Dayle Ciampa loves to travel. It’s not unusual for this attractive, long-haired brunette to take off to Rome, Florence, Sedona, Boca Raton or Palm Springs — places where she deems spa treatments a necessary part of her itinerary. And why not? As spa owner of Dayle’s European Skincare and Day Spa in Marblehead for 25 years, a lot has changed for Ciampa. Thirty years ago, the only travel she experienced was taking the MBTA bus from Saugus to Marblehead to clean homes.
From her early 20s, Ciampa struggled as a single mother, taking care of her daughter Lisa. But out of those struggles was born her drive. Living in a small apartment in Saugus, Ciampa added to her welfare income by cleaning homes in Marblehead and, for an extra $20 a week, making soup and cleaning for an elderly woman who lived on the floor below. Her brother would help her out with groceries, and her grandfather assisted as well.
“I had to survive,” she states simply.
But she always had a desire for more.
She vividly recalls discovering her passion at the age of 8.
“When my mother was going out, I always wanted to do her makeup,” says Ciampa.
Unbeknownst to her mother, a hard-working woman who sold Fashion 220 cosmetics out of a hatbox, it would be her job — and a book that cost $5.75 that would lead her daughter to her chosen career.
While at a bookstore, a young Ciampa discovered a manual on making your own shampoo and beauty products. But back then, the price tag was more than her mother could afford.
“The woman on the cover looked just like me!” she recalls.
At the suggestion of her mother, Ciampa went to her grandfather for financial aid — and as always, he came through for his granddaughter.
Book in hand, Ciampa went to work concocting cleansers and exfoliation masks in a blender. Ingredients included strawberries, bananas, oatmeal and avocado. During dinner, the family of five, including her stepfather, would try out the homemade products.
“Sometimes the product would be so soupy, we’d be dripping,” laughs Ciampa. “I would imagine if anyone ever knocked on our door, they’d think we were like the Addams family, but I loved making my own products.”
As she grew into a young adult, fate led Ciampa down a difficult road, one that had nothing to do with the beauty business – at least not at first.
It would be through the support of her family that Ciampa would survive the struggles of being a single mom, especially after she decided to pursue her passion.
“I was tired of watching the lifestyles of the successful Marblehead homeowners,” she says of those for whom she cleaned — before deciding to pursue her interest in becoming an esthetician. She saw a better life for herself and knew from her mother’s example that hard work could pay off.
Once again, her family offered her support. She moved in with them, stopped cleaning homes in Marblehead and attended the Elizabeth Grady School to become an esthetician. Then, one day, something incredible happened. Before she even graduated, she was offered a job by owner Joe and teacher Genevieve Grady, parents of Elizabeth, to work at Elizabeth Grady, then located on Humphrey Street in Swampscott.
“Nobody in my class got hired to work before you graduate,” she explains. “I couldn’t believe it.”
She worked there for five years before the Gradys sold the franchise (eventually opening their current location in Vinnin Square in Swampscott).
It was then that Ciampa decided to start her own business in Marblehead.
“I’ll never forget when I told Joe and Elizabeth Grady,” she says. “They gave me a hug, but most importantly, they gave me confidence.”
She chose the seaside town with which she was already familiar, mainly because she didn’t want to open a spa in the new owner’s backyard.
The former nail salon “Margo’s” at 261 Washington St. would become home to Dayle’s European Skincare and Day Spa, which opened in 1984 with a staff of two. Ciampa’s daughter, 13 at the time, would run the front desk on Saturdays. Many of her former Elizabeth Grady clients followed her — and remain faithfully after 30 years.
She rented from David Payne, who owned the building that also housed Pellino’s Italian restaurant. She remained a tenant until 17 years ago when the building turned condo.
Things were changing for Ciampa. She was making enough income from the spa to buy the condo space. Her now husband of 14 years, Gary Goldstein, a public adjuster in Beverly, and father to 25-year-old Josh, helped her map out the road to getting a mortgage. And then she renovated.
“I gutted the whole place, never closing, except in February for one day,” she proudly says.
Ciampa’s drive is no secret, and she had finally paved her path to good fortune.
When her grandfather made his visit to Marblehead, the impact of his statement ran deep.
“You’re going to do really well here,” he said to his granddaughter.
In fact, even though she was told she couldn’t have another child, two years after she married — and shortly after her grandfather died — her son Richard was born.
“He died, and against all odds, I was with child,” says Ciampa. “I thank my grandfather every day for my little boy.”
Lisa continued to work for her mother, becoming a manicurist and esthetician before leaving four years ago to pursue her own career in medical skincare out of Palm Beach, Fla.
Medical spa care was fast becoming a trend worthy of expansion, and Ciampa was on board. She renovated again, and hired Groom Construction to remove the roof and add a circular staircase leading to a floor now utilized for medical spa services.
The proof is in the pudding
Just how well Ciampa has aged is a sign of her success, and most women who find out she is 53 years old want “whatever she’s having.”
For the record, Ciampa’s regimen includes SkinMedica Peels, the cutting edge of skincare, as well as microdermabrasion and HydraFacial treatments that resurface, hydrate and deep cleanse pores simultaneously. And a little TNS doesn’t hurt either.
TNS is a cellular serum treatment used to rejuvenate the skin.
“It’s the latest in skincare medical products,” says Ciampa, who oftentimes discovers treatments while traveling, during which she always checks out the spa services. “When I love something, I want to bring it in.”
Momentous discoveries result from many of her travels; her latest offering resultant of a trip to Boca Raton, where she experienced a medical-grade paraffin treatment that heats up with natural minerals. Included in the treatment is customized aromatherapy, and the apparatus doesn’t require electricity. Better yet, each treatment is individual and sanitary. And then there’s VelaShape, a cellulite treatment-and-reduction procedure with tissue manipulation that, after four treatments, will leave you with a slightly smaller waistline, and smoother skin where it counts.
In order to offer medical spa services, Ciampa had to hire medical director Dr. David Chrzanowski, a facial plastic surgeon who is an expert in minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedures. He administers Botox, Juvaderm, Restylane and Radiesse to Ciampa’s clientele.
Despite there being so many spas in the community, Dayle’s competition is kept to a minimum because she’s the only spa in the area to offer certain med-spa treatments, such as HydraFacials, but she admits the crowded marketplace keeps her on her perfectly pedicured toes. And those toes can get tired after administering HydraFacial treatments from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., non-stop.
There is no doubt this spa has sustenance.
Today, Ciampa has a staff of 13 women in the nail area downstairs and the upstairs wet room, which offers Vichy showerhead body wraps, a SunFX spray-on tanning booth, ultrasonic facials and more.
Why so many treatments?
“I do it because it’s good for the client, and I want to make the client happy,” says Ciampa.
During her commute each day to Marblehead from her home in Middleton, Ciampa’s wheels are spinning with new ideas. Her latest, in between planning her daughter’s wedding and her son’s bar mitzvah — is to buy out Frank Pellino and add a children’s spa.
Dayle’s 5 secrets to staying youthful
1. Never forget where you come from. “It’s nice to know that when I come in to work that I’m still the same person I was 25 years ago,” says Ciampa. “It’s never gone to my head. And I always treat people the way I’d like to be treated.”
2. Be thankful for family.
3. Live your life with gusto — and lots of travel and pampering. Ciampa plans a visit to Greece and Italy this August with her son and husband.
4. Splurge when you can — actually, this is advice from Ciampa’s husband, Gary Goldstein, who convinced his wife to purchase a Mercedes. Although initially against the idea, she says she’s glad she did.
5. Use Calcium Bentonite Living Clay. Ciampa drinks it, eats it and bathes in it. If she’s the proof, then this mud is the pudding.