Profile of a Mom: Ellen Vlasak

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The road to becoming President and visionary of Circe Salon in Alexandria was not a straightforward path for Ellen Vlasak.  Ellen shared with FAMILY Magazine the traumatic life circumstances she had to overcome to live her dream of providing a luxury spa environment that is comfortable and inviting.  So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and hear the remarkable saga of Ellen and her family.

Ellen’s Story

As a business owner, I have always had determination. I believe that dreams, coupled with hard work, have an amazing power to transform a life. It is a good thing that determination is my core belief because in an instant, the sound of crunching metal and a doctor’s words can challenge your very core.

The Accident

My daughter and I were playfully chatting while we were driving to my son’s basketball game—it was one of those precious moments that reminds you of why it is great to be a parent. That moment came to a complete halt when a young girl swerved across the yellow lines and smashed head-on into my car.

When I finally opened my eyes, I wasn’t watching my son shoot a basketball. Instead, I woke up to him asking me, “Mom, are you going to die?” Even though I was completely groggy from the thirteen-day drug-induced coma, I knew I wasn’t helpless. I couldn’t walk or talk, but I knew I could count on the strength of my mind to overcome this obstacle.

It took two years of intensive therapy to regain my ability to walk and talk. The pain of rehab was unbearable at times, but learning to accept the pain instead of fighting it strengthened my desire to live a life in which dreams come true.

Six Months of Bliss

It felt great to finally be able to move about freely without my wheelchair and share my thoughts with my husband. I finally felt like me, until I received a shocking call from my doctor. “You have breast cancer.” The moment I heard those words, I couldn’t believe I was going to fight for my life again. I was scared. The needles, pills, tests, and the exhaustion—it weakened me. I thought, “How can I do this again?” Then, I realized “I” didn’t have to do this alone. I could hear and believe the inspiring words from my family and friends. My husband motivated me. My children made me laugh. My mother cheered me on. They kept me strong.

Cancer Free for Ten Years

It had been a great ten years. My husband and I were exploring a new business venture and vacationing in Peru when I received the news that my cancer was back. The tears flowed. It was debilitating. That was it!  As long as I had breath, I was going to have a life worth living. That’s when I walk bald-headed into Circe Salon and I asked for a haircut. The staff respectfully pampered me with kindness and dignity.

The Circe experience made me determined to become the next owner of Circe Salon. I had a vision to offer luxury amenities that centered on Circe’s guests unexpressed and expressed needs. It is a spa experience with a goal to inspire women to develop the strength to overcome challenges and the rejuvenation to pursue life’s dream.

The ‘Nirvana’ package is our finest full day of indulgence, including an Elemental Nature

facial, 80 minute specialty massage, paraffin manicure and pedicure, a designer haircut,

cosmetic touchup, and a catered lunch.

Circe’s “Afternoon Delight” package, rated “Best Value” by Smart Money magazine, is a halfday of pampering and luxury. It includes a Swedish massage, an Elemental Nature facial, a manicure, a scalp massage with a shampoo and blow dry, a cosmetic color touch up, and a catered lunch.

Circe’s “Achilles Treat” package is 90 minutes of pure relaxation including an exfoliating peppermint foot scrub, aromatherapy foot massage, paraffin to leg and foot and a pedicure.

Circe’s “Spa Petite” package is perfect for those short on time but in need of some pampering and calm. The Spa Petite is 90 minutes of a seated chair massage, a paraffin manicure, a scalp massage with a shampoo and blow dry, and a color cosmetic touch up.

Circe’s “Beaute Express” includes the classic essentials of a spa day like an express manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage – all in 120 minutes. Perfect for those on the go craving some glam.

For other information about women in business, click here:

15 No-Nonsense Success Strategies for Entrepreneurial Women

Top 10 Ways to Reach Your Business Goals

Marketing to Mom


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