Celebrate the Passion for Natural Living at White Sage Spa
Oct 31, 2014 11:16AM
● By Sheila Julson
Susie Raymond, owner of White Sage Spa, in Mequon, had an innate interest in nature, but did not pursue a career in healing arts until later in her adult life, when she became a Reiki master/teacher and life coach. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee nearly 30 years ago, Raymond was so impressed by two of her courses—an ethnobotany class about the use of Great Lakes plants for food and medicine, and a philosophy class centered on Native American storytelling and way of life—that she saved the class notebooks, and credits the courses with sparking her interest in natural healing.
Raymond relates, “I went through school, got my business degree and worked for Kohl’s Corporation as corporate manager of store operations and customer service. It was all good, but when I look back, I was following the career path that you’re supposed to follow, but it wasn’t my path.”
With her husband taking the role of stay-at-home dad to their two young daughters, Raymond was the family’s main breadwinner. Despite that, she left her corporate job in 1999 to attend the Institute of Beauty and Wellness and become a licensed esthetician. With her brother, Billy Godsell, Raymond founded The Spa @ Le Grande.
In 2006, Godsell left The Spa @ LeGrande to pursue other interests, and the economy was beginning to slump, forcing Raymond to reevaluate the business. She renegotiated her store lease and talked to her employees about becoming their own business owners in a newly created collective named Well Body.
“I’ve always had a passion for natural healing,” says Raymond, who became a Reiki master teacher before pursuing training as a life coach in 2009 through Thrive Life Coaching, in Brookfield. “When I achieved the life coaching certification, I thought, ‘Now, what are my personal passions?’” she recalls.
Now, Raymond is one of five wellness practitioners inside Well Body. She chose the name White Sage Spa for her business because it ties in with her love for Native American culture and the healing properties that sage can offer the body. The spa provides esthetic services such as facials, waxing and skin refining peels, as well as body therapies that include reflexology and raindrop therapy, a rebalancing technique that uses using organic essential oils and soothing touch to balance the mind, body and soul.
Raymond believes that the combination of Reiki and life coaching serves her clients especially well. “I’m recognizing how many people in our society are walking around with self-doubt,” she observes. “Once people recognize that they’re not happy, they can talk about it and share it. We have active coaching time, along with Reiki, which helps people get out of a negative mindset and figure out their higher desire.”
Another of Raymond’s passions is teaching Unified Body Method gentle yoga classes at Unified Body Wellness Institute, in Thiensville. Her weekly classes are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays. “It’s a very inward practice, teaching people how to quiet their minds, before we start moving the body,” Raymond explains. “It’s a method that helps the body and mind return to a calm, neutral place.”
Raymond believes in rejuvenating herself by getting out into nature and receiving spa services and coaching from other professionals. “It allows me to see ways to shift and change what we’re doing,” she notes. Raymond attends seminars and continues to learn new skills and look for more ways to serve. She also supports charities by donating White Sage Spa gift certificates for silent auction fundraisers.
Despite the challenges of navigating a business through the ups and downs of an unpredictable economy, Raymond loves what she does and keeps her clients in the forefront of her mind. “I’m passionate about listening to them and focusing on the results they want, not just cookie-cutter services. I believe in customizing services for what they desire or need.”
White Sage Spa is located at 10040 N. Port Washington Rd., in Mequon. For more information, call 414-352-6550 or visit WhiteSageSpa.com.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer in Milwaukee and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at [email protected].