I use facial massage and essential oils,” she says.
“You notice an immediate effect, in that you feel totally relaxed and your skin glows. The feel-good factor is very beneficial to well-being.” She adds that good skin care is especially needed in Canada, where the harsh climate, in both summer and winter, can cause damage.
The plant-based products Ms. Kelly uses are La Biosthetique from France and Naturmed from Italy, but she emphasizes that she does not push products on her clients, although she can order them if they wish.
“In skin care, a routine is more important than the products that are used,” she says. She recommends a de-toxifying facial three or four times a year.
The Beauty Corner, which opened in mid-August, offers seven different types of facials, ranging in price from $65 to $100, which are aromatherapy-based and tailored to the client’s specific skin requirements. A free skin analysis is included.
New in town – Reflexology
An area of specialization which potential clients may not be familiar with is reflexology, a system of pressure point stimulation used to relieve tension and treat illness.
“Reflexology is based on the principle that there are reflex points on the feet, hands and head which are linked to the glands, organs and all parts of the body,” Ms. Kelly explains.
“By applying pressure to these reflex points, I can help alleviate the symptoms of migraines, stress and tension, digestive disorders, muscle aches and pains, and many other conditions.” The initial consultation involves a medical history to help guide the treatment. Because the treatment focuses pressure on the feet, “It’s not for the ticklish,” she laughs.
Ms. Kelly also provides manicures, pedicures, waxing, eye treatments and spa packages. She hopes in the future to be offering make-up, hot stone massage therapy and electrolysis.
“I want to build the business around people’s needs,” she says. “I hope to respond to what clients want.”
Right now The Beauty Corner’s hours are arranged around the school schedules of her three children Natasha, 18, Kristina, 15 and James 11. The salon is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 am to 4 pm and by appointment after 4 pm on Tuesday and Thursday. Drop-ins are welcome but Ms. Kelly recommends calling for an appointment. For those who are working, she is open one Saturday a month. These hours will be extended as the salon becomes busier.
Ms. Kelly is enthusiastic about the community in which she has set up her business.
“Vankleek Hill is a lovely town,” she notes. “It is so community-minded, with lots of arranged activities. My children love it here and it feels safe.” She adds with a blush, “It reminds me of home – Ireland.” High praise indeed given the beauty and popularity of the Emerald Isle.
To book an appointment at The Beauty Corner, call (514) 894-8531.
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Her short fiction has been published in many Canadian literary magazines.Numerous humorous and non-fiction articles have been published in the Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and Toronto Star. She has also published two local histories and is the former Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Ryerson University.