Against all odds and at the most improbable time, Ann Carter-Smith went “all in” to launch Face Yourself Day Spa in Henderson, Kentucky. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Carter-Smith left behind her 30-year nursing career and the hospital environment to fulfill her dreams of opening an all-inclusive spa offering affordable services. Carter-Smith drained her savings to self-fund the project, but because Face Yourself has grown quickly, the entrepreneur turned to Community Ventures’ Ron Burkins to help secure the small business loan for the capital she needed. Thanks to a longstanding partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Ventures can provide both funding and technical assistance to help entrepreneurs like Ann.
“The loan I took at the end of 2021 was actually my second loan from Community Ventures,” explained Carter-Smith. “The first loan was a small one back in 2018, aimed at building my credit. The lady that first told me about Community Ventures—Miss Sue—had her vehicle detailed at a business that I had with my ex-husband in Morganfield back in 2009. She was so sweet, and though we didn’t need a loan at the time, I remembered what she said about Community Ventures when I did need one.”
Face Yourself Day Spa offers a wide range of services including tanning, body contouring, massage, hair care, skin care, makeup application, lash extensions, microblading, microneedling, microdermabrasion, waxing, acne facials, hyperpigmentation facials, anti-aging treatments, stretch mark removal, skin tightening and botox injections and fillers. The spa offers an alternative to more invasive and expensive surgical procedures, and services a tri-state area that includes the cities of Owensboro, KY, Evansville, IN and Harrisburg, IL.
Through the early stages of Covid, Face Yourself was a two-person show. Carter-Smith, who trained as an aesthetician while working as a nurse, dealt personally with each and every client, employing only a receptionist. As restrictions eased, in early 2021 a massage therapist and cosmetologist came aboard, and today Carter-Smith’s staff currently numbers seven, with two more positions soon to be filled.
Face Yourself Day Spa is special to Carter-Smith not only as a business that she is nurturing and growing, but on a personal level as well. After procuring her space, she turned to her dad for renovation help to make it fit her needs.
“Over three months in 2020, my dad remodeled the spa for me. It was his last contracting job, and he did it all while undergoing cancer treatment,” Carter-Smith relayed sadly. “Every day when I walk in, I feel my dad. I am so thankful for what he did. He passed away in May of last year, and so my spa means the world to me.”
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