Maria Parente, owner of Cecil B. Spa and Laser, had dreams of becoming an accountant before the beauty industry intervened. Realizing that she enjoyed working with people as much as numbers, Maria jumped at an opportunity to switch careers even before she had reached her mid-twenties.
Involved in the business since its inception in 1979, Maria has seen Cecil B. evolve from a makeup and accessories studio to a full-service spa, offering laser and cosmetic treatments as well as more traditional makeup, skincare and nail services. Joined in the business by her daughter, Nicola, in 2012, Maria stresses the role that consumer education plays in the spa. "Billions of dollars are spent annually on beauty products,” she says. “I like to spend time to help my clients understand the difference between, say, drugstore makeup and a professional line such as Jane Iredale."