Irina Gordon, Spa Owner: A tFS Exclusive Interview
|Irina Gordon is the co-owner of Dyanna Body & Nail Spa in New York City. While there are countless spas and nail salons peppered across Manhattan, few offer posh amenities without costing an arm and a leg. Doing just that, however, is what has kept Gordon’s spa in business for an impressive 22 years.
Recently named one of the top 10 spas by City Search, Gordon hand-picks the highly trained staff at Dyanna to offer her customer the best in affordable beauty services. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love a guilt-free indulgence?
Irina took some time to talk to tFS about the ups and downs of building a successful business.
The Fashion Spot: Was there ever a point in your life when you were struggling in your career, where you had the opportunity to do another job that was more stabile and safe, but you decided to stick with your passion? What made you stick with it?
Irina Gordon: I worked at stable management jobs for many years at both fashion and beauty based businesses, but although I loved the industries, I never quite felt at ease. I felt that I couldn’t expand on my creativity and truly take the companies I worked at to the level I wanted to see them go.
After having a baby, I took time off from working to re-evaluate what I wanted to do, but once my daughter was born, I knew I had to take on a job part-time. I started working at Dyanna Body & Nail Spa 7 years ago as a receptionist, and there was just something about the salon that I fell in love with. I loved the staff, I loved the clients, and most importantly, I wake up every morning thinking about how I can make it an even better place.
The original owner, Natasha Kolyosov, was kind enough to entrust the salon to me, and within a week I was working there full-time. Before I knew it, I was the manager and thanks to Natasha’s trust, was able to run the salon as though it was my own.
The hours were long and the responsibilities were tremendous, but my passion for it helped me endure it. Four years later, Natasha offered me to become an owner and take over the business, with her still remaining an amazing partner.
Of course, the workload only increased from there, and with the recession of 2008-2009, times did get extremely tough. Our rent increased, and clientele decreased for a period of time, but with the right ideas, an incredible staff and lots of hard work, the salon survived and has never been better!
My clients helped me stay with it, because the salon has been in business for over 20 years. Some of our clients have been coming to us for as long as it has been open, so closing the salon even when times were tough was never an option. I love to see my clients happy and coming back every week, or month, so that’s why I am still doing what I am doing.
tFS: Was there a defining moment when you knew this career is what you had to do with your life?
IG: Yes, during my second week of working at Dyanna Spa when I was made full-time manager of the salon was the moment where I realized something about this place was magical, and the running of it was what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I never wanted to leave, and wanted to make it the best place possible for my clients and staff.
tFs: Was there a time in your life where you felt like you accomplished what you have sought out to succeed? When was it, and how has this changed your perspective on your future career goals?
IG: The day I signed the papers to become official partner in the salon made me realized I had accomplished my goal. It helped me see that I can be an entrepreneur and apply all the creative ideas I had learned in my career to something that was truly a part of me. My future career goals are to expand on Dyanna Spa’s services, perhaps locations, and improve client satisfaction even more. We have been voted as Best of NYC in over 17 different categories on websites like Citysearch and Local.com so I know my and my staff’s hard work must be paying off!!