After moving from India to Marlborough 20 years ago, Ridhi Aggarwal and her husband Vishal soon re-located to Braintree. Vishal works in the computer industry and Ridhi turned what was once a hobby into a career in beauty services, working at salons in Braintree and Hanover.
Last spring, they launched Ess Aar Beauty Salon on Pearl Street in Braintree, at the former Coffee Break Cafe location near Marshalls.
"I thought I'd do it for myself," Ridhi Aggarwal said in a recent interview. "Now this is my passion and I want to continue until my health allows me."
Aggarwal runs the spa – it offers a range of services from threading and waxing to facials and massage, but not hair styling – with one full-time employee and freelancer help. Vishal, who works in Boston, helps with management.
The potential for high foot traffic was one draw of the Pearl Street location, Aggarwal said. Approaching a year since the April 2012 opening, Ess Aar is expanding its services (an eyelash stylist just joined on the weekends, for instance), and is also maintaing reasonable prices as the spa builds a regular clientele, she said.
"Every business takes time, and we are still new in the market," Aggarwal said.
One particularly popular service is threading, an up-and-coming trend in eyebrow styling that does not involve chemicals and is "impossible to mess up," Aggarwal said.
"It works like a miracle," she said.
Along with that offering, plus a variety of facial types such as anti-aging, seaweed and European, swedish massage and a range of hair removal services, Ess Aar also carries authentic Indian jewelry.
Aggarwal's sister lives in India and is able to send products to Braintree when requested. In the future, Aggarwal said she would like to expand her boutique offerings into clothing and other accessories beyond the Indian market as well.
The Aggarwals live on Grove Street and have two children, a son at Braintree High School and a daughter in elementary school.
For more information on Ess Aar and its services, visit the spa's Yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/ess-aar-beauty-salon-braintree-2.