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Eliza Petrescu, the force behind Eliza's Eyes, is opening a Southern California outpost this month at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica. That puts her squarely in arch-shaping territory, where Anastasia's, Damone's and Valerie's tweezing powers now exist.
Petrescu, who signed up with Exhale more than a year ago after a seven-year relationship with Avon's Salon & Spa ended, is confident that her brow battle skills will captivate choosy West Coast customers. "There is only one Eliza," she asserted. "I always believe as long as you give more than 100 percent, you're always going to be busy."
And Eliza's Eyes is nothing if not busy. Associates train a minimum of 40 hours, see 20 to 25 clients a day and charge $65 to $85 per brow visit. (Petrescu sees 40 clients a day and charges $125 per visit. "I am more expensive than anybody in the world," she boasted.) At least four associates will operate in two rooms at Exhale in Santa Monica, while five associates use four rooms at Eliza's Eyes in New York.
Although she wouldn't discuss revenues, Petrescu predicted her Santa Monica business would compare with what she makes at other co-branded Exhale locations, including New York spots at 980 Madison Avenue and 150 Central Park South. She also runs House of Brows in Southhampton, N.Y., and established her first Eliza's Eyes outside of New York six months ago at Exhale in Dallas.
Eventually, Petrescu said, Eliza's Eyes would filter through all eight current Exhale Spas, with Chicago and Boston next up on her to-do list. Setup takes two months each time she enters a spa, and Petrescu personally approves associates, who have to be licensed aestheticians. The associates are employed by Exhale, but Petrescu acts as an independent contractor.
"It is really a great marriage," said Petrescu of her partnership with Exhale. "Exhale knew the potential. I am a brand. They know I bring 400 to 500 clients a week. They knew the clients would follow me." In Southern California, she suggested that celebrity regulars the likes of Mary J. Blige, Natasha Richardson and Kim Cattrall would stop by when they're not at their New York digs.