So Fresh, So Green: Piedmont Ave.'s 'Breathe Day Spa & Boutique'

Owner Cayla Lofties-Obulie. | Photo: Breathe Day Spa & Boutique
By MJ Carter - Published on July 12, 2017.

Breathe Day Spa & Boutique (4319 Piedmont Ave.) doesn’t just make its customers look and feel good; it’s also making the world a better place.

Last month, Breathe became Oakland’s first and only spa to be certified by Alameda County’s Green Business program, which recognizes businesses that meet higher standards of environmental performance.

Owner Cayla Lofties-Obulie worked at the spa for five years before becoming its owner. An Oklahoma City transplant, she said she moved to The Town to marry her husband.

"I love Piedmont Avenue, I love Oakland, and I love small business," she told Hoodline.

The spa's pedicure area. | PHOTO: MJ CARTER/HOODLINE

Obulie started working in the personal-care industry when she still lived in OKC and a friend who went on maternity leave needed someone to cover for her. The work was such a good fit, she asked to stay on as a receptionist. By the time she moved to Oakland, she’d moved up to managing several spas.

Before stepping up to become an owner, Lofties-Obulie contacted her former boss, Kelly Cassady, who gave her a start in the business. Cassady has a few different spas and services several hotels, so “before I decided to even take this on I flew to Oklahoma City and talked to her," Lofties-Obulie said.

"I hope I encouraged her,” Cassady told Hoodline. “There's no greater reward than to see others achieve their dreams and use their gifts."

Breathe Day Spa & Boutique's customer base reflects the neighborhood, said Lofties-Obulie, which includes everyone from teachers and stay-at-home-moms to area merchants.

Services include massage, skin and nail care, waxing, threading, sugar hair removal, and bronzing and body scrubs. The spa also manufactures Belle Zuri Body, its own line of lotions and scrubs.

The v-steam chair. | Photo: Breathe Day Spa & Boutique

Breathe is the only spa in the Bay Area to offer a vaginal steam room, also known as chai yok, or “yoni steam.”

An herbal steam bath popular with fashionistas and reality show stars, Lofties-Obulie said the procedure helps to balance hormones and is great for the entire lower body. The next closest v-steam room is in Beverly Hills, she said.

A video tour of Breathe's v-steam lounge. | YouTube

To become a certified green business, a business must demonstrate that it’s complying with environmental regulations and taking steps to reduce waste and pollution. “It took a lot of work, especially because there wasn't a category for spas,” said Lofties-Obulie.

Breathe Day Spa & Boutique is open Monday from 11 to 3, Tuesday to Saturday from 9to 6, and on Sunday from 10-6:30. To make an appointment, call 510-601-0909.

About 21 hours ago

Large stretch of West Oakland street renamed in honor of Black Panther Party co-founder

Last Wednesday, a three-block stretch of West Oakland's Ninth Street was renamed to pay homage to the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, Dr. Huey P. Newton — another example of recent acts honoring the legacy of the Black Panther movement. Read More

Feb 03, 2021

[Update] Caribbean-themed Sand Bar from Drexl/Miranda team opens on Broadway in Oakland

Sand Bar, a new Caribbean-themed "beach club" and cocktail lounge, is readying for an opening on Oakland's Auto Row, in a former auto dealership space at 2418 Broadway. Hoodline has the exclusive news of this new project from the team behind Uptown cocktail spots Drexl and The Miranda, and the sports bar Fort Green in Old Oakland. Read More

Feb 02, 2021

Low Bar readies for grand opening in former Hawker Fare space near downtown Oakland

Low Bar (2300 Webster Street, Oakland), a new bar and restaurant from a pair of industry vets that was announced early last year and subsequently delayed by the pandemic, is getting ready for an imminent grand opening. Read More

Jan 20, 2021

Ayesha Curry opens Sweet July store and cafe in Uptown Oakland

As she promised to last year, Ayesha Curry has just opened her first retail store in Oakland, in conjunction with her lifestyle magazine called Sweet July. The Sweet July store and cafe debuted Tuesday at 455 23rd Street in the Uptown neighborhood.  Read More