When Stacy Koeppel got word that étant, Spa for Well Being would close at the end of September, she couldn’t just passively watch the longstanding South End business where she had worked as the spa director for the past five years call it a day, so she decided to try her hand at running it instead.
She and her husband, Seth, were scheduled to host a dinner party at their Union Park home last month on the day that Stacy learned that étant was closing after its longtime owner, Scott St. Cyr, abruptly closed the business at 524 Tremont St. following that evening’s shift.
St. Cyr had finally decided to relocate to Palm Springs, Calif., after commuting back and forth between there and Boston for a number of years, but his decision to move would also put 14 employees out of work.
“I was devastated because some of the employees had been with him since the beginning, and they were panicking,” Stacy said.
Conversation at the dinner party quickly turned to Stacy’s work situation, and Seth and the other guests encouraged her to take over the business, and to rehire all the employees back at the same wages, and working the same hours.
“It also made sense because we live right around the corner,” said Stacy, who first befriended St. Cyr via the South End Business Alliance around 15 years ago, when she was running the organization and he served on its board.
When St. Cyr decided he needed someone to keep an eye on étant when he was out of town, he hired Stacy (on a part-time basis to start), and since then, Stacy said she has remained “behind the scenes” of what she describes as “a wonderful neighborhood gem for the past 23 years, offering massage therapy, esthetics, waxing, acupuncture, and other related services,” while Jeanne Olivier manages the front desk as Chief Greeter and People Mover.
Stacy and Seth, who bought the business together, had long discussed her taking over the reins of étant, but she said the pandemic, along with St. Cyr’s decision to move out West, fast-tracked the plan, but more importantly, Stacy also had St. Cyr’s blessing in to succeed him as the business owner.
“Scott and I are close friends so I’m basically carrying on his legacy and carrying on the name, which is important to people,” Stacy said. “And basically, it’s transparent to the community because everything’s the same – it’s just under new ownership.”
And so far, the transition has been seamless.
“We’re taking the uttermost precautions during the pandemic,” she said. “We’re already a heavily regulated industry, and we’re just taking it one step further to keep people safe.”
Stacy added, “People are starting to get more confortable, and now, it’s business as usual.”
Visit www.etant.com to book an appointment, or to learn more about étant.