Spa day: Ma Spa is encouraging alone time

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Ma Spa owner Mary Coleman hopes to give moms room to recharge. Photo: Matthew Burke Ma Spa owner Mary Coleman hopes to give moms room to recharge. Photo: Matthew Burke

“Moms deserve to have a space that is dedicated just to them.”

Mary Coleman should know. As a mother of seven, she’s the entrepreneur behind Ma Spa, a new business in the Legend Building on Woodbrook Drive in Charlottesville.

Ma Spa’s slogan pretty much sums it up: “Come pamper your soul.” Coleman offers moms of all ages a spa-like place to nurture their heart and faith. Visitors come for 75-minute classes that begin with biblical principles and include ample time for moms to share and discuss ideas that strengthen and empower them as mothers. Before and after classes, mothers are encouraged to enjoy some downtime in the studio for coffee and conversation, or just relaxation and reflection.

The idea stemmed from Coleman’s own experiences.

“When I was younger and a new mom, I was so obsessed with being perfect, and it created a lot of guilt,” Coleman says. “Anything I can do to help other moms became my mission.”

Coleman started this concept in her home a few years ago and called it the Mom Shop. She’d invite only as many as her table could seat, and serve them supper in addition to hosting the discussion time. Even though she now has the expanded space the Legend Building offers, she still intentionally keeps the classes small because, “once you get past six women it’s hard for everyone to get a word in. Everyone should feel that they can share their own heart.”

Her website, maspacville.com, offers a current list of classes, topics and times, which change each month. Generally the moms who attend are between 25-35 years old, but some are older and Coleman emphasizes that all are welcome. To attract a wide age range, she even offers a class on mothering adult children.

“We all have new things we can learn, and each season of life brings with it new burdens or worries or adventures. I hope to help everyone at every stage.”

That’s a core part of her philosophy, as is asking moms to leave their children at home.

“That’s the message I didn’t understand back then, that I needed time away from my child. All moms need kid-free time.”

While she’s just opened Ma Spa, she’s already thinking about the future of the business. In an ideal world, she’d love to have a coffee shop in the front and hold classes in the back. She said some people are having a hard time wrapping their head around the spa-like concept she’s offering, but she’s firm about her belief that in addition to pampering our bodies, “our hearts and our faith deserve attention too.”

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