Downtown business owner shutters second business: Chakras Day Spa & Salon permanently closed
A 35-year-old Greensboro spa & salon went out of business Monday, when Tim Smith, owner of Chakras Day Spa & Salon at 229 S. Elm Street, turned off the lights and locked its doors. According to Patika Starr, the spa’s Guest Services Training & Development supervisor, Smith met her and the other Guest Coordinator when they arrived for work that day and apologetically explained the business was shutting down.
“Tim talked to us personally and said he wanted to tell every employee personally,” said Starr on Wednesday. Starr said the news was sad, but not unexpected. “We knew it was coming, but hoped it wouldn’t happen just yet. We knew we were in litigation with the landlord about the lease.”
Chakras Day Spa & Salon is owner Tim Smith’s second downtown Greensboro business to close this year. Smith also closed Table 16 on Elm Street.
She described Smith as very kind and supportive. “He explained that everyone would be paid, but he couldn’t guarantee the money would be there going forward, and wanted to end it on this pay period.”
Star also said that Smith told her he was going to personally inform every employee, and that she and the Guest Coordinator should spend the day contacting customers with upcoming appointments and giving them the unhappy news.
After speaking to Starr, Y!W called Smith and he confirmed her account of Monday’s events. “I have no doubt that, in six to eight months, we’d be doing fine,” he said. “My question was, how were we going to get here? I didn’t have the energy and thought power to create more miracles.” He said that he’s never had an employee who’s not been paid, and he wanted to close while that was still true. “You don’t want to get to the point where you become that guy.”
He said he couldn’t comment on any ongoing litigation over his lease. “We’ve been in this building 17 years and I don’t want to say anything negative about the landlord. When I got here, it was a failing business already. With the staff we had then, we could have turned it around and been here another hundred years.” But he said that several key people left to open their own businesses “and we had to start over several times.” He stated that the landlord worked with Chakras for a long time, “but once you get lawyers involved, it gets really expensive and not fun anymore.”
Chakras is Smith’s second downtown Greensboro business to close this year. In 2016, he purchased the restaurant Table 16 at 600 South Elm Street from its previous owner Graham Heaton. Several months ago, he lost that space. According to a May 9th Triad Business Journal article by Dale Edwards and Jessica Seaman, Table 16 was “evicted from its location in downtown Greensboro after it failed to pay rent and other fees.”
Smith told Y!W that he plans to concentrate his energy on his one remaining Triad business, the cocktail bar Smith and Edge, which opened late last year at the corner of Smith and Edgeworth streets, next to the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball stadium. “It’s doing really good, and in a cool neighborhood, with a small independent team, it should continue to do well.” He said he looked forward to having the liberty to focus his efforts there. “It should be fun, and a lot less stressful.” But he stressed that he will miss Chakras, and the support he said the community has shown it. “I’m sure something beautiful will come into that space, and I hope it will be as open to the community as we were.”
Smith purchased Chakras from former owner Sheila Paquette in 2011. Paquette began working at the spa in its original State Street location, where the late Dale Clinard and Sandra Woodall opened it as Panache in 1983. When Woodall married and moved away, she sold her share to Paquette, who had been the manager. After Clinard passed away in 1989, Paquette became the sole proprietor. In 2001, she moved it to its present location on Elm Street and renamed it Chakras by Panache.
“Chakras was Sheila’s vision,” said Ali Woolsey Pucilowski, owner of Crop Hair Salon at 358 S. Elm Street, who used to work for Paquette. “Every piece of it. I learned much about being a good salon owner from her. She poured her heart into it and everyone in it.”
Another former Chakras employee who considers Paquette a mentor is Azalea Yow Edwards, owner of Emerge Skin Therapy. On Tuesday, Edwards posted on Facebook that Chakras customers with unused gift cards are invited to call 336-553-0790 or visit her store at 106 E. Washington Street and redeem those certificates for facials, adding that the offer is good through October 31st.