June 27, 2024
People & Places

Spaces of serenity

Step inside some of the state’s newest wellness spaces made for rejuvenation, meet the people with magic hands and see what makes these havens so beautiful.

The minimalist lobby space at Sculpt, where lines and texture are highlighted by the natural light.

13 Henry Street, Stepney
Owner and founder Angelica Mesisca

Owner and founder of Sculpt, Angelica Mesisca

Tell me a bit about your career.
My background in the beauty industry really started out with a medical background which gave me the foundations for a holistic approach to beauty and rejuvenation, one which is backed with science. My journey started as a physiotherapy graduate before going on to become a lymphoedema practitioner. I gained my training at Macquarie University, at the Australian lymphoedema education research and training institute.

A key part of my research into lymphoedema uncovered the importance of preserving skin integrity. I began to recognise the significance of barrier integrity and preventing foreign bacteria from entering the skin. As I began to piece the puzzle together of a holistic approach to skin health, the overall concept for Sculpt was formed.

What is a misconception about wellness?
One of the biggest misconceptions about wellness is that any single treatment can achieve your desired goal. Wellness requires a holistic approach and requires lifestyle choices. It is a commitment you make every single day. As an example, a strict beauty regime should always be matched with daily hydration, the use of sunscreen and a commitment to move your body every single day.

Tell me about a couple of the unique wellness offerings.
In opening the space, we really wanted to create something that didn’t already exist in South Australia (or Australia) and this really extended to our high-tech offering. Our crowning jewel is the MLX-i3 dome which is an innovative and unique offering within Australia. The MLX-i3 offers triple detox therapies, so it combines three powerful modalities to deliver the epitome of wellness treatments.

How do you connect the idea of interior design and wellness?
A part of the design process of Sculpt involved research and looking into the connection between space and wellness. I believe that our environment plays such an integral role in our mental health and clarity. As such, the space was architecturally designed to evoke a sense of calm. I really wanted every client walking through the doors to feel a sense of calmness, peace and warmth. Sculpt to me, and our clients, really evokes a sense of being held.

A part of the design process was inspired by my travels throughout Europe, specifically the architecture along the Mediterranean coastline. The Sculpt space also pays homage to my own heritage and the grandeur of Latin American architecture. Specifically, the really tall arches which take design elements from early buildings that can be found in places such as Peru and Mexico.

What does the word wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me is the ability to understand and accept the ebbs and flows of life and to learn how to manage external stresses in a way that preserves your inner peace. It’s not looking for a quick fix but rather a holistic approach to life which includes self-care, moving your body, staying hydrated and finding moments to disconnect from the world in a way that allows your mind and soul to rest. This is what Sculpt represents for me. It’s more than just an approach to beauty, it’s a rejuvenation clinic that facilitates a greater state of peace within yourself.

Outside of the business, what is something you do personally for self-care?
Being a mum and business owner means that staying present, whether that be at work or at home, is really important to me. I find that pilates is a great way for me to start the day with a sense of calm and focus. It gives me an opportunity to move my body, to stretch, to focus on my breath work and to really centre my energy. I also make a conscious effort to put my phone away during dinner and bed time with my girls. This is my time to be truly present with my family (that is before they fall asleep, and I’m back on emails before bed).


74/155 Brebner Dr, West Lakes
Owner and founder Anna Burden

Owner and founder of IONE Spa, Anna Burden

Tell me a bit about your career. How did you move into the wellness space?
I came from quite a different job – a corporate government job – but I always had a love for oils and aromatherapy. I was able to condense my hours at work to three days a week and I went off to study the world of spa, aromatherapy and business, with the vision that I wanted to start my own business. I made the jump one day and decided to rent a little place on Semaphore Road back when natural and organic was not trendy. I’m quite into spirituality and energy healing and I wanted to create a retreat-type environment but in an urban space. This place came up just before Covid hit and I left my corporate job.

Tell me about a couple of the unique wellness offerings?
Our bath house and treatments are quite popular entwined. We do a spa soiree – groups of people can come and do the steam and sauna and Swiss Vichy shower and then go and have treatments. They meet in our room overlooking the lake, enjoy treats from the cafe next door and Champagne. We offer standard massages, but we do guided breathing at the beginning. In-and-out saunas with workers in their lunch breaks are quite popular.

How do you connect the idea of interior design and wellness?
It’s really important, for environmental reasons for us as well. We used no-tox and low-tox building materials, and natural timbers, marble and stone. We had air purification put in here and a crystal grid foundation. We wanted to create a nice safe, loving space that people could feel beautiful in and you’d be amazed how many people come in here and they’re not into crystals, but they can feel things. Colour therapy was a big thing for me with circadian colour theory and chronology lighting. It’s very light in the reception and as you get deeper in, it turns to calming lavenders.

What does the word wellness mean to you?
Wellness is on every level, it’s not something you can box in. A lot of people think of it as just your diet or just your workout, but for me, it’s your mind, body, spirituality, your diet, the connections you make with the people in your life. Wellness is more of a broader thing than a lot of people think. I’m a big believer that you have to take care of your emotional health as much as your physical health.

Outside of the business, what is something you do personally for self-care?
I love the gym, I love the beach – anywhere by the water – I do yoga. I love being outdoors and exercise, but I also love my down-time; I meditate. Reading. I like to always improve my knowledge of wellness – I’m obsessed with the spa world. I love to be social.


Davaar House
318 South Tce, Adelaide

Owner and founder of Davaar House, Fiona Fiorinotto

How did you move into the wellness space?
After my move to Australia 23 years ago, I fell in love with massage therapy and the remarkable capacity of the human body to heal itself. I began working in some of Australia’s top day spas and ended up running my own massage and beauty salon for about eight years. I soon became frustrated with the limitations of traditional treatment and sought to go beyond a typical day spa. I wanted more for my clients. My wake-up call was witnessing my close friend, an outstanding human, struggle with mental health and its devastating consequences. These experiences have led me to the serene haven that is now Davaar House. I wanted to create a world of rejuvenation, balance, recovery and self-discovery or simply an escape from life itself for a moment.

What draws you to the industry?
I think I am drawn to the wellbeing industry with my desire to help others live healthier and happier lives. I am passionate about holistic wellness and believe in the power of integrating mind, body and spirit for overall wellbeing. I see this industry as an ever-evolving space that can truly enhance people’s lives. I love promoting self-care, self-discovery, and healing. I know the impact one’s mind can have on one’s self. I think we live in a world dominated by social media, which, on one hand, can be a powerful positive influence. But also has a profound negative impact in the wrong hands.

What is a misconception about wellness?
I think the common misconception about wellness is that it is a one-size-fits-all concept, and that it is all about looking great and eating healthy. In reality, health and wellbeing can look different for each person. I simply don’t care what you look like or where you come from, at Davaar House we only care about you and what wellness means to you. It could be taking time out for a massage, or a healing treatment. It could also be just grabbing a fresh juice every morning on your way to work. Taking care of your mind will have a profound impact on the rest of your body. Everyone has the ability to turn their life around no matter who they are.

Tell me about a couple of your unique wellness offerings?
Davaar House itself is a unique offering. This revived 1876 mansion with its heritage exterior offers opulence from the minute you enter its front door. You are surrounded by exquisite decor, furnishings, and a friendly face. Davaar House is so much more than a day spa, we offer unique packages to either kickstart your wellness journey or melt into a massage or facial treatment. We offer healing and detox programs through our infrared saunas and ice bath, to our oxygen therapy. Davaar House has two firsts to Adelaide, in our popular RollShape, which is a lymphatic drainage workout and massage in one. Plus, our Activ Bed Pilates Pod, which has been used through Europe for its rehabilitation qualities.

How do you connect the idea of interior design and wellness?
Your surrounds can trigger your focus, mood and anxiety. Creating a light and relaxed environment was important to me. The layout of the rooms, colours and artwork are all different ways to create a positive effect on the brain. I wanted to bring a sense of calm and balance at Davaar House.

What does the word wellness mean to you?
To me on a personal level, the word wellness is about finding a healthy balance in life. It’s about finding moderation between being busy and inner peace. We all need a bit of stress in life, but too much can be detrimental to health. Wellness to me is about being kind to myself, being kind to others, taking care of my body and mind. I read once that “self-love is the greatest love of all, yet it is the hardest”. That is my wellness, self-love.

Outside of the business, what is something you do personally for self-care?
Self-care can sometimes be perceived as selfish or self-centred. Self-care is imperative, especially in today’s society where we work crazy hours, run around after kids, family or friends. Taking a moment for yourself is so great for mental clarity. Away from Davaar House, my non-negotiable self-care is waking early, before my kids and husband, to walk our dog, meditate, and just enjoy a coffee to myself before the mad rush of getting kids up for school. This hour of alone time sets me up for the day ahead and brings me a sense of calm.


Longview Vineyard Day Spa
154 Pound Rd, Macclesfield

Longview Vineyard Day Spa, Spa therapist Dzsenifer Furjan

Tell me a bit about your career. How did you move into the wellness space?
I started working at Longview as part of the housekeeping team. But when Longview started construction of the Day Spa, management recalled  from my interview that I was hoping to save up to get my diploma in beauty therapy, so I was very fortunate to have been offered a traineeship. While studying, I spent some time in the spa as the receptionist and slowly started doing treatments to gain experience for when I was to finish my studies and start working.

What draws you to the industry?
The beauty industry has so many different areas and flexibility for therapists. In spa, we offer relaxation treatments that not only benefit the client physically but also mentally. To me, massage is a beautiful art and with the right therapist, it can mean so much to the client. We often have clients come to our spa who have been gifted with this experience and after receiving a massage from us and feeling cared for they often get emotional. It is such an honour when our clients tell us that they have never had an experience like that before and felt so cared for by someone. The relief and emotional release that we see from the client after treatment is rewarding to us. The people who care for others sometimes just need to feel cared for as well.

What is a misconception about wellness?
The beauty industry and wellness have been advertised towards women, however it is just as important and accessible for men as well. We don’t often have males come into the spa by themselves, but rather with their partner. When we ask our male clients if they know what treatment they are getting they usually don’t know and just say that their partner dragged them along. By the end of the treatment when we ask them how they are feeling they tell us that they actually loved the treatment even though they weren’t looking forward to it and haven’t had a treatment before. I feel that it should be normalised for men to also look after themselves and be able to enjoy a treatment without feeling uncomfortable due to fear of being judged.

Tell me about a couple of the unique wellness offerings?
One of our more unique packages is the Queenie’s Ritual pregnancy treatment. Our spa wanted to ensure that expecting mothers would also get a chance to treat themselves. While we offer pregnancy massages, our Queenie’s Ritual has been designed for those who may not feel comfortable with massages or might be later into their pregnancy. The treatment itself does not require the client to lay face down but rather in a slightly seated position which tends to be more comfortable for the client. Starting off with a relaxing facial the treatment also includes a head and scalp massage, hand and arm massage, leg and foot massage, focusing on all the small things that make a big difference.

The most popular treatment that we offer is our The Wagtails Tale. It offers a full body massage, a facial and a foot scrub as well which seem to be the perfect combination for our guests.

What does the word wellness mean to you?
It is about making choices and creating healthy life habits to create better physical and mental health.

Outside of the business, what is something you do personally for self-care?
I find that I most often just take time to myself. It can be beneficial to just take a moment, close off from the rest of the world and focus on myself. Whether it’s my physical health or mental health.



This article first appeared in the February 2024 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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