WEST FARGO — This wasn’t how Katie Ehlis imagined she would open the business she dreamed up with her husband a couple of years ago.

Instead of hosting a grand opening event to introduce her medical spa, The Vanity Bar, to the community, Ehlis welcomed mask-clad clients into her lobby and made each person wash their hands when she opened Monday, June 15.

But things have been going just fine for the boutique medical spa in West Fargo since then.

“We’ve seen a great turnout already. I think part of it is, if people are going to do anything right now, it’s invest in themselves and get out of their homes a little bit,” founder and owner Ehlis said. “And what a great place for them to do that, here at The Vanity Bar.”

Vanity Bar is a “hyper-focused” med spa, so instead of offering top-of-the-head to tip-of-the-toe services, it focuses on the areas the staff feels are some of the most popular, treating three zones — the chest, neck and face.

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 Registered Nurse Amanda Fiandaca and Medical Director Mandy Haug are team members at the Vanity Bar in West Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum
Registered Nurse Amanda Fiandaca and Medical Director Mandy Haug are team members at the Vanity Bar in West Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

At The Vanity Bar, clients can get injectable treatments — dermal filler and neurotoxins, otherwise known as Botox — and customized skin care, which includes services like facials, chemical peels and microneedling, as well as skin care products.

“Any service that’s about giving you younger, smoother, brighter skin, we really target that,” Ehlis said.

Unlike other med spas, The Vanity Bar doesn’t offer body contouring or anything that falls below the decolletage area.

“Our decision on that was, there's already a lot of great places in our region and in our community that offer those services. And those services are great,” Ehlis said. “But when you’re out on a day-to-day basis, your smile, your face, what basically represents you is something we felt really passionate about really honing in on and becoming experts in.”

The Vanity Bar team’s mission is to enhance beauty that’s true to that individual, versus giving them something that's not natural, Ehlis said.

 Treatment space at the new Vanity Bar in West Fargo. David Samson / The Forum
Treatment space at the new Vanity Bar in West Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

“Our inner mantra is to have you leave and have people say, ‘Wow, your skin looks so good’ versus ‘Hey, what have you had done?’” she said.

The med spa also wants to break down barriers surrounding aesthetic treatments, which played into her design process. She wanted the space to have a sense of comfort that would allow people to let their guards down, taking a page out of some of the nicest New York City loft apartments when designing the space.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Vanity Bar had to pivot from its grand opening plans. In April, the business did a soft opening of just virtual visits and products. Though its plan was always to open in May, the med spa jumped at the opportunity to utilize telehealth and virtual visits to build relationships with clients.

“We really made the best of a bad situation for launching a new business,” she said.

The Vanity Bar’s grand opening event is on hold. When the clinical team feels it's OK to bring larger groups together, they may discuss throwing a big party, Ehlis said.

“Safety is our top priority, as it should be for everybody. So bringing large groups of people together to have a big grand opening event, it just doesn’t seem socially responsible right now,” Ehlis said.

To celebrate its grand opening, from now until July 1, the med spa is offering its membership benefits to everybody, which include 10% off all retail and 20% off all services.

BUSINESS PROFILE

What: The Vanity Bar

Contact: (701) 532-1563

Online: Follow @the_vanity_bar_ on Instagram and @vanitybarfargo on Facebook.

Where: 3280 6th St. E, West Fargo.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Vanity Bar is a new medical spa located at 3280 6th St. E. in West Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum
The Vanity Bar is a new medical spa located at 3280 6th St. E. in West Fargo. David Samson / The Forum