FANS OF holistic healing, take note: a new Ayurvedic-focused spa is opening this weekend.
Remedy SOS Day Spa celebrates its grand opening this Friday with live music by the Midtown Pickers, a raffle to benefit Red Clay Foundation, and a cupcake contest with local celebrity judges.
The spa, owned by Debra Brill and Ethan Riker, is located in the old Mani Pedi in Habersham Village.
Brill worked at Mani Pedi before it closed its doors.
“She pretty much ran the spa before; she was Paula and Johnny’s right hand person to get it going,” recalls Riker. “Everyone else was kind of new to the whole thing, and she already knew spa stuff.”
“I’ve owned a salon and spa in Milwaukee, and then I owned an acupuncture salon and the name was Remedy,” shares Brill. “I’m an Ayurvedic-trained esthetician, so I practice holistic esthetics, which is rare in Savannah because we don’t have an Ayurvedic school here. That’s what makes me a slightly different esthetician than anybody I’ve really met here. We work very much with our hands. We work with energies and pressure points and lymphatic drainage. I do chakra balancing too.”
Ayurvedic medicine is over three thousand years old and is a holistic healing system developed in India.
“You can study it your whole life and not know everything there is to know about it,” Brill says. “It’s about deep breathing, positive affirmation, and eating things that grow from the ground. It’s very, very deep.”
As a result of her Ayurvedic practice, Brill is highly attuned to her clients and their specific needs.
“Someone asked on this holistic forum, ‘I need a new technique. What can I do?’ And my suggestion was, ‘Try moving with the moment,’” Brill suggests. “So often when I do facials, I get into somewhat of a meditative state and I move with the motions. A lot of estheticians use tools and the quick suction of the face, but I’m still using my hands, and I use them all over the body—arms, décolleté, and occipital. I really work with more energy.”
Brill is also guided by the elements to help customize treatments for her clients.
“Pretty much anybody I have in my treatment room, I take a look at them when they walk in the door and I immediately come up with an idea as to where they are in the realm of the five elements of the world,” she explains. “If I see you and you have red skin, I would consider you a fire. I already know I’m going to take you in that treatment room and treat you very gently with cooler components. If you look dehydrated, you’re probably going to need moisture and use gentle products. When I take you back to the treatment room, I just confirm what I already think I know.”
In addition to a full-service spa, Remedy SOS also offers an apothecary bar.
“We’re going to have a protocol of some cool recipes,” Brill shares. “We’ll have a little spa menu, and we’ll have quite a few different lotion bases, massage and body oil, and a body scrub.”
“It’s all paraben free and sulfate free,” adds Riker.
The name Remedy SOS comes from Brill’s Milwaukee spa with a few extra special touches.
“With our skin being the largest organ, we always need a remedy for it,” says Brill. “Remedy SOS is a two-name. We remedied a situation where the business closed and we opened it back up. And remedy is just anything we do to enhance your beauty or your skin or your wellbeing. The SOS is for ‘Science of Skin.’ It’s an urgency—‘Quick, help me fix something.’ It’s also Ethan—Ethan is a science teacher and I am a skin teacher. Those two kind of married in the name as well.”
While the name has a lot of meaning behind it, it’s also designed to allow for growth as Brill and Riker grow their business.
“We can evolve as a business and we can change our modality and keep the holistic, but also add medical or advanced,” says Brill, “so that name always covers everything.”
Remedy SOS’s goal is to expand and serve the community in several ways.
“The long-term goal for us is to have a nice shoppable experience. I want to pick and carry my favorite items here,” says Brill. “I don’t want to stick with exclusivity to anything. I want to have whatever I want to have, from facial tools to beauty lines. I want to have it all.”
Because of the location and its history, Remedy SOS seems likely to retain some of Mani Pedi’s clients, as well as bring in their own base.
“Demographically, this is great because we can build a clientele here,” says Brill. “Not that you couldn’t do that downtown, but it’s less likely because those are all tourists. Here, we have a following. We are a day spa and we would love to take you as a walk-in if we’re available, but we’re growing a clientele her and people are pre-booking weeks and weeks in advance. We’ll grow with the business.”