Courtesy Nikita Gibson
May 3, 2021
A self-care beacon for Black women and Brooklyn moms
Joire Spa’s Nikita Gibson reflects on parenting, holistic healing and treating yourself—especially on Mother’s Day
When Nikita Gibson founded Joire Spa and Studio in Marine Park in 2014, it was the ultimate flowering of a seed planted in her at just 3. Gibson lost her mother to breast cancer at a tragically young age and has since been committed to making the most of every day, she says. For her, in 2021, that means lots of self care.
Joire, which is named for her mother, offers a variety of services primarily for Black and indigenous women (and men) of color ranging from facials and massages to eyelash extensions and laser hair removal.
“I want more people, especially more women of color, to experience this lifestyle because it’s there and accessible,” she says.
But the pandemic forced Gibson, like so many others, to get creative. She began releasing several Joire branded products to bring the spa experience home, including a holistic self-care guide, and its own skincare line.
Gibson, who grew up in Flatbush, says what drives her is her two children and the legacy of her own mother: Several services at the Joire spa are geared towards expectant mothers, including the “Mommy & Me” package and the prenatal massage.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, the spa has launched a special, online gift shop specifically geared towards moms. Here, Gibson discusses starting her own business, her love for Brooklyn, and the importance of holistic self care—especially for moms.
This interview has been edited for space and flow.
Tell me about starting the Joire Spa.
Mainly it was for women to have a place to come and release and relax. A place that women can go to and be able to get all the services that they were interested in at one place. Instead of having to jump from different locations to get your services done, I wanted to create a place that women would be able to go to and get everything done in one day and also not be in there for hours.
You named the spa after your mother. Do you have a sense of what she was like?
My mom passed away at 37. She was diagnosed at 34 with breast cancer, and from what I was told, she always had a beautiful spirit. She was very upbeat. Until the end she made the best of life. She’s not here and that’s something that’s been instilled in me. Tomorrow’s not promised, so while I’m here I’m going to enjoy each day. She was very much a diva. She loved taking care of herself. She loved feeling good. She loved looking good. I carry a lot of those traits.
Do you have a specific moment or memory that made you fall in love with self care?
You’re going to laugh at this but absolutely. I was 7 years old and my stepmother used to braid my hair for church, and I hated it. I hated how she did my hair and I started cornrowing my own hair. I started doing my own hair at 7 years old and added beads to it just to be a pretty girl because I wanted to go to church and look cute for my little boyfriend.
Has being a mother of two affected how you approach self care?
Self care as a mom is very hard because it’s something that I have to remind myself of. Having kids is very stressful. Self care is important to me because I don’t ever want my kids to feel the wrath of my stress. I want my children to be happy and smiling and laughing. That’s the energy they should be getting from me. I say affirmations to my children all the time. I’m instilling certain things in them, so that way it’s normal—not so they’re vain, but so they understand their presence and their worth. The little things we say to our children is what makes a difference.
Do a lot of mothers come to the spa?
Moms use the spa as their self care moment. It’s very therapeutic because it becomes a time where you want to come and take care of you, but it ends up being a therapy session because you get to talk about the hard day that you had and the day that you felt like you were a terrible parent. The person that’s doing your service could possibly be a mom and you get that affirmation and confirmation, like “No, you’re a great mom. You’re doing well. You’re doing the best that you can and the fact that you’re doing is enough.” Sometimes you just need that check.
I had to. Brooklyn is literally a melting pot, and it is such a beautiful place because it’s filled with so many different kinds of people. I had to keep it in Brooklyn because I had to know that I was catering to people and little girls like me. So many young women are going to see my business, are going to find out about it, are going to hear about it. I want them to know, “Wow, this girl is 31 years old. She’s from Brooklyn like I am and she did this. So I can too.” It was very important to me that my first spa was in Brooklyn.
My future [goal] for Joire’s is to be one of the biggest worldwide spas that you know of. I want it to be a franchise. I want to be in different locations. I want to be able to bring this holistic healing self care vibe to so many different cities and states across America and even the Caribbean because I feel like we offer something that a lot of people don’t get which is affordable luxury and our customer service is our number one priority. We treat people like royalty when they walk in and a lot of people are not used to that. I want more people, especially more women of color, to experience this lifestyle because it’s there and accessible.
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