Alicia Nath, stylist and owner of Stonewater Salon & Spa in Pittsburgh, Pa’s south hills, knew early on that she wanted to own a salon. What got her started, kept her going, and still motivates her to this day? Family.

Alicia started styling clients’ hair as a teenager, so during high school, her father encouraged her to try tech school, where she excelled. He also pushed her to complete her bachelor’s in business at Chatham University (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Daryl Nath, Alicia’s husband and co-owner and manager of Stonewater, felt her passion for starting her own business and immediately supported her dream. With the encouragement of their families, the young couple pursued their goal of opening a spa.

In April 2011, Alicia and Daryl bought the property that would become Stonewater and started renovating the old stone house. They planned their August wedding during renovations and opened in September right after their honeymoon. They credit their faith in God, the constant support of their families, and everyone’s belief in Alicia’s vision for the confidence to open on time and their success that followed.

The feeling of family now extends to their nineteen staff members. “We work with people we love,” Alicia says. “Our staff and clients are supportive of our vision. We don’t want to let them down; we do it for them.”

Stonewater offers hair, massage, pedicures, manicures, facials, and more, but what makes the spa stand out? Alicia says it’s the little things. For example, each customer is given a hot towel and shoulder/arm massage, no matter how big or small the service. Also, Alicia and Daryl only use AVEDA products, which they believe are the best for their clients.

So what inspiring message can Alicia offer other aspiring entrepreneurs?

“You can create the culture you want and still have a good heart. Try not to change or forget your original inspiration.” Alicia also said that “a positive, encouraging, loving family can remind you of who you really are and support you through the process and when things get rough.”

At the age of 30, Alicia’s final piece of advice is to not be afraid of growing your family. “I am a mother of two and now realize being a mother in business is not only the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, but my biggest challenge to date. Just like managing a business, you have to get your whole heart and soul into the adventure in front of you, and I am excited to find out what is yet to come.”

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