A popular Coupe-ville spa and salon recognized for being especially fabulous, as well as community-minded, will be spotlighted in a reality makeover show this week.
In the midst of the pandemic last year, Aaron Wiley stayed up late one night and wrote a heartfelt essay about the challenges and triumphs associated with running a small business in a small town.
She entered her essay in Puget Sound Energy’s nascent Small Business Energy Makeover Contest.
To her astonishment, she was one of four business owners who won energy efficiency upgrades and a cosmetic makeover valued at $45,000.
As part of the contest, Evening Magazine has been documenting the progress at the Front Street business during the last six months or so. The episode about the contest and the results of the makeovers will air at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25 on King 5.
While she appreciates all the improvements — which ranged from a new HVAC system to redesigned workstations — Wiley said being recognized was important to her.
“The whole thing has been really rewarding to me,” she said. “It’s so hard when you’re a business owner. It felt like Puget Sound Energy was saying, ‘We see you and we appreciate you.’”
The goal of the contest, according to Puget Sound Energy, was to encourage small businesses to be energy efficient while also helping them make it through the pandemic.
Although the work was only just completed this spring, Wiley said there has already been a very noticeable difference in energy bills.
She noted that salons are very energy intensive; it was more so for her since the business is inside a historic building that wasn’t exactly built with energy efficiency in mind.
“It frees up so much money to do other things with my business,” she said, adding that she would recommend energy upgrades to other businesses.
Wiley said she even plans to hire more people at the spa and salon, which offers a full roster of luxury services such as facials, massages, hair design, nail care, waxing and more.
Wiley said she was able to hire her choice of local contractors do to the work on her business. The crawlspace under the building was insulated, LED lights were installed and doors were weather stripped.
The biggest change was in replacing the baseboard heating with an energy efficient heating and air conditioning system.
For the cosmetic part of the makeover, Puget Sound Energy hired an interior designer.
Another major change was reconfiguring some of the interior space to increase the number of hair stations from four to six.
Since she had to go in front of the camera multiple times, the company even hired a media coach to help Wiley, who said she became pretty comfortable in the TV limelight by the last set of interviews.