INTRODUCTIONS: Meet Susan Stebbins

A BRAIN FOR BEAUTY: EX-ENGINEER FOLLOWS HER DREAMS IN THE SPA INDUSTRY

Susan Stebbins is a proud mother of four who relocated to Savannah years ago to escape the cold winters of her native Boston. 

One of her sons moved to the Hostess City before she did, and she would come down south to visit.

“It was on the third visit here that I fell in love with Savannah, the kindness of the people, the warmth of the sun, the historical side of it. I didn’t realize that Savannah was just so full of history. That was what made me decide it was time to move,” Stebbins recalled.

Relocating wasn’t the only major move that Stebbins has made in her life. She started out as an engineer, having worked on turbine engines for 12 years. She left the field altogether years ago to pursue her true passion: beauty.

“Everybody thinks that’s so crazy . . . well it was very easy to [change careers] because back then, it was a very male-dominated field. And it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was what my family did. My cousins, my dad’s side, they were all men so it was a little easier for them,” she explained.

Stebbins knew pretty early on that she wanted to pursue a career in the beauty industry. She recalls wanting to go to a local hair academy back in Boston as early as middle school.

“I wanted to be a hairdresser and do makeup. But it was decided that, ‘no you’re going to to go engineering school and someday, you’ll be able to do hair as a skill, but get your degree first,’” said Stebbins.

Despite being pushed into engineering by her family, Stebbins recalls her time spent in the field fondly.

“It was a great company . . . I had a lot of friends, and it was a really good time in my life,” she stated.

After having her fourth child in 1993, Stebbins decided she was ready to return to school and start a new career.

“I was in a great position then where I didn’t need to worry about working. I decided I wanted to go back to school and get my license in nail tech. I just always loved the beauty industry. I always loved colors. I always liked clothes, and I always liked makeup. I’m definitely a girly girl. So I went to school, and I just really excelled at it. I just loved it, and it was so exciting to me. And here I am today, 26 years later,” she expressed.

Shortly after graduating beauty school, Stebbins opened her own spa in Berlin, Massachusetts.

“It was called The Fragrant Path. I started that back in the 90s pretty much right when I was getting out of school without even knowing what I was really getting myself into. It was my passion that allowed me to start it, but I also had the ambition to make my passion continue. I did it pretty much right from the start, and I had it for just about 11 years,” she recalled.

Currently, Stebbins brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to The Poseidon Spa at Plant Riverside District, where she has been working as the Spa Director since March 2022.

“I love [this position]. I’ve pretty much rebuilt the spa. I brought it up, and I’ve turned it into a very successful, well-oiled machine. We’re doing really great. We have some great people here, and I was fortunate enough to handpick the staff,” said Stebbins.

The Poseidon Spa is open to the public, and Stebbins encourages anyone in need of some peace and pampering to book an appointment.

She says the Poseidon Spa offers a variety of premium spa services to melt stress and promote rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Stebbins recommends their premium custom facial.

“It is just luxurious. . . All botanical products are used. It involves a beautiful face, neck and decollete massage, hand and arm massage, and aromatic steam to open up the pores, followed by a mask. It’s usually a hydrating mask or a clay mask. It’s just divine,” she explained.

Massage is among the most popular services at The Poseidon Spa. The hot stone massage and the CBD massage are frequently requested, as is their hydrating facial mask massage.

“We apply the facial mask while they’re having their massage. So you’re on your back and you’re having your face massage and your shoulders, they will put on a gel mask. It’s all hyaluronic acid, which helps plump the skin. And then they use a rose quartz roller that’s nice and cool to roll out the mask on the skin. That helps to smooth lines and wrinkles at the same time that you’re having your massage. So it’s two-fold,” she described.

In the meantime, Stebbins encourages locals and visitors alike to take advantage of everything the spa has to offer. She truly enjoys her work at the spa and finds fulfillment in it.

“I love the peacefulness. I love the guests, the one on one conversations that I get to have with people from many different places in the world. And I love all of the products and colors. I just love it,” she expressed.

When Stebbins isn’t working, she enjoys horseback riding, tennis and golf. She also loves being by the water, and spending time with her four grandchildren between Savannah, Colorado and Massachusetts.

For more information about The Poseidon Spa, visit plantriverside.com

- Chantel Britton

About The Author

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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