January 31, 2013 2:00 AM
Photo by Deb Cram
PORTSMOUTH — Aviva Esthetics, the dream of owner Alisha Finneran, opened at 152 Court St. just after Thanksgiving and has bustled into the new year providing personalized skin care and hair removal treatments for local clients.
"My vision for my own spa developed slowly," Finneran said. "I love what I do, and it's the clients who motivate me. I wanted a place where I could provide a truly personal experience for my clients."
Aviva Esthetics offers full-service skin care, including waxing and facial services. Using the Murad line of skin care products, Aviva tackles a wide range of skin issues from acne to mitigating sun damage with glycolic peels and vitamin C treatments.
Finneran, who lives with her husband in Kittery, Maine, began her career as an esthetician in 2006. She started at Solari Salon and Spa in Portsmouth, where she practiced her craft for more than six years before establishing her own business.
"Solari was a wonderful place to learn and grow," Finneran said. "They've been incredibly supportive of my move to create Aviva Esthetics."
SCORE Helps Navigate Challenges
Finneran said she has had a passion for skin care for years.
"What I didn't have was the experience to navigate the tricky challenges of starting a company: financial forecasting, legal issues, insurance, lease negotiations," she said. "I needed coaches to help guide me through that process."
Last March, Finneran turned to SCORE's Seacoast chapter 185 in Portsmouth. SCORE volunteers Liz LeSavoy and John Udaloy began working with her on a business plan, cash-flow management, accounting, legal and insurance issues. SCORE counselors are experienced small-business professionals who volunteer their time and advice to new businesses.
The time invested has paid off, according to Finneran. She said the number of customers during the holiday season greatly exceeded her hopes, and she's looking forward to a busy winter and spring growing her new business with the support of loyal customers and her counseling team from SCORE.