Brian and Amy Thomas opened Nectar Skin Bar earlier this month on upper Wisconsin Avenue as their flagship store, the fruit of a year of planning and research.
After years of wondering why D.C. couldn't have the same high-end products and services as other bustling cities like New York or Paris, the two took it upon themselves to create a solution and they knew Georgetown was the place to start their own store.
The Thomas' goal with Nectar is to fill the void in D.C. by offering exclusive products that rival the lines found at high-end New York stores. Add the personalized service of a boutique spa with hand-selected Aestheticians and Nectar is on its way to creating a need customers didn't even know they had.
Georgetown is the "perfect place to be" and serves as a "model of where we want to be" in other areas, said Brian Thomas.
The Georgetown location is the flagship store of the brand; the Thomas’ plans call for 10 additional locations in the next two years. Locations will be based throughout the Washington area in 2012, with plans for major cities in Texas beginning in 2013.
The couple also owns Ipsa for Hair just a few doors down. Brian said when he started looking for a location for Nectar, he started at Reservoir Road and walked south on Wisconsin toward M Street.
At the time there were as many as 16 vacant properties that he checked out either by peeking through the window or doing a walk-through. Thomas said he even had real estate agents calling him, suggesting locations nearby.
The property at 1633 Wisconsin Ave. "gave us everything we wanted," he said without the hustle and bustle of the main shopping district on M Street.
Its location near Ipsa also means customers can take advantage of the valet services there. Anne Thomas said she wanted their store to be "an escape from downtown, a place to get away for an hour without fighting for parking."
Their business model is simple, said Brian, have "the best staff and best products."
Brian Thomas said while his store "will never carry everything, it would always carry the best."
Currently the boutique boasts 33 lines, of which 10 are exclusive to Nectar in the D.C. area. Three of the five lines still on their way will also be exclusive to the shop in D.C.
Some of the lines are the go-to products of Hollywood elite, like Gwyneth Paltrow favorites Prtty Peaushun and Butter London.
Others are less-known, for now. But Brian Thomas described an evolution where he sees Nectar growing and expanding along with many of the brands it offers.
"Someday, they will be common knowledge," he said of their emerging exclusive brands.
The salon and store will build a trust and a relationship with customers, said Brian. If someone buys something they don't end up liking, he wants them to bring it back until they identify the right fit.
Several of the staff members were recruited from Erwin Gomez after it dissolved, including Monica, who is known for her impeccable manicures and pedicures.
If the service and products are not enough to win you over, the design will. Lush lavenders and deep purple hues make the space luxurious and inviting. Interior designer, William McGovern of McGovern Design Studios, described the design concept as “nostalgic modern glamour.”
Nectar is still evolving; it's backyard patio is still in the works. Eventually customers can enjoy a massage, eye brow wax or other treatments in the privacy and comfort of the outdoor space.
With its salon, accessibility and broad product line, Nectar hopes to become "a one-stop shop closer to home" for local customers.
Check out their full list of spa services view the attached PDF.