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Cascade Medspa acquires Soulstis

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BAXTER — Cascade Medspa recently purchased a competing business, Soulstis Medspa.

Cascade Medspa is taking over the gift certificates customers may still have outstanding for Soulstis and offering those services at its location on Isle Drive in Baxter in the Riverstone Professional Centre.

Soulstis Medspa, which was most recently operated by Lakewood Health System, closed its doors on Edgewood Drive in Baxter in the Grizzly Center on March 23.

Before Lakewood Health System of Staples took over the medspa it was known as Physician’s Laser and Skincare Center, which first opened with two employees in the spring of 2005.

When the center opened, it specialized in laser hair removal treatments along with other laser skin treatments from spider veins to rosacea.

Dr. Kurtis Waters, who has a plastic surgery practice adjoining Cascade Medspa, where he is also medical director, said with the two medspas in the same neighborhood it became a question of whether there should be two facilities doing the same kind of service. While they in some cases had different equipment with the lasers, Waters said they did the same work.

As Soulstis grew it included botox injections, but the laser services remained a mainstay. Cascade Medspa, established four years ago, went beyond that with more aestheticians, massage therapy, skin care such as microdermabrasions and chemical peels, cosmetics from permanent makeup to a professional make-up artist, full body waxing and plastic surgery. The medspa offers makeup seminars, including one coming up on how to do effective makeup for those 45 and older. Staff member Heidi Pasela offers private sessions for makeup for $40 and $5 seminars.

“Changing something simple can change everything,” said Sabrina Johnson, spa director and medical aesthetician. Melissa Wyland is the clinic administrator.

In order to absorb the Soulstis client base, Cascade expanded hours and positions that were part time became full time. Waters said job offers were also made to Soulstis’ staff members. The acquisition will mean more services, not less, Waters said. Even with a reduction in the competition, Waters said he doesn’t foresee a price increase as Cascade Medspa continues to face competition for area customers who are willing to drive to St. Cloud or the Twin Cities for cost savings on services.

Waters said there were ongoing talks during a considerable time looking at options such as a merger or other joining of forces.

For Soulstis customers, Waters said they should experience a seamless transition with the main difference being they’ll now have to drive to the Cascade location.

Patients are often shared between Dermatology Professionals, which is located in an adjoining office at Riverstone Professional Centre, Waters’ practice and the medspa. Having those services under one roof is something not even the Twin Cities offers with regularity, Waters said and that is all available in the smaller city of Baxter. Waters is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He said the business has experienced growth even during the last challenging years of the recession and he thinks the next two to three years will provide additional growth. Cascade Medspa employs six. Soulstis was employing about three people.

Plans for the near future, potentially within the next year, may include a women’s wellness center with everything from prevention and diagnostic functions to a focus on overall well being with nutrition and exercise. Other services they’ve talked about adding include body contouring and medical weight management

Even in difficult economic times, people either saved for services or put a priority on preventive care in terms of cosmetic care and skin cancer. And they point out services are deeper than the skin by helping people feel better about themselves or allowing them to interact with others with greater confidence.

During the recession, Johnson said they’ve learned they need to be creative in marketing and treat their customers like gold, focusing on the person who just walked in the door and not the paperwork or other duties at their desks.

“I think that’s why we’ve been able to maintain,” Johnson said.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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