Hi, my name is Rachael and I’m the owner of White Feather Spa. My focus for White Feather Spa is to provide an exceptional experience in a space whose environment and esthetician make clients feel welcomed and accepted so guests can leave with a renewed sense of wellness and health. The White Feather experience is steeped in...
I invite you to try the White Feather experience yourself!
I began my esthetics journey 12 years ago in London, Ontario at Elegance Schools where I graduated with honors from the Esthetics Program. It was an exciting time of my life because I had married my high school sweetheart, moved to St. Thomas and secured a position at large, well-known spa in St. Thomas in the same year.
In 2014 I decided to take my spa knowledge and the inner whispers of entrepreneurship to open an esthetics studio with another colleague and where I eventually became the solo esthetician and owner of that spa. In 2017 White Feather Spa moved to its current lovely downtown St. Thomas location.
Shortly after becoming a spa owner, I realized there was a rather large need in the St. Thomas community for specialized care for uncomfortable or painful foot conditions. I became a Certified Master Pedicurist through the North American School of Podology where I learned specialty treatments and techniques for pedicuring seniors and diabetics.
My skin care focus emphasizes the maintenance of healthy skin as a reflection of inner health. I advocate for using healthy, natural and non-invasive skin care treatments. I became interested in a more holistic approach because of various health issues I suffered starting from when I was a young adult. For my entire 20’s, prescription medication to treat severe, full-body inflammation weren’t helping me and my mental state was starting to suffer. I’m happy to report that it was through dedication to a holistic approach to wellness that I was inflammation-free within 30 days. I truly believe that skin care isn’t just what we put on our skin, it is the health of the whole person including lifestyle, exercise, nutrition, stress and emotional factors.
The Origins of the White Feather Name
Living in the community of St. Thomas has placed a deep love of small town living in my heart. What I once thought was dreadfully dull, I now find relaxing and stress-free! St. Thomas is very proud of its history, its railway history to be exact, and while choosing a name for the spa, I wanted a name to subtly reflect our long-standing culture.
I began researching railroad lingo, and came across the term “White Feather” and discovered the phrase referred to the plume of steam that comes from the safety valves of locomotives.
I was drawn immediately to the visual metaphor of how often the daily pressure in our lives (and corresponding stress on our bodies) needs an opportunity to let go and find much-needed rest. Interestingly, the train operator would have to be very skilled to know how to maintain steam pressure in all conditions. The concept of White Feather Spa was born with the focus of clients having a safe, welcoming and knowledgeable place for self-care; to relax the body and reset the mind for a renewed balance of health and wellness.
Why I do what I do!
Beauty and skin care have always interested me, even in my youth painting my nails or digging into my nightly skin care routine with my Oxy wipes!! (Gosh! The things we do!) But my true love of skin began in high school when I decided to join the drama club in grade 11. And although I had no intention of being on stage (I just wanted to help behind the scenes), my drama teacher put me in charge of makeup.
I had always loved playing with makeup with my girlfriends (and honestly, I was never very good at it - this was before YouTube videos!). But stage makeup was completely different! It wasn’t always about enhancing someone’s features; sometimes it was about transforming them into someone completely unrecognizable. I could literally paint a new identity onto someone's face! For me, this was the beginning of understanding the personal power of transformation.
I loved stage makeup so much I decided to move closer to Toronto and go to school for special effects makeup so I could work movies and tv shows. Interestingly, while I was attending school, our program shared the same hallway and space with the students in the Esthetics Program which prompted me to enroll in an Advanced Esthetics course.
But once I entered this program, I realized esthetic services were very different from makeup artistry. With makeup, it was all about hiding flaws, enhancing features, and trying to get that flawless but natural (and faux, for truthfully?) look. With esthetics, it was about working on skin health without anything to hide it; no concealer, no foundation, no chiseled cheekbones or perfect highlighter. What I found most interesting was that when people struggle with their skin, they’re in quite a vulnerable position. Many women won’t leave the house without their makeup on, so to have a new client allow me to see them fresh-faced during our first skin visit is exceptionally trusting. I take my role very seriously and honour how difficult it can be to reveal your true self.
When I was in high school, I was very insecure and was never seen as “the pretty girl.” My friends were beautiful, funny and always had the attention of the boys and, it started an unhealthy belief that one’s look equaled one’s value. This expectation is nothing new in our society. And as women age, the pressure to maintain their youthfulness & beauty keeps building. I’ll be honest, this toxic belief system still tends to show up for me (the subconscious mind is SO powerful, even when you do your “work”) but I’m mindful that it IS a belief system to be challenged. I genuinely believe that we’re here to learn what we’re here to teach.
I believe that both men & women can age gloriously - laugh lines, grey hair and all! What matters most to me is that my clients are fully supported with their physical health and self-worth. They know they can take care of their skin in a more natural, holistic way without getting sucked into anti-ageing hype and what matters is proactive self-care and human connection.
This is why I do what I do.