by JOHN JARED HAWKS

Herald Staff Writer

A longtime Ottawa business is settling nicely into its new Main Street location, according to the owner.

Exclusive Salon and Day Spa LLC, formerly Exclusive 3rd Street Spa, is nearly a month into doing business at its new storefront at 119 S. Main Street, Ottawa. The location was formerly Sun Studio, a tanning salon.

“It’s a huge move, but we’re really excited about it,” said Amy Richardson, Exclusive co-owner and original founder of Exclusive 3rd Street Spa. Richardson banded together fellow co-owners Kasie Luckert and Brooke Beets to open her business’s newest incarnation on Main Street, hosting their grand opening Dec. 8.

For Richardson, a veteran stylist, becoming a business owner was a means to an end.

“I got started because I wanted to control how my clients were treated, and the only way to do that was to own my own business,” she said.

Since that time, Richardson has watched her business steadily grow until it no longer fit its original space.

“So, we decided to move from Third Street and create this new spa, and expand with the tanning beds — it’s probably three times the space we had at the other place,” she said. “I met with everybody that works for me and asked them, ‘What do you think of this [move]? Is this something that you’d be interested in?” And everyone was just as excited as we were. So we continue to keep the exclusive family together in this space, now with more opportunity to grow.”

Exclusive now features ten tanning beds, two nail tables, two pedicure rooms and three hair stylist stations, and also has plans to add another room for a full time esthetician.

Richardson largely credits her employees and the community with her business’s success.

“Starting a business was kind of scary, and I’m just very excited that I had the business for the last eleven years, but the only reason I have is that I have such great people that work here, and, clientel — the people that come to us have been coming for years and years,” she said “The support that we get is amazing. Your clients become your friends. That’s why anytime I post anything about Exclusive, I call it my “Exclusive Family.” The girls that are down here have been with me forever. I don’t have turnover with employees, we all help each other out, and we all want to be successful, so we all work together to make that happen.”