Dorit Baxter remembers a unique beauty boutique that opened 34 years ago this week
A skin-care practitioner in midtown Manhattan since 1980 and founder of one of the first day spas in the U.S., Dorit Baxter speaks out about derma health and aesthetics
The editor of this blog does a Q&A with Dorit, who opened a precursor of her current midtown Manhattan day spa in the same area 34 years ago this week, which was quickly recognized as a unique beauty boutique.
Q: What were you doing before opening your own business?
A: I was doing facials at a huge and highly successful midtown salon where I had developed such a large clientele that I was overbooked, so I decided it was time to strike out on my own. I did so with a boutique-sized salon specializing in skincare, and also offering massage therapy as well as other beauty services.
Q: How did you come to the decision to include massage in your services?
A: In the spring of 1980, there was a transportation workers’ strike in New York City, so residents of the outer boroughs walked across the bridges to Manhattan. The women wore sneakers and carried their high-heeled shoes in handbags. I began to think about career women in New York and how much they could benefit from a massage at their beauty salon. The following autumn I opened my skincare salon, or beauty boutique, as it was often referred to, and offered massages, both traditional Swedish, and Shiatsu, which was not yet well known in America.
Q: Were you anticipating the beauty & wellness industry that developed in the 1980s?
A: Yes, I suppose I was, though, of course I didn’t think of it that way at the time.
Q: How long did you have that boutique salon?
A: until the last month of the 1980’s, when I opened, also in midtown Manhattan, one of the first day spas in America so that I could expand what I came to think of as the wellness aspect of the services my salon offered.
Q: So next month, your day spa will celebrate its 25th birthday?
A: That’s right, a quarter of a century at our present midtown location.
Q: Would you like to do another interview next month on that topic.
A: Yes, let’s plan on it.
Click here for the spa’s website