Small business runs in spa owner’s blood
Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa opened in August and is independently owned. | Submitted photo
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:20AM
VERNON HILLS — When deciding to open Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa in Vernon Hills, Ranee McGowan wanted her first entrepreneurial adventure to be so unique it was irresistible.
A mini bar was born. McGowan wanted a Miami feel to the experience and couldn’t find any other spa offering wine or mixed drinks during a massage, waxing, manicure or pedicure.
“Vernon Hills is a great area full of hard working people who don’t want to travel into the city to relax,” McGowan said.
The bar is, however, restricted to customers only.
After being trained as a cosmetologist and esthetician, McGowan spent 16 years working in the area – much of the time in her mother’s salon.
McGowan is the third in her family to open a business. After working in the family owned salon, McGowan’s brother opened three barbershops and a salon in Indiana.
“I guess small businesses are in my blood,” McGowan said. “And you never know how an endeavor like this will turn out unless you try. I also wanted my vision to be known.”
The spa is all white, with purple lounge seats. McGowan said the brightness creates a refreshing, upbeat mentality.
Venus vs Marz is not restricted to spontaneous drop in visits. The spa hosts wine tastings once a month, and the whole venue is often rented for bachelorette parties or ladies’ night outs.
“When people come in and are wowed by how this place looks or how their experience was, that always makes me feel like being a small business owner was worth it,” McGowan said.
But Venus vs Marz is not limited to women. McGowan said plenty of her customers are men looking for massages.
Since opening in August, McGowan said business has steadily increased, and she expects to be overwhelmed by the Valentine’s Day.
“Every customer who comes into this building is already beautiful, and it’s my job to show them and make them feel beautiful,” McGowan said. “Showing people their own remarkable qualities is the best job imaginable.”
Venus vs Marz Luxury Spa is located at 281 Townline Road, in a strip mall near Butterfield Road.