San Francisco

Inside 'Skin City', Divisadero's Skin Care Salon For 23 Years

Brigitta Melendy opened Skin City at 323 Divisadero St. (and Page) in July 1995 as a beauty salon, but two decades later, she's transforming her business into a wellness center.

Since inviting independent wellness practitioners to join her a year ago, licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist Jewelz Moyer has joined her. Moyer offers cosmetic "acu-facials," which include a massage and the insertion of tiny needles at strategic locations.

Mark Weston Frost, an acupuncture teacher who practices herbal medicine, also serves clients from the location, but there's still room for more practitioners, said Melendy.

"I'm looking for someone who is established in business and gets it," she told Hoodline in a phone interview.

Melendy in one of her treatment rooms.

She said many clients seek her services due to high stress levels, but she also offers waxing, spray tans and facials in four private treatment rooms. Melendy claims she hasn't raised prices in a long time to keep services affordable.

A few years ago, the treatment rooms were also renovated with fresh paint, all white cabinetry and new art. Back then, Melendy also added faux wood floors to the space.

Operating out of the same location for an extended time has benefits, but it can bring its own challenges as well.

"Last year, my rent went up, that was a significant increase for me," she noted. A few days before Christmas 2013, a fire swept through the building, forcing out businesses Yoga Loft and The Other Shop, but Skin City was able to stay.

In the years since she's opened, she said babies in strollers have become a more common sight in the Divisadero corridor, as have a plethora of restaurants.

To accommodate the additional traffic, she said she'd like to see a better landscaping concept for the street's center median, along with more frequent power washing.

A San Francisco native and East Bay resident, Melendy said she plans to open a second location in Oakland's Laurel District. To make the transition, she's seeking a business partner who'll operate the Divisadero shop, but so far, she hasn't found the right person, she said.

After working with some clients for decades, "they are like family," she said. 

Skin City is open by appointment only, from Wednesday to Saturday. Bookings can be made by calling 415 255 4777 or online.


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