Oak Forest resident Lauri Stufflebeme worked 30 years in learning and development at the Bechtel Corporation before she decided to make a big change.
She recently signed a lease for the final 1,250 square foot space in the Ella Oaks Phase I center to open skoah, a facials only concept with a proprietary skin and hair care product line. The business will be between Brush & Bobby and Local Poke.
“Bechtel is moving the corporate headquarters to Reston, Virginia, but I love living here,” Stufflebeme said. “It was the impetus to do something different. I’m a product junkie and always enjoyed getting treatments. I’m surprised how many people haven’t had facials.”
After doing some research and learning that Canada-based skoah was named one of the top 100 emerging franchises, Stufflebeme decided to take the plunge in the U.S. Houston will be the third American location after Boston and Seattle.
“I went to one of the Discovery Days for franchise owners and was really impressed,” Stufflebeme said. “It’s not intimidating or pretentious. We just do facials and it’s customized to the client. We call it a ‘skin gym.’ It’s personal fitness for your skin.”
The ease of setting up the business was also a draw.
“It’s not a business in a box but they make it very easy,” said Stufflebeme, who noted that she’ll start out with eight to 10 employees.
As for the choice of Ella Oaks, Stufflebeme said the sense of community was a draw.
“There’s a sense that we’re in it together,” Stufflebeme said. “It was a gut feeling. I also liked that there were other women-owned businesses in the center.”
Customers can get on the list for a free facial once skoah opens. Those who sign up will also be kept informed of pre-openings specials and other announcements. Visit www.skoah.com/Houston and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Skoah Oakforest.
That’s not the only tenant news for Revive. Oak Forest’s Koryn Wright and her mother, Janet Thuot, have signed a lease for Revive’s Stomping Grounds across the street from the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA.
Threadfare, which already sells clothing online, will sell unique children’s apparel for newborn girls through age 14 and baby boys through age 8 in their brick and mortar store.
Wright and her mother used to own The Pinkies Up Spot in Memorial City where they sold children’s clothing and also put on birthday parties. The birthday parties were Janet Thuot’s specialty, but since she’s retired from that aspect of the business and since Wright lived in Oak Forest, they closed the Memorial location to open at Stomping Grounds.
A former buyer for Foley’s, Wright has experience in the field although she’s not buying for 75 stores anymore, but just one. Wright and Thuot visit the markets in Dallas and Atlanta to look for new merchandise.
Both U.S. and International brands will be carried at Threadbare, including Mustard Pie, Giggle Moon, Serendipity, Rylee + Cru, Haute Baby, Frilly Frocks, SheBloom, Runaway Pony, Pink Chicken, Blu Pony Vintage, Jak & Peppar, Lali Kids, Little Miss Marmalade, Mimi & Maggie, Egg by Susan Lazar, Velveteen and more.
“We’re really about trying to find unique offerings,” Wright said. “We won’t carry the standard brands or even clothing that’s available online. Even one season to next we won’t necessarily carry the same things.”
Prices will range from $20-$100 for more special occasion attire.
Wright says that in Texas, parents seem to prefer something more traditional with little more embellishment for their children’s clothes. Monogramming will be available through a partnership they have with a local business.
Wright and Thuot will start their build out in late January and hope to be open by Easter.
Visit them at www.threadfare.com or Insta@shopthreadfare.