By Jill Nagy
“My dream was always to have a business of my own and to do skin care,” said Jhoanna Cantera, who saw that dream come true with the opening of Cantera’s Sapphire Boutique at 219 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
The new business is the result of several years of hard work and some good luck at the end. Cantera began to study at an aesthetics school seven years ago but had to drop out to help with some family issues at home in Peru, South America. When she returned a month later, she had to get back online for a spot in the school’s aesthetics program.
In the meantime, she was able to obtain a license for body waxing and get a job at a Saratoga salon doing waxing.
She saved money and eventually was able to return to school and work toward obtaining her skin care license.
During that time, as she drove to work each day, she passed a coin shop that also sold jewelry. One day, she stopped in, largely to see the jewelry. The store was small but she really liked it.
“Almost by chance,” she recalled, the store became available for rent. Cantera was still four months short of completing school. She was slowly accumulating tools and equipment for a future shop. Then she had another look at the then-vacant store.
“I saw it was perfect,” she said, and she and the owner agreed to a lease.
There followed four months of working all day, attending school after work, and returning to Saratoga after school to clean, fix and paint her future shop, all the time trying to be a good mom to her teenage son and look after their three dogs.
She continues to live in Niskayuna, where her son, now 15, is in high school. She said that she loves Saratoga, especially for its friendly and helpful people, but doesn’t want to uproot him by moving.
The Sapphire Boutique offers skin care, including oxygen facials and hydrofacials. She said that she tries to offer her clients a variety of options. She also continues to do body waxing and several of her former waxing clients have followed her to the new location.
She also sells lingerie, purses and a small amount of jewelry.
I’m very happy,” she said, “I know it will take time to build the business.”
The boutique is open Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sunday,
The telephone number is 518 430-2031.