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NUTLEY SPA OWNER GIVES CONSULTATION ON SUCCESS

Miriam Gabriel has long envisioned building a premium salon and spa.
While in college, majoring in psychology and communication, Gabriel took her first step into the industry as the part-time receptionist at Melandre Salon on Franklin Avenue in Nutley. Gabriel moved up the ranks, taking over the operating systems, then the payroll and employee schedules. The Clifton resident eventually bought the salon and started to expand. Within a year, renovations were underway on the first floor. After that project, they started work on the spa, Sulis.
It’s taken two years to make Sulis a reality, Gabriel said. The spa opens to the general public on Tuesday.
The Melandre Sulis team has grown to more than 30 employees over the past few years and is still growing, Gabriel said.
"We set out to build a refuge for our clients, a place where they can relax and get the treatments they need in a luxury setting," she said. "It’s very exciting to see that come to fruition."
Gabriel spoke to The Star-Ledger about the salon and spa business

Q.What advice would you offer someone looking to work their way up within a company?

A. Always work to your maximum potential. If I had just answered the phones and taken appointments at the salon, I wouldn’t have been there long. If you’re presented with a project, no matter how big or small, don’t only do what is expected. Go above and beyond.
I think passion has a lot to do with success. You have to be eager to learn new things. Show interest in what’s going on around you and be present — mentally and physically. You learn so much that way, and you might find that you’re really good at a certain task you might never have tried before.
If you’re not passionate about where you work and if you’re not actively trying to improve the company and make it better, you’re not likely to succeed. It sounds almost cliché, but you have to be willing to put in the extra hours, take the extra steps and invest a part of yourself to make the company better

Q.How if at all, has your educational background in psychology and communications helped in your work at Sulis?

A. I think I am better able to understand people’s specific needs and respond to them individually. My communication background allows me to deliver my message in a direct matter without revealing something I don’t want to or giving off unintended signals. I think business is really about relationship building and connecting with people one-on-one, not a one-time sale.
To build those relationships, you really have to listen to what people are trying to tell you, understand them and communicate with them. My background in psychology and communication certainly helps me do that.

Q.Did becoming a manager at a young age pose any specific challenges?

A. Obviously, when you’re young, you have a lot of learning to do. When I first started working, I couldn’t imagine all that I didn’t know yet and would have to learn along the way. But I think that if you’re ambitious and you’re willing to learn and get your hands dirty, that people respect that and the age doesn’t become such an issue.
— Rhea N. Bernard

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973.667.3100
NUTLEY, NJ

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