Joanne Ramoutar McGuire considers herself lucky because she gets to do something that not everyone has the pleasure of doing: what she truly loves – and she truly loves beauty.
As the owner of Oasis Beauty Salon and Spa, Joanne says feeling beautiful is important for everyone, because if you don’t feel beautiful there is a “lack of existence in yourself.”
Especially following the events of Hurricane Irma, Joanne recollected how she’d receive phone calls despite having limited space and limited staff. People just wanted their haircut. They just wanted to feel better, not just operate under Irma.
In her opinion, “If you feel better than you have a clear state of mind, you’re not focusing on ‘I look horrible,’ you’re focused on the problem. I think we’re more productive when we feel better.”
Joanne had no idea what business would look like after the hurricane. She just knew that she still loved doing hair and she still loved the British Virgin Islands, so she had to do something, regardless of the results or outcome. She followed her passion, and it told her to recreate a space that would work for Oasis.
From the time she was a little girl, she’s loved beauty. Having done it for about 30 years now, Joanne said she comes to work every day to do what she loves.
Her experience in the spa industry began in 1998 when she first moved to the islands from Trinidad, where she was a qualified hairdresser. She came on holiday, was offered a job at a spa, and she took it.
Oasis was opened by Dawn Dobbie about three years after Joanne moved here. It was open for business for just a couple months before Joanne joined. Dawn and Joanne grew together, establishing a great personal and business relationship. They worked together for about ten years before Dawn decided that she wanted to leave. Joanne, however, built up an extremely good clientele and still loved the Virgin Islands, so she took a chance and bought the spa.
Since then, she’s tried branching out in Virgin Gorda and Cane Garden Bay, but she said the spa really works when she’s there. She started working at the main branch, which was in Village Cay for 16 years before getting hit by the hurricane.
“My first venture in owning my own business, I always felt I was doing more management rather than doing my craft. Now that we’ve downsized I’m able to do my craft more,” she said.
So, what exactly does she do? Primarily, she is a hairstylist and she has a team behind her that offers a full-service spa. Clients come to Oasis to have their needs met, and when they come, they come for mostly everything. Whether it’s a haircut, a manicure and pedicure, facials and massages, Oasis offers the full package. Spanned across two floors, Joanne said clients will get their hair done downstairs in the salon and then head upstairs for nails or a massage in the spa.
Her extremely loyal clientele come back because of the quality products and the good service. To Joanne and her staff, all clients are like family.