Monica Harris’ family had a salon in the Hyde Park area while she was growing up, and that attracted her to the health and beauty industry. And 16 years after starting out as a makeup artist, she and her husband, PJ Harris, have developed that passion into two businesses that offer a wide variety of services.
After being a makeup artist, Monica became an esthetician and wanted to expand the services she could offer.
“Seeing women pile the makeup on, I got into skincare from that,” she said. “Just washing your face with water is like putting clothes in the laundry without detergent.”
In 2004 she opened Spa in Your Space, a mobile spa that goes to private parties, businesses and events. It offers manicures and pedicures, massages, facials and lots more, and the business has since grown to several states.
Monica and PJ knew each other for years, having worked together in the corporate world, and were good friends. After going their separate ways, they eventually reconnected and married. That’s helped the business grow even more, as Monica moved to Oak Park, where PJ lived, and they opened a space for a separate business, Monica’s Skincare Boutique. That opened about four years ago, first sharing some space in the Oak Park Arms and then finding its own location at 816 S. Oak Park Ave.
“Most married couples even have problems sharing a house together,” PJ said. “But we work together well. We love each other.”
Although the two businesses are intertwined, there are differences. Spa in Your Space is often perfect for parties, employee appreciation events and more, but at the small and private Monica’s Skincare the focus is on one person at a time.
“We’re small here by design,” PJ said. “We don’t want a waiting room with other people. A lot of times the ladies don’t want to leave because reality is out there.”
Spa in Your Space started small, mostly with “martinis and manicures” nights. But Monica said the business has grown often because clients would ask for certain services. So it’s grown to the point where both businesses offer a wide range of services. Now she says, “no event is too large for us."
The range of services continues to grow, as Monica’s Skincare recently added two new services she said aren’t available elsewhere in the surrounding area. One is Invisible Expression Facial, referred to as “the lunchtime lift,” and is great for people looking for alternatives to facelifts and botox. Another is the Zit Zone Micro-Facial, which is specifically for teens and targets acne.
Monica and PJ certainly have a focus on educating clients, but the focus will always be on you.
“It’s all about you. Just sit back and relax,” PJ said. “If you don’t recharge your battery, your battery will eventually burn out.”LEARN MORE
Monica's Skincare Boutique website
Spa in Your Space website