Words by Olivia Bauso
When you buy a product, you pay for more than just the ingredients. As Rosa Davila, owner of Aromantium proves, it is worth spending on expertise.
I meet Rosa at her newly opened spa on Market St. in Brockport. It’s shabby-chic interior feels welcoming, bright and fresh. Each wall has been painted green with the exception of one, which shows off the building’s exposed brick. We sit at a small garden table and Rosa sips on tea while we chat.
Originally from Spain, where her family remains, Rosa moved to London at 18 with the intention of studying English at university. After spending some time reading a book on massage, she decided she would instead pursue a career in massage therapy. “From then on, I haven’t looked back,” Rosa tells me. She didn’t return to Spain, but rather earned an International Therapeutic Educational Council (ITEC) Diploma in Holistic/Swedish/Therapeutic massage. Soon after, she received a second diploma in Clinical Aromatherapy from the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine. After spending almost 18 years as a successful aroma and massage therapist in England, Rosa moved to the States. Why? For love, of course.
“I went to a six week retreat in New Mexico and ended up finding the love of my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s been 20 years now, and he is,” she admits. But moving to the United States meant her therapeutic massage diploma was no longer valid certification. However, Rosa was ready for something new. She explains, “I was tired, I wanted a break,” and as she massages her fists around one another admits, “Even my hands were telling me they didn’t know.”
With only certification in aromatherapy, Rosa could not touch her clients. As she explains, “I could make lotions and potions, but I couldn’t heal people the way I knew how. I felt like something was missing.” After visiting a spa in New Mexico, Rosa realized just what it was that could fill the void: an Esthetician’s License. This epiphany stemmed from her love of body wrap treatments and what they do for her physically and emotionally.
I understand what Rosa is talking about after receiving one of her Salt Glow Body Polish treatments and Detox Seaweed wraps. Tucked away in her treatment room, an offshoot of the main shop decorated in the same fashion, she explains to me the ingredients of what I’m about to be treated with. This is after my skin is looked at under a black light revealing any scarring and damage-- something I did not enjoy looking at, but am so happy I saw. Rosa coats and massages me with combinations of himalayan sea salts and essential oils, then seaweed and french clay-- all organic. As I’m laying on the table wrapped like a burrito, I am calm, warm and at ease.
Aromantium was birthed from Rosa’s own experimentation: “It started with me wanting to make something for my own face. Selfish, right?” she laughs and continues, “At the time, no one put oil on their faces. It was cream, cream, cream, so I thank my friends for taking the leap with me.” Upon completion of her esthetician certification, Rosa began treating customers out of her kitchen, helping with skin problems like ringworm, athlete’s foot, chemotherapy scars, eczema, her own daughter’s Keratosis Pilaris and more. Rosa tells me, “I’ve helped a lot of people who have given up on dermatologists and are willing to try something else.” Her successes lead her to opening a storefront and spa, in order to reach a wider audience.
When you enter Aromantium, you will get nothing but the VIP experience. Since Rosa is the sole employee, she gives every aspect of the business her full attention. One day a customer snidely asked Rosa, “Thirty-five dollars for a bottle of face serum?” To which Rosa replied, “This is two months worth of ingredients, which turns out to less than a dollar a day for healthy skin. You have to consider the time that goes into researching the product, researching the ingredients, researching the packaging, legal labeling, making and designing the label, testing the stuff.” The customer then responded with a humbled smile, and bought the bottle.
Moving forward, Rosa has big dreams for the spa and her products. She’s currently working with a team to recreate product labels so that they can be sold on Amazon by the spring. Rosa thinks she has a bit of an edge and can be a top five “indie beauty” product. “There aren’t many products made entirely by someone who is both an esthetician and aromatherapist,” she explains. Overall, Rosa aims to make “this world” accessible. She hopes she is able to take the elitism out of spa treatments, and truly bridge the gap between wellness and beauty. As Rosa tells me, “they really go hand in hand."
More fun facts about Rosa & Aromantium:
- Rosa has over 100 succulents.
- Aromantium’s storefront window using recycled water bottles.
- Rosa is also a professional dancer and teaches Belly Dancing classes.