Story by Renee Umsted.
Wendi Hardage was the lead spa educator at the Aveda Institute at The Shops at Park Lane when she came across a word: misaotra. It means “thank you” in the Malagasy language, spoken by the people of Madagascar.
She had already been thinking about leaving the company to start her own venture, and heard a voice that told her to open a spa and call it “Misaotra.”
“When I saw the word, and the voice said ‘That’s it,’ that was it,” she says.
Even though the name is hard to pronounce and spell, she went with it. Misaotra Beauty Sanctuary opened in Hillside Village in 2016.
Hardage, who lives within walking distance of Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake, is a licensed aesthetician and cosmetologist. She specializes in gua sha, a traditional Chinese medicine technique that’s used for face lifts, as well as folk plant medicine and holistic nutrition. And she crafts four health-based teas.
Her clients, most of them women, frequently request facial massages incorporating Dien Chan, a kind of facial reflexology, and gua sha sessions from Hardage, whom they call “mystical.”
A couple of Hardage’s primary goals are to show clients that aging is a privilege and to debunk mainstream beauty ideals.
“It’s filtered,” Hardage says of the image of beauty women are shown in the media. “It’s edited heavily. It’s not real, and so we’re constantly battling something that doesn’t even exist, and that creates a not-so-happy person.”
Hardage, now in her 40s, says she feels better in her life than ever and wants to help clients feel the same way. She says she has a natural talent for hearing what the skin has to say and what it needs to heal.
Aside from her business, Hardage is organizing a women’s gathering circle group called Wild Light. She plans to begin the group, which will facilitate connections and support among women in our community, later this year.
“It’s not really how we look,” she says. “It’s how we feel.”
6465 E. Mockingbird Lane, 214.505.7127