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Goodbye Elliott Cottage, hello Mabin House: Body & Skin Sanctuary

I was about 21 when my Mum came out with a surprise announcement, she wanted to study something at NMIT.  Beauty Therapy, she said. Why on earth would anyone want to do that, I thought. I couldn’t think of anything worse.

I remember Mum saying, she only discovered she had eyebrows at the age of 25.  I guess that’s how it is when you grow up in the country with three brothers.  This was the first time I’d ever seen her become passionate about anything.  She was 38 at the time, had a husband, three kids, no spare time, and yet, she was still striving to better herself, which was quite incredible to watch.

The hard work paid off.  After graduating, Mum earned a position at the salon of then called “course co-ordinator and all-round Beauty Guru”, Lorraine Lindsay.

A couple of years later, my rather clever dad built her a studio underneath our house in Enner Glynn. This was the beginning of Only One Beauty. For the next seven years, Mum poured her heart into being a solo practitioner, establishing a client base, and furthering her skillset. There was only one downside to working by yourself… It’s tricky to wax the back of your own legs.  And this is where I came into the story…

After spending my early 20’s studying an array of things but never really settling on a career, Mother Dearest began roping me in to doing treatments on her.  She taught me massage, facials and waxing – turns out, I quite liked it!  It was at this point I thought, stuff it, may as well commit.  So, at the tender age of 28, I went back to study for the final time.  

After graduating, we decided that Only One Beauty just wasn’t big enough for the two of us, and as luck would have it, a cute little cottage was up for sale on Trafalgar Street. It was a bit ragged around the edges, but it had charm. With a scrub and polish and some excellent wallpaper selections, she became Elliott Cottage, the cutest little cottage that ever was! But I had itchy feet, so after helping Mum set up, I left for the high seas.

Working onboard a cruise ship sounds glamorous, but I can assure you, it is hard work!  The hours are long, and the work can be grueling.  However, it really helped hone my skills as a therapist. The moment my contract with the Seabourn Sojourn came to an end, I set off for the bright lights of Melbourne, working as a Spa Manager and Therapist for a high-end Skin Clinic. These were the experiences that solidified my enjoyment of our ever-changing industry.

I got to work alongside Doctors, Acupuncturists, Nutritionists, and other industry experts. It also gave me a new appreciation for home and our little inner-city gem, Nelson.

Now, it’s time for the next significant change in our journey. We are saying goodbye to Elliott Cottage and hello to Mabin House: Body & Skin Sanctuary situated at98 Nile Street. It’s been our dream to open and run our own big beautiful place together, and now we get to make that dream a reality. There are so many fresh ideas we want to implement and introduce to lovely Nelson… All in good time though!

So, we invite you to come by and be nosey, treat yourself to something delicious and say hi, we’d love to see you.

Jess Hansen


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