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Karen Weaver of OASE Day Spa: “Eat more food that comes from the ground”

1) Eat more food that comes from the ground. 2) Pause several times a day to breathe more deeply and release all that trapped air in the bottom of the lungs. 3) Don’t take things too seriously. “This too shall pass” has become a daily mantra of mine, especially in this time of COVID. 4) […]

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1) Eat more food that comes from the ground. 2) Pause several times a day to breathe more deeply and release all that trapped air in the bottom of the lungs. 3) Don’t take things too seriously. “This too shall pass” has become a daily mantra of mine, especially in this time of COVID. 4) Take time for yourself and release the guilt about doing that. For some reason, women have a hard time doing this, and it’s so important. 5) Try to get outside at least once a day and just play. What made us happy as kids? Mine was making Shrinky Dinks! Do more of that kid stuff!


As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Weaver.

Karen Weaver is the Founder of OASE Day Spa, a Scandinavian-inspired day spa in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the daughter of a Danish immigrant and chose the name “OASE” as a nod to her heritage. OASE (pronounced “oh-ay-suh”) is Danish for “oasis,” and Karen and her team aim to offer an “oasis in the city” for every client who walks through their doors.

OASE Day Spa is a culmination of Weaver’s life’s work, bringing beauty and joy to the every day. She graduated from Clemson University with her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees and later became a Licensed Esthetician through the esthetics program at Greenville Technical College. Shortly after, she opened her first business, Upstate Esthetics, offering holistic, cutting-edge skin care to clients of all ages.

Karen’s commitment to her community goes beyond the health and wellness services she and her team offer at OASE. Every quarter, the spa closes its doors to customers and opens them up to deserving women in the community, partnering with local nonprofits to give a day of rest, relaxation and beauty to women who might not otherwise be able to enjoy their services.

She currently serves on the advisory board of the League Academy counseling program and has volunteered with several local organizations in the Upstate over the years, including Meals on Wheels and Mentor Upstate. She has also used her professional expertise to train and mentor other young estheticians, appearing as a guest speaker at Greenville Technical College’s esthetics program and offering mentoring opportunities for women interested in esthetics through Greenville Technical College and GirlUp GVL. When her children were younger, she served in a leadership role through their school, volunteering as the League Academy PTA president for three years.

Weaver and her husband live in Greenville, South Carolina with their three children.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I attended Clemson University, and after graduation, I started out in the corporate world. Soon, my husband and I had our three wonderful children, and I volunteered during those years. As they started to grow older and become more independent, I began my next professional chapter in 2016 by going back to school for my esthetics certificate. I opened my one-room esthetics business in 2017 and grew that into a very successful business. However, I was feeling unfulfilled and a bit lonely working alone, and I knew I was ready for the next challenge. I always knew, even before I was an esthetician, that I would open a spa. Whenever I would visit one, there was a very quiet voice in my head that always said, “One day you will own a spa.” I’m not sure where that came from, but it was always there. In early 2020, I found the perfect building, renovated it during most of the COVID shutdown and then opened OASE Day Spa in August of 2020. Some people might say that opening a new business in the middle of a pandemic isn’t a great idea, but I just knew it was the right time for me to pursue my dreams. So, I did!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

We had several employees test positive for COVID in November, just as we were really starting to build momentum and fill the appointment book. The safety of our guests and the rest of the team is always our first priority so we made the difficult decision to close the spa for 10 days. Even though I knew this was the right decision, the financial impact for a brand-new business like ours was significant and caused many sleepless nights. Since then, we have had many guests tell us thank you for making that decision. They’ve shared that, as a result, we’ve won their trust forever. The big lesson I learned was that making the right decisions in the short term will have long term rewards. There are always unseen gifts that can come from adversity. In this case, the gifts we experienced were building trust with our guests, building a closer-knit team, and building a stronger business model.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? Before I even opened my business, other fellow business owners would tell me that hiring and managing people would be my greatest challenge, and they were not wrong. My biggest mistake so far was over hiring and not trusting my gut a bit more. I learned to hire slower and to fire faster if needed. I learned that to protect the culture of the team, those who are not a good fit for the culture need to be released quickly to find a better fit for them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I hired a business coach named Sallie Holder in January 2019. She believed in my dream and helped me believe in it too. We started to build this dream of mine into reality. I also hired a company called Strategies that helped me put all of the financial tracking processes in place. I was smart enough to know that I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Our focus is women, and we have created a place where women can take some time for themselves to completely unwind. As women, we often focus our time and energy on taking care of others, but this can only go on for so long before we see and feel the real results of stress in our bodies. We offer all non-toxic products and services as well as relaxation rooms so our guests can escape for a bit. We also open the spa once a quarter for our “OASE Outreach Day.” We partner with a local non-profit and invite them to select a group of women from their organization to join us for complimentary day of services, helping them feel loved and hopefully rejuvenated when they leave.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

1) Eat more food that comes from the ground. 2) Pause several times a day to breathe more deeply and release all that trapped air in the bottom of the lungs. 3) Don’t take things too seriously. “This too shall pass” has become a daily mantra of mine, especially in this time of COVID. 4) Take time for yourself and release the guilt about doing that. For some reason, women have a hard time doing this, and it’s so important. 5) Try to get outside at least once a day and just play. What made us happy as kids? Mine was making Shrinky Dinks! Do more of that kid stuff!

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

It would start with our mindset. I hear women every day in my esthetics rooms say all the things they don’t like about their skin and body, particularly when it comes to aging. The movement I would create would be called “Aging Confidently” — I even started a podcast to talk about this topic! Let’s focus on how to age in the healthiest way possible and start to appreciate aging just a bit more because the alternate to aging is death. Let’s enjoy these wild, beautiful lives we have been given!

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

1) Don’t over hire. Build your team slowly once you see the demands in your business. 2) Be slow in hiring to find just the right people that fit the culture you are building. 3) With a new business, limit your business hours to meet the need and then expand. 4) Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will need grace to get through the hard days. 5) Carpet padding does not come standard under commercial carpeting. I learned that the hard way!

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Sustainability. We offer waterless pedicures and manicures to eliminate water waste, and we use biodegradable plastics where we can. We only have one planet, and we try to do our small part in helping eliminate the tons of trash that is produced.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oasedayspa/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oasedayspa

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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