Faces behind the Front Door: Aspa


I spoke to Azra Secerbegovic, owner of the beauty parlour Aspa. She was born in former Yugoslavia; she left that country at a very early age. “I lived in England for 17 years. There I got my Master’s degree in International Trade and Marketing. And I lived 3 years in Israel”,  Azra told me. “For many years I worked in marketing, but in 2007 I wanted something different so I made a career switch.”

In 2008 she came to The Netherlands and in September 2011 she opened her beauty parlour on Alexanderplein. When you are unfamiliar with the address it may seem to be an out-of-the-way corner, but in spite of that many clients have found it. Azra works  with 3 beauticians. 3 instructors work in the health club on the first floor where they teach pilates, yoga and ballet-fitness and give personal training, in groups of 7 persons at the most and in private lessons. A perfect aid is the Mila Bodytec, a machine that gives the muscles electrical impulses that reduce the pain of rheumatism and arthritis.

“In the beauty parlour we give facials, body massage, pedicures and manicures, eyelash extensions and waxing. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays a hairdresser comes in. I just do facials. Apart from that I am the manager, I do the administration and marketing and I have my hands full with that,” says Azra. “The staff is very international: Dutch, German, American, Rumanian, Canadian and Australian ladies. The expats in the Archipel immediately feel at home here. But we also have many native Dutch clients.”

“I only work with natural, organic beauty products and cosmetics and we are the distributor in The Netherlands for two well-known English brands. You have come to the wrong shop when you want a botox treatment or fillers. We give ‘holistic’ treatments and the ‘total concept’ is important to us. Beauty is a combination of nutrition, physical exercise and products. Each client has to fill out a ‘plan of treatment’ with questions about stress, sleeping pattern and fluid intake. That gives us a good picture of our client and it allows us to offer a ‘treatment to size’. We have a wide assortment of products available and we often work with apparatus that by means of electricity can improve the structure of the skin. A so-called ‘micro lift’, but without the help of the plastic surgeon.”

Azra asked me to make mention of the fact that she would like to welcome more men to her beauty parlour. Obviously men still hesitate to take a facial treatment. “We even have a special line for face and body available.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, when the above appeals to you, you can pop in and see Azra at ‘Aspa’, Alexanderplein 2. I am sure you will be tempted to make an appointment. For more information you can go to www.aspadirect.com .

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22 January 2016, Josephine de Vijlder (MM)