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Eviama Life Spa Moves Locations and Becomes More Beautiful: A Q&A with Founder Penny Ordway

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Photos c/o PW’s J.R. Blackwell.

Sometimes it’s initimdating for dudes to get something waxed. For ladies, too, I’m sure. And while males may not be brave enough to get anything waxed downtown (ya know, beneath the waist), let me assure you, gentlemen, there is no shame spending a little money to keep your body hair game tight. Back hair is rarely sexy; that’s a pretty confident statement. Now, hold up: There is nothing particularly wrong with a back sweater, and hopefully there are plenty of loving men and women out there who love running their hands through your back pelt, but maybe you want to win them over first before you let your winter coat grow out? Just an idea.

Eviama’s got to be one of the most pleasant, peaceful and easy spaces in Center City to get your body and body hair taken care of properly. With a move to a stunning second floor space at 109 S. 13th Street (between Sansom and Chestnut), they just stepped up their game and poised themselves to be the go-to for all kinds of females and males.

We caught up with Penny Ordway, its founder-owner and the wise and green proprietor of a jaw-dropping new space in Midtown Village via email:

imagePW: Congrats on the new space! Are you excited about it?

Ordway: Yes! I love the natural light and the garden and love the fact that I could create a healing space as I envisioned; it gives my staff and my clients new inspiration. I’m really excited!

How long were you at the old space (on 16th between Spruce and Locust), and how would you say the business has grown since it began? Do you see the business staying on 13th Street indefinitely?

We first opened 11 years ago. The menu has expanded and so has our pool of talent. More and more people discover us everyday, and now nearly everyone knows what we’re about when we say we’re a green, holistic, sustainable business. How wonderful that these ideas are more mainstream now! Frankly, I made a big financial commitment, so we want to be here a long time to benefit from the investment. So far, clients are telling us the move to this very happening neighborhood has added value. The contrast from bustling street to serene urban oasis is so inviting.

Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How long has Philadelphia been your home, and when did your first impulse for holistic well-being and green consciousness hit you?

Well, I haven’t eaten meat in 39 years or dairy in 19. I love jumping into a river, a pond or an ocean whenever I can. I’m grateful that everyday I, we, get to do transformative work and make people happy. I’ve been in Philadelphia for decades! I received a scholarship to Temple University, and the bribe stuck. As long as I can remember, nature has been a supportive force in my life, part of who I am. The wisdom so abundant in nature is part of us—a good thing to preserve and cultivate.

imageHas there been one service or specialty that Eviama’s seen as a staple?

Just one? Dr. Hauschka Skincare facials are a must. And too many massage services get top billing: Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (your backs and legs will thank you), Mothers-In-Waiting Prenatal Massage Best of Philly), Houdini JINI (neck jaw shoulders unchained) and the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (will balance the gut and improve fertility). We have always had a rockin’ biodynamic and organic offering. But there are new menu items being introduced in June, and they will meet our green standards. Stay tuned!

Can you say a few words about your staff? How do you find them and keep them?

Often a staff member will recommend someone they have trained with—this is a great big win-win. You know we all work on each other, and we want the best for ourselves, and we want all the clients to have a wonderful experience. To keep our ace crew, we’ve really made our schedule to fit the therapists’ life. I love my staff!


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