When St. Louis native Marina Claunch moved back home to earn her esthetician’s license, she thought she’d enjoy a job at one of the many spas catering to local clients.
Turns out her entrepreneur spirit was a little too strong.
After working for two different businesses in St. Louis over the last few years, Claunch has set out to start her own beauty endeavor with the Avivah Wax Spa in Clayton.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own spa and I just didn’t like working for someone else,” Claunch said. “The entire time I’ve been in this industry I’ve kind of had that entrepreneur type feeling, that I could succeed at something like this myself.”
Claunch originally set out to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. But when she came back home she decided to tackle something more beauty related.
After graduating from the Skin Institute in South County where she got her license, Claunch worked at a salon downtown and took on some freelance makeup jobs before accepting a position at a salon in Kirkwood.
None of it was enough for Claunch, who said she found the “perfect spot” to open her new place at 929 De Mun in Clayton.
“I just think this area, especially De Mun, is very family-oriented, quiet and a nice place to open a spa like this,” Munch said. “There aren’t many places like this around and I felt like I could provide that.”
Avivah, which Claunch opened on September 11, offers makeup applications, eyelash extensions, full body waxes and facials all in one.
The package deal is what sets Claunch apart from her competitors.
“The pricing is amazing and we’re the most affordable in Clayton, and honestly St. Louis,” Claunch said. “Not a lot of places offer all of those in one. Usually it’s just waxing, but I wanted it all incorporated into one.”
Being the closest waxing salon to Washington University and SLU, Claunch is also catering to students with a 15 percent discount on their purchase.
“I know college students struggle and I wanted to give them a good, close place where they can go for an affordable price,” Claunch said. “A lot of the students have been taking advantage of the discounts.”
Claunch said she’s also had some success welcoming many of the office workers in the area under a time crunch, and has managed to get some of her regular clients from previous jobs to follow her to Clayton.
“A lot of it’s just been word of mouth but people are finding me,” Claunch said. “It’s been going very well for a new business.”
Avivah is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information call 314-596-2864