Dariya Arman-Mann grew up in the small, market town of Aylesbury, England and studied English literature at the University of Cambridge before deciding she wanted to help people through health and wellness. She then took programs in phytotherapy and medical aesthetics to become an esthetician. Dariya’s journey took her to Toronto, where she worked at a facility named Therapy World Medical Spa. In 2004, she opened a spa with the same name, here in Arvada.
We talked to Dariya about what makes her practice unique, surprising factors of skin health, and the challenges of working with people’s faces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What made you want to start a business in Arvada?
Dariya: After I moved to Denver from Toronto, both the plastic surgery places that I work with closed and I was looking for a place to open up. I searched everywhere for authentic medical institutions. Ironically, I was looking for a chiropractor to use their facility because they also work internally. They give you suggestions about diet and nutrition and all of that. I met a chiropractor with a facility across 64th Avenue that he used for massage therapy. So I came here and I saw the little pond and I think the pond sold me.
What makes Therapy World Medical Spa unique?
I have four years of education and training, half of which was spent obtaining a science degree to get into the program. There are no science degree requirements for American aestheticians and Colorado has one of the higher numbers of hours required and, yet, it is only 600 hours or about six months. I had to also complete those hours when I migrated to the US, in order to sit for the State Board exams and get licensed.
I have had the unique opportunity of being educated and working in cities (London and Toronto) that have a very diverse multi-cultural population. Hence, I have worked on practically all types of ethnic skin and am not restricted to servicing a certain skin type.
My background in Plastic Surgery has helped me discern who is a candidate for my services and who would be a better candidate for having a more aggressive procedure. I do not lead on clients when I’m aware of my limitations.
And, here in Arvada, my prices are at least 40 to 50 percent lower than what you will find in Cherry Creek, but the same exact services.
What is something surprising about your work that the average person may not know?
I am very focused on diet and lifestyle when making my recommendations on a client’s initial visit. Most often people tend to work on the superficial skin. However, the skin is the body’s largest organ. It is a living entity that breathes, excretes, repairs and regenerates. Whatever we eat or whatever environment we expose it to, will have a direct impact on it. So it is imperative that all this is taken into consideration before embarking on a treatment plan.
Let’s take tobacco, for instance. When you’re taking that, you’re constricting the blood flow to your cells. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your individual cells. When you constrict the flow, you’re not allowing the nutrients to get to the cells. So your immune system is compromised, your healing is compromised. When I was in plastic surgery, it was mandatory for you, if you were a smoker, to get off smoking for at least six months before they would perform the surgery because you’re compromising the healing process. There is no other way.
My mantra is, “Money will always come if you do things correctly and you do it with integrity.” So that is how I have built my practice. It’s always a struggle initially to establish a client base. But you have to do it the right way and ask: Are they even a good candidate for a procedure? Is this the right time of the year to do it?
What are some common misconceptions about your line of work?
People see ads on tv that they say within a week or within two or three days, you are going to see a difference with your skin. That is not possible, even in the prime of your youth.
Cell turnover is 28 days, so it will take at least one month before you start to see results. And as you grow older, by the time that you’re sixty years old, it’s actually at least three months for your skin cells to regenerate. That’s a common misconception that can lead to a lot of heartache.
You have had the unique challenge of needing to work with people’s faces during the COVID-19 outbreak. How has the pandemic impacted your business?
Yes…we were the first people that were closed. We were shut down and went on lockdown by Governor Polis and we were the last ones to be reopened along with plastic surgeons because their surgeries are considered elective. The problem is that, when they reopen hair studios and acupuncturists and nail salons, their clients can wear a mask. But I’m working on the face. And so is the plastic surgeon. Which means you have to take your mask off.
Which is why when I’m working with clients, I’m wearing a mask and a shield and double gloves. I have HEPA filters in every room. I have staggered my clients so there’s a half an hour gap between each client and there’s no contact between clients. It’s been a huge challenge for me just for the simple reason I have to give a half an hour gap between clients. I also have to reduce my hours; there’s only so much I can do. My front office people have pre-existing conditions. I would be worried sick the whole time that they would get sick. So I’m doing the job of three people. We were reopened on the 18th of June, so it’s been a long stretch for me. It’s tough.
I have to make sure my clients don’t get sick. I have isolated myself for 10 months now. I run alone. I hike alone. Those are really the only things that keep me sane. I make a list and twice a month I go to the grocery store. I don’t browse around. I’m doing that to keep my clients risk-free.
What have you learned about yourself as a business owner or your clients through this past year?
I love my clients. I have to tell you that so many of them when we were in lockdown they needed products. I would come here every day, get their orders, and put it outside. Even the ones that in their 70s, they show up. That shows their confidence in me. They also bought a whole bunch of gift certificates, not knowing when I would reopen. That’s a huge leap of faith. It just brought tears to my eyes.
And I still haven’t seen about 40% of my client base since I’ve been open, because they are not able or comfortable enough to come in.
What did I learn about myself? I never knew I could be strong enough to withstand this. To wear a mask and shield and gloves, constantly the entire day. I had no clue that I could continue in this fashion. Initially, I thought I would just close down. But I didn’t. And I feel I’m on the right track.
I do miss hugging people. I do miss that one on one contact with people, when a client walked in there was always a hug to welcome them in. It felt like everyone was a part of a family. Now I give virtual hugs when they enter. Do you know how many trees I’ve hugged during my hikes? I’m a people person. I have hugged a million trees because I miss that so much.
Therapy World Medical Spa
6390 Gardenia Street, Suite #120