Purple Sage: A place of respite in an upside-down world03/10/2021 01:20PM ● By Cassie Horner
Feeling and looking good spiritually and physically is an important part of life’s journey. Purple Sage salon and spa in Essex Junction was founded on that belief and the dedicated professionals there work with clients to have a successful experience that lasts long after people walk out the door back into their regular lives. “Beauty comes from the inside out,” says owner Kim Scofield. “It is about being a beautiful human being who is loving and kind. The staff members here are part scientist, part artist, part therapist, part friend.”
A Range of Services
Purple Sage offers a wide variety of experiences in its beautifully appointed, spacious headquarters. Clients come to the hair salon, the spa with its four treatment rooms, the far infrared booth, and a boutique selling products such as hair and skin products, clothing, crystals, and salt lamps. A popular service is sitting in zero gravity chairs in the healing 400-square-foot Salt Cave designed with 20,000 pounds of Himalayan salt. It epitomizes the experience of Purple Sage with its restful atmosphere, ambient light, and meditative music. The spa treatments include facials, body waxing, massage, and holistic treatments such as reiki and cord pulling.
“It’s about being healthy, happy and whole,” Kim says. “I love what we do. I love being here. My job is joyfully observing beauty.”
She opened Purple Sage in 2008. The name originated from her time living in Arizona, home to the flowering plant, where she attended culinary school. She has worked a lot with food and botanicals. “I love herbs and do a lot of botanical healing,” she says. “Purple sage, with its gorgeous flowers, is clearing, cleansing, and purifying. It is very representative of what we do in this business.”
Kim grew up wanting to be a hairdresser. Forty-one years ago, after high school, she went to school and got her license. For many years she worked in Burlington, Stowe, and then in Cape Cod, where she took over the small Chatham Salon. It was a great business, but she recalls, “My world fell apart.” She and her husband did not stay together and she moved back to Vermont with her children. Her life’s journey later took her to Arizona and to a job opportunity at Miraval Life in Balance, the destination spa and resort in Arizona. That was in the early 2000s and she also worked as an educator at the cosmetology school in Tucson. “I loved teaching my craft. I loved seeing the awe in students in those ‘aha’ moments when they understood the science and logic. It was really fun to watch them come into their own talents,” Kim says.
Back to Vermont
When she returned to Vermont, she carried on her teaching at The Salon Professional Academy in Williston. The school teaches the Summit Salon system of running a salon business, but there were only two of them in the state. “I thought, why not buy my own salon,” she recalls. She started with the Essex Hair Gallery, transforming it into a Summit Salon. She downsized but then grew to the point where she took advantage of an opportunity to relocate to her current 7,500-square-foot shop in the Essex Experience building where she has grown the business to include 13 staff members. “They are amazing,” she says. “They support me 110 percent and I take care of them.
“Our industry is very beautiful and very loving,” Kim says. In the midst of a pandemic, this is especially important. “Everything in the world is upside down now. We as cosmetologists see all of this in everyday life with our clients.”