For Michelle Pelletier, this has always been the end goal. She may have travelled all over the world, opened five salons, owned a convenience store and worked in sales and real estate, but this has always been her dream.
And now it’s a reality.
“I always come back to this. I always come back to this. This is where I was heading,” Pelletier emphasized.
Pelletier is the owner of Sanctuary, a new spa and wellness center that opened five weeks ago outside downtown Orono, the first of its kind.
Sanctuary features a full gamut of services, from body treatments like a nourishing sea mud therapy, to full-body, deep tissue and hot stone massages, and even manicures, facials and haircuts. Need a wax? Sanctuary does it. Need a facial that relieves acne, or a perm? Sanctuary does it. Need to rent out the entire salon for your birthday or bridal party for private service? Sanctuary offers spa takeover and girlfriend packages for that reason. Pelletier even has her own natural skin care product line sold at Sanctuary called, “I Know What’s In It (Shouldn’t You?).”
Sanctuary does all this and more with only four employees, including Pelletier.
You could almost say that Sanctuary does it all. Or at least, they will very soon. Pelletier plans to expand the menu of services at the spa and wellness center to include alternative health care and holistic services, such as Pilates classes and acupuncture. She’s even looking into offering women’s health services, dental hygiene and classes in which she will teach pupils how to make their own perfume.
Pelletier purchased the building at 291 Main Street in March 2015, and immediately went to work acquiring the proper permits and making the appropriate renovations. The building currently includes the reception area, the hair salon, two massage rooms, a quiet room, two bathrooms, a Pilates room, a manicure room and a shampoo room.
That’s only the first floor, and the building has three.
Pelletier plans to renovate and expand to the upper floors to accommodate future services as needed.
“We want to be known as a place to go to relax and unwind and have better care of, you know, skin, hair, body, mind,” Pelletier said. “I want this to be a place that you can go and just feel better when you leave.”
Of course, it may sound too good to be true, but an hour-long full-body massage performed by massage therapist Sharon Bailey proved to be a most comfortable experience, and one that is highly recommended.
“I think what separates us from everyone else in town is that we’re more personal … to every person that walks through the door,” Nyari Patterson, a hair stylist and makeup artist at Sanctuary, added. “It’s not just like we’re trying to get a person in and out of our chair for a haircut. We really want to make sure that [for everyone who is] here that we establish a connection and a relationship with them, and that they want to come back not just because they get great skin, or a great massage, or great hair, but because they like it here.”
“It just feels good here,” Pelletier added. “This is how we want it to be.”