QUEENS, NY - The American Dream is the concept of achieving success in the United States. Shivaughnette Mendoza, the owner of Bella Body Spa and Beauty Lounge, is a shining example of that dream coming true. Mendoza left her native country of Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 21 to come to the United States. With only $20 to her name, she started working as a nanny and caretaker for small children. In order to perform this job, Mendoza had to find childcare for her own child that was the same age as her client’s children. This left Mendoza conflicted and she struggled to rationalize this employment situation. Mendoza changed jobs and sought employment at an insurance agency as a file clerk. She quickly got a promotion to the front desk position and started taking classes for properties and casualties. Unfortunately due to her citizenship status, she was unable to take the state board test to get licensed as an insurance agent. One of her insurance clients was a Trini man who recruited Mendoza to work for him doing taxes. Shortly after starting her new job, Mendoza became pregnant. Due to her doctor’s ordered bed rest, Mendoza was advised to work from home.
During this time, Mendoza and her child’s father opened a trucking company. The revenue from this endeavor allowed Mendoza to purchase real estate and she started to manage a collection of rental properties. Following the delivery of her child, Mendoza became interested in body transformation to alleviate some of the effects of childbirth. Once she had her own experience with aesthetics and body transformation, it inspired Mendoza to pursue her next career path. She began taking classes to get her aesthetician license. The program (which consisted of either a day class or a night class) typically takes six months to complete but Mendoza’s ambition did not have the patience for that timeline. Therefore, Mendoza found a way to take both the day classes and night classes to finish the program in only three months. She was the first person to attempt this accelerated schedule and surpassed the expectations of advisors who told her it wasn’t feasible. After receiving her license, she started to perform aesthetic services out of her home. As the demand increased, she used her past real estate experience to expand her operation. She purchased a store front and Bella Beauty Spa was created. Over the years, she started to partner with other vendors and the spa evolved into Bella Body Spa and Beauty Lounge.
The one-stop aesthetic shop is now a comprehensive spa with services ranging from hair and nails to dermaplaning and body sculpting. They specialize in post-surgical care and non-invasive treatments for body transformation and rejuvenation. The success of their New York location (just outside of Queens) has motivated Mendoza to expand her operation to additional cities in the United States and abroad. She has plans to open locations in Atlanta, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Barbados, and an additional location in Trinidad. From $20 to an aesthetic empire, Shivaughnette Mendoza is living proof of the American Dream. Her hard work and unwavering perseverance has provided her with the life she visualized as a young woman. Like so many immigrants, Mendoza has been able to create a successful business and she continues to help others achieve their ideal self image. The transformation of her clients motivates Mendoza to keep growing her Black-owned business.
For more information, visit the official website of Bella Body Spa and Beauty Lounge.
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