On Saturday night, 3rd Element Spa & Salon hosted its first ever Love Jones in the City event, a relaxed get-together for anyone looking for an alternative to more traditional Valentine’s Day observances like expensive candlelit dinners or inexpensive Whitman’s chocolate samplers. The spa opened its doors to singles and couples alike and guests were treated to food, drinks and fashion on display courtesy of Symphoni Design Studio, a partner in the event.
Love Jones was the brainchild of spa owners Chyvonne Shackelford and Tomika Branch who also invited guests to experience chair massages and manicures as a means of indulging themselves. The event was a way for the spa to embrace the West Oak Lane community that has been its new home for the past three months.
Originally located in the city’s Germantown neighborhood, 3rd Element was founded in 2005 with an eye toward educating clients about the health benefits of spa services. Shackelford and Branch agree that the Germantown location was a great place to start their growing business, however the move to West Oak Lane in December has not only given them a larger space, but access to a very active neighborhood business association.
“We didn’t have that support where we came from,” Shackelford said.
“We’re a member of the West Oak Lane Business Association or WOLBA,” Branch explained. “We meet once a month and they tell us what’s coming up [in the community]. They keep us updated.” WOLBA has been a great resource for the spa. It helps “knowing we can go somewhere to bounce ideas off of someone,” Branch said.
In addition to WOLBA’s support, the spa’s current location adjacent to Ogontz Plaza puts it in the middle of a busy business district. There’s a noticeable increase in foot traffic here compared to their old location where “you might not have seen us unless you were stopped at a traffic light,” Shackelford said. In contrast, she notes that people often pass the Ogontz Ave. location and wave inside through the windows, like they’re embracing the spa as a part of the community.
This kind of friendly exchange speaks to 3rd Element’s ability to attract new clients in West Oak Lane as well as maintain loyal customers from the old location. With treatments such as a hot stone massage and chocolate facial—a special for the month of February—it’s the quality of service that keeps clients coming back. One guest of Love Jones in the City noted that her husband “fell in love” with the spa at its original location and, even after the move, has been keeping regular massage appointments ever since.
The Love Jones evening concluded with the spa raffling off a gift certificate redeemable for future spa services—just one more way for 3rd Element to strengthen its budding relationship with West Oak Lane. “This neighborhood is more community-based knit,” Branch said. “They come out and support their businesses.”