From the moment I walked into D’Anjou Spa, I felt at ease. There wasn’t the hustle and bustle of many salons or spas with phones ringing, loud chatter and occasionally overwhelming scents. Instead, I was met with a quiet welcome from Krista Lortie, one of the co-owners, as I entered a beautiful waiting area and boutique full of organic products and sweet-smelling goodies.

After a quick chat, we went back to the room where she would be doing my nails. Once again, I was impressed. Lortie ushered me into a comfy chair and sat down across from me. Throughout my manicure, it felt like I was hanging out with a friend I hadn’t seen for years — even though we had just met.

After getting to know Lortie better, I quickly realized just how much she genuinely cares about the lives and well- being of her clients. Because to Lortie, they aren’t just clients — they’re family.

“I love the work I do and take pride in everything I do,” she said. “Every day to me feels like a day filled with hanging out with a good friend. One after the next, I learn all about my guests, their families — and they learn all about mine. I go through good times with them and bad — and we help each other every step of the way.”

But for Lortie, this wasn’t the path she had originally dreamed about.

“I accidentally fell into this particular field,” she said. “Growing up, I always liked to get my nails done but I had never thought about becoming a nail technician — I had always dreamed about being a hair dresser. But when I went to school for cosmetology, our group started with the nail portion of class as the instructor also had a group of nail technicians starting.

“At the time, we would be getting dual licenses. I finished my nail hours and had just started in on the hair portion of the license when I had to take a leave of absence due to a high-risk pregnancy. While on leave, the state changed regulations about dual licenses so I decided to take my hours and get my nail license. I had planned to go back to get my hair hours finished, but I enjoyed the nail aspect so much I never went back for the hair portion!”

Eventually, Lortie did go back to school to get her master esthetician license from Elite Beauty Academy.

“When I decided to go back to get my esthetic license it was after being in the field and working for quite some time. I had always enjoyed the different types of facials and was intrigued by what the different products and machines were able to do for people to achieve results.”

After working as a master esthetician for several years in Yakima, Lortie was approached by Dr. Heidi Robel, a local naturopathic doctor, with a proposal to open an organic spa in Yakima together.

“When Heidi came to me with the idea of opening a organic-based spa, I immediately knew this was the direction I wanted to go,” she said. “Within a few months we started looking for the right group of people to join us, and bounced different ideas and names around. Heidi liked the idea of D’Anjou Spa as we are in a highly agricultural area and they even have some D’Anjou trees at their home.”

Less than a year later, D’Anjou Spa was no longer an idea — it was a reality. Located next to Heidi’s office, D’Anjou Spa now has three team members who have all been licensed for 10-plus years. They offer a variety of services that will pamper you and help you take care of your skin, body and mind — all in an intimate, appointment-only setting.

The spa also is also the only place in town that offers the very popular all organic skin care line Eminence Organics.

“We are learning so much more about what is in beauty products as well as the long-term affects that these ingredients have on us,” Lortie said. “All of the products that we use are proven not only to be effective, but are also all natural, organic, biodynamic products.”

Why does Lortie do what she does?

“I love being able to make people feel beautiful, whether it be their hands, feet, or face. This is where I belong,” she said.