They say that you can get hooked your very first time, and that’s exactly what happened to Heidi Sullivan, the new owner of Winthrop’s Nectar Skin Bar & Boutique (Nectar).
When Sullivan, fresh out of college and a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer and waiting tables in the Methow Valley, went up to Sun Mountain Lodge’s spa to get her first facial, the thrill was instant and unmistakable. “I absolutely loved it,” says Sullivan. She was hooked.
Almost immediately, Sullivan enrolled in aesthetic training in Wenatchee, earned her license, and has been practicing in the Methow Valley ever since, first at Sun Mountain Lodge and, in recent years, at Nectar.
Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies and Sociology with a minor in Spanish from Washington State University, but it has been helping clients take care of their skin that has given her a varied and satisfying career path. The most-recent step in this path was her purchase of Nectar, from owner and founder Leslie Lanthorn, in mid-September.
“For a while we had been discussing me buying the business in the future,” says Sullivan, “Then Leslie was ready to sell and the timing was pretty good for my husband [Joe Hammer] and me, since the kids are getting older,” she says, referring to her son Jadyn, ninth grade, and daughter Kady, seventh grade.
Sullivan’s passion for skin care stems in part from her own experience as a teen and young adult. “I had really troubled skin as a teenager and even in my 20s,” she says. Anyone who has seen Sullivan’s beautiful complexion may have a hard time believing that, but it’s true, she says. “I spent a lot of time at the dermatologist,” she says.
She adds, philosophically, “Breakouts humble us; they’re lessons in humility.”
No major changes
Nectar offers a range of services, from massage to facials to body polish and wraps, waxing, brow and lash tinting, lash extensions, and full spa packages. It also features a small but chic boutique, with clothing, jewelry and a carefully curated selection of skin care products. The clientele is mostly local, which is nice, says Sullivan, “since it keeps business steady,” but there are plenty of appointments with visitors as well.
For now, Sullivan says, she is not making sweeping changes to Nectar. “Leslie did a great job with the business,” she says, “It’s been an easy transition. I’m so lucky that Juliet (massage therapist), Jessy (aesthetician), and Dana (office manager) are staying on. We have such a great staff.” Sullivan will continue to work at Nectar as an aesthetician, as well as running the business.
Lanthorn is delighted to have passed on Nectar to Sullivan. “I’m so happy for Heidi,” she says, “she’s the best.” Lanthorn also expresses appreciation to the community for supporting Nectar all these years. She’s not sure yet what she’ll do now that Nectar isn’t consuming most of her time, but Lanthorn says she is weighing lots of options. “That’s what keeps life interesting,” she says.
Nectar is currently open every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays, and in December they will be open on Tuesdays as well. An open house “sip and shop” in December is a great time for locals and visitors to stop by the skin bar and boutique and chat with the staff or shop in the boutique.
For those who might not consider themselves typical spa customers, Sullivan says there is quite likely a treatment they’d enjoy at Nectar. First-time spa customers, she says, might consider starting with a massage or a facial. But be careful – you just might get hooked.