Last year, Belissi Face and Body was named Yolo County’s Best of 2015 by readers of the Daily Democrat in two categories, best place to get a massage and best place to get a facial. The competition in this field is tough and owner Jackie VonDorsten knows all too well that being successful takes hard work, perseverance and confidence in yourself.
Jackie has a belief that if you have your sights on something you should go for it. She is proof of this mantra, using it to build her business from the ground up. After working with and for others as a Massage Therapist, she opened her own doors in Downtown Woodland in March of 2014. She has since added facials and has plans to add more services to her repertoire.
Here is my conversation with Jackie.
What is your name and what is your business?
My name is Jackie VonDorsten and I own Belissi Face and Body.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born and raised in Vietnam and moved here 22 years ago. My entire family moved to North Highlands for two weeks! We quickly moved to Woodland. But we didn’t know how to drive at the time, so we had to get our licenses, get jobs and I went to school. In 1994, I went to Cosmetology school and then became a Massage Therapist. And now I have my own business, something I’m very proud of. I’m very strong willed and I believed that even though owning your own business costs money, being your own boss is important.
When did you first think about opening your own business?
I was in partnership with someone else and we shared a room in Davis. I was adding a lot of clients and decided it was time to go on my own. I needed a larger space, and I thought, “Why am I in Davis when I live in Woodland?” It was a big risk to go on my own and have a large space. I went from 200 square feet to 700 square feet. I felt I really need to do this on my own. So, I did it! I opened last year in March and I’m very happy. I can do what I need to do to be successful and add more skin care product and facials.
What services do you provide?
Full-service massage and skin care. My facial business is growing, I will be adding dermabrasion and peel services. But my main business is massage. I believe everyone deserves a good massage, no matter how busy you are. You should always take the time care for yourself. I want them to come here to find peace and leave here beautiful. After a facial, they should feel good.
I have a lot of clients that have serious back or neck problems. I always tell people, you won’t always feel perfect after one massage, it usually takes more than one visit. I focus on fixing the problem but it takes time.
What does the future hold for Belissi?
I want to have employees and grow my business. Right now my sister-in-law is becoming a facialist so we can provide that service more often that we are right now. I will also be advertising more, to get my name out there.
So, you came from another country and became a business owner. What pushed you to keep going when times were tough?
I never give up, ever. When I wanted to do something I put my mind to it and figured out how to make it work. I focused on what I wanted and went forward.
What do you want Woodland to know?
I try my best to service Woodland by bringing my business here. I’m downtown and here, ready to help you.