Divine & Free Wellness Spa has recently opened in St. Albert. The grand opening will take place on November 14 and feature exclusive grand opening sales on products and services, as well as introduce St. Albert to some of the newest skincare technology available on the market. Divine and Free is offering virtual and live demonstrations of their new cutting edge Medi Spa Treatments, and launching their Facial Membership.
Although it’s the new kid on the block, this spa already has a long history.
It started in 2002 when Shannon Roche, Owner, was a single mom of 19 with a high school education, but also high ambitions to improve her life. A government grant allowed her to attend College and become an aesthetician.
“I graduated at the top of my class,” Roche reminisces, “and found myself working for Dianne and Fran. They were female entrepreneurs in the wellness beauty space, having opened Focus on You Day Spa in 1986. I worked with them until 2008. I loved the job, but as a single mom, needed something with higher earning potential.”
Roche moved into a very successful career in human resources.
“I had a great life and a great career,” Roche continues. “But about three years ago, we experienced an unexpected family crisis. “ I have always said I would leave HR the day I didn’t care. The only one I stopped caring about was myself.” I finally decided ‘life is too short to not do what you love,’ so I came home and told my husband, I’m going to leave my career and open a spa.”
Dianne and Fran had retired, and Focus On You had a new owner. Roche desperately wanted the space at 25 St. Michael Street, but it was still occupied by the previous business. “I started looking at other spaces and really started wondering if this was the right choice or if I was taking too big of a risk.” She recalls. But one day her phone pinged with a text.
“They are closing, are you still interested in the space?”
What came next was a whirlwind. Negotiations with the landlord took place in March. Renovations started. Fran came out of retirement to work part time and provide mentorship. Dianne also came out of retirement to help support and mentor. Trusted and experienced people Roche worked with 15 years ago signed on – and it all happened during the early days of the pandemic.
Roche laughs, “Well, there are only so many things you can get in a leasehold. I found out I had to do a lot of the work myself, so I spent the first part of the pandemic building the business. Literally. We ripped out walls, painted, and renovated the space all while being socially distanced.
Spas were allowed to re-open on June 15. Divine & Free Wellness Spa opened on July 16 - but they weren’t out of the woods yet.
“Two weeks before we opened, a contractor quit on us,” says Roche. “It was then I realized how much support I actually had for my business. Family, friends, and my employees jumped in and before we knew it, we were all getting it done! My daughter and I stayed until 2:30 in the morning July 15th to paint the walls. We had to clean, pass three inspections, and get a business licence by noon on the 16th – but we did it.”
Divine & Free offers a range of traditional treatments such as facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing, and massage/body treatments. Medi spa treatments are also available, including the OxyGeneo 3-in-1 Super Facial, MicroNeedling, and Divine Pyramid Facelift - among others. “We are also proud to be the first medical skin care spa in St. Albert to offer OxyGeneo™ technology and the Divine Pyramid Non-Surgical Facelift.” confirms Roche. “We offer high end products and services but with accessible pricing because I believe that everyone deserves to go to a spa. It’s part of self care and achieving better mental health.”
Despite the soft opening recently taking place, Divine & Free has already been nominated for several Business Excellence awards, proving to Roche that she is on the right track.
“Divine & Free are stand in names for Dianne and Fran,” Roche admits. “I am super happy. After searching for my place for so many years, I’ve finally found my home and I welcome you into it. Dianne and Fran built a legacy. I am proud to continue it. They deserve to be remembered in a big way”Learn more at www.divineandfree.com, and follow their social media on Facebook and Instagram.