‘I think a person should work for as long as they can;’ 80-year-old owner of St. George’s first day spa retires

Fran House at About Face Salon and Day Spa, St. George, Utah, March 19, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A pioneering Southern Utah businesswoman is hanging up her hat after a storied career as an aesthetician.

While most would have retired or become unable to work long before they reach her age, 80-year-old Fran House still runs circles around many of her much younger peers.

“I’ll be taking something upstairs and they say, ‘Let me take that up,’ and I say, ‘Do I look like an invalid,’” House said, chuckling.

About Face Salon and Day Spa, St. George, Utah, March 19, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

House is the owner and founder of St. George’s first day spa, About Face Salon and Day Spa. She opened the business 31 years ago in downtown St. George near the corner of Tabernacle Street and 100 East before relocating to the spa’s current location, 671 S. 1000 East St., near Harmons Neighborhood Grocer on 700 South.

“When I first built it, the town was really small,” House said, “and the sense was that I’d be lucky to last three months.”

Decades later, any doubts about House’s success and staying power have been put to rest.

“I wanted to give the community something they didn’t have,” House said, noting that it was only a short time after opening her spa that competing salons took notice and also became day spas.

House said she credits her operation’s success to the top-notch communication and comfort she and her staff have offered to clients.

Originally from New York City and later moving to California, House came to St. George 36 years ago where she worked as a hair dresser.

Being from a big city all my life, I loved it,” she said, referring to her move to St. George. “It was very interesting to turn on the radio and hear people say, ‘Today, Jane Doe had a baby boy and so-and-so has a cow for sale.’ I had never experienced that.”

Recognizing the niche she could fill for the then-tiny, rural community, she learned the art of aesthetics and took the plunge as a small-business owner.

In that time, she worked as a teacher of aesthetics, becoming licensed in cosmetology, reflexology and aroma therapy.

Three decades later, she said she’s finally ready to pass the baton to new owners, but not because of her age.

“I think a person should work for as long as they can. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning, get dressed and move,” House said. “Most people that retire become couch potatoes – they watch TV and they crochet. I didn’t want that kind of a life.

“I was going to go until I felt it was time to move on, and I got that feeling, so now all I want to do is travel and enjoy the rest of my life.”

House finalized the sale of her business Monday to new owners Casey and Bill Kuckert.

L-R: Bill Kuckert, Fran House and Casey Kuckert at About Face Salon and Day Spa, St. George, Utah, March 19, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“I am proud to say that Casey and Bill have bought the business,” House said. “They’re just going to rock it.”

Casey Kuckert said she has big plans for the business and is excited to be building on House’s success.

“I want to make her proud,” Casey Kuckert said. “She’s built this amazing foundation that we can grow from.”

Casey Kuckert and her husband work as life and health coaches, respectively, and plan to bring a variety of classes and workshops, such as yoga and meditation, to the spa, which will sport a new name – CEO Spa and Wellness Retreat.

“You can come in and get your hair done, work on your goals, get a nutrition plan and get a massage.”

A retirement celebration for House will be held at the spa Thursday evening.

Event details

  • What: Fran House’s retirement celebration.
  • When: Thursday, March 22, 5-7 p.m.
  • Where: About Face Salon and Day Spa, 671 S. 1000 E St., St. George.
  • Details: Free and open to the public.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • utahdiablo March 20, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Work until your 80 huh?…well as for some of us, we retired 30 years before that age and have had very, very few days living as “couch potatoes”…hell, we have no idea how we ever had time to work back in those “good old days” with everything we do now in retirement, and we even have more money now that we did back then!….so you need to work to find a reason to get up?….our worst day retired is still better that our best day at work, so to each their own…..Have a great retirement!

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