Skip to main content

New owner to take over, transform site of former Artemis spa in downtown Batavia

By Joanne Beck
Kate Willson
Batavia resident and business owner Kate Willson in her new place at 206 E. Main St., Batavia.
Submitted Photo

Kate Willson, owner of Meraki Beauty, has good news for those people disappointed by the closing of the downtown Batavia Artemis Spa and perhaps even better news for customers holding unredeemable gift cards for the now-defunct business that abruptly closed two weeks ago.

Willson has signed a lease for the property at 206 E. Main St. and plans to renovate the interior to correspond with a new look, feel and name of “a new spa and boutique,” she said.

“This was a way for us to kind of expand our services. So we're looking to remodel the Artemis space and give it a fresh face. We're doing a full remodel to the inside of it and rebranding it under a new name, which we aren't releasing yet,” Willson said to The Batavian Monday. “We’re hoping to open in mid-June, it could be as soon as two months. We’re taking it day by day. 

“We’re kind of giving it a facelift all throughout. So we will be enhancing the treatment rooms and really making them more state-of-the-art. I personally have a passion for the industry and have been to all the spas around, so I feel like I have some great new ideas that we're going to incorporate into the space.”

She said that hair services would remain at Meraki Beauty, which is at 108 W. Main St. That will allow for all other spa services and a front-end boutique at the new site.

“We’re actually going to transform the front of the space into a boutique, so something to kind of correlate with Charles Men’s Shop, but more for the women of the community,” she said. “So we’ll have clothing, small gifting items and we’ll also be featuring small local vendors.”

She plans to also offer an apothecary with Meraki’s own Sorella skincare line, candles, and similar items.

“We're definitely excited to be able to bring in the boutique end of it and more clothing,” she said. “I feel like a lot of our husbands and boyfriends support Charles Men’s Shop, and so we're excited to be able to bring something more local for easy shopping in our community and to kind of showcase those local vendors to show the talent of the community and give them a place to showcase that.”

She said the plan is to rotate three or four of those local vendors in and out so that the offerings will change from time to time. 

Willson has owned and operated Meraki Beauty just a half mile down on West Main Street for five years and has been in the beauty business for the last 13 years. After working in other salons, she decided to branch out to create “a more welcoming space” in a hair salon that treated customers with respect and provided a pampering haven, and Meraki Beauty was born. 

According to her website, meraki means “to put love, creativity and soul into everything you do.”

In the past five years, the business has gone from just Willson to a dozen employees, she said, serving as testimony to its resilience and success. 

Willson and Social Media Manager Brianna Dioguardi agreed that the salon and spa staff's current and future teams will work hard to create “amazing services and a friendly environment” for customers and have already established a solid presence in the hair business. 

They are excited to be jumping into the spa arena, they said.

A few Artemis stylists joined Willson before the spa closed, she said, and now she is excited to bring them back into what she believes is coming full circle with a full spa experience of massage, waxing, manicures, pedicures, and facials.

She is waiting for the legal process of setting up a new business to finish before officially announcing the new shop's name, which will provide “a retail and beautiful sanctuary spa” and boutique experience while hair services will remain at Meraki Beauty. 

“We are doing a full hiring process looking to keep on some of our existing staff and opening doors to new talent. There is a full array for us to expand our services. We’re excited for that for the fact that it is going to provide a lot of new jobs, because we are going to have a full reception team. So there will always be someone in the front of the house to be there for the retail end of things,” she said. “And I do think that is going to be something that helps us take the Artemis to the next level of the spa industry and really provide the best services we can.”

She expects to hire about 15 to 20 people to transform the place into “a spa versus a salon,” she said. A large part of her excitement is taking over the business due to the former site’s “long-lived legacy of 20 years of success in our area.”

“We are very open to finding the right talent and people willing to care for people and provide the right services. Everyone will have to be licensed,” she said of the search for talented massage therapists, estheticians and nail techs. “And we are looking to add to our reception team. And I know for me, I have such a great team around me, so I’m really excited for us to kind of take it and propel it forward and just give it that love that it’s always needed.” 

Services will be by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Speaking of services, those with unexpired gift cards from Artemis may use them for 50 percent of the value at Willson’s spa with proof of purchase or the physical gift card. 

“We want to do that as good faith, knowing that people have supported this business for so long,” Willson said. “Obviously, for me taking over the business, I haven't received any of that money, so it's definitely just something we want to do just to really pay tribute to the Artemis and what it's been and treat the consumers in our area who have really supported this and hopefully will continue to.”

For updates on the spa’s progress and/or to connect with Willson to apply for a position, go to

Authentically Local