Stacy’s Merle Norman Boutique & Spa, a mainstay in downtown Lebanon for wedding and special-event makeup, is a family affair for Owner Stacy Dempster.
“I opened the store with my wonderful mom in 2004,” Dempster says. “She worked with me for many years and has since retired, but my beautiful daughter, Ashlyn, is now working part time and doing eyelash extensions here.”
Dempster, a former TV news anchor and reporter for many years, decided she was ready for a change when she opened the boutique, now in its 19th year. “I knew it was going to be a lot to juggle with three young children, but with the help of my husband, Patrick, I was ready for a challenge,” she says.
Now, almost two decades later, the boutique is a mix of Dempster’s favorite things – fashion, makeup, and helping customers feel and look good. The store carries Merle Norman cosmetics and skin-care products, Brighton jewelry, Ambre Blends perfume oils, DeBrand chocolate, Vera Bradley and Simply Southern products, and many other items.
“After being open for a couple years I decided it was important to become a licensed aesthetician so I could take my business to the next level,” Dempster says. After going back to school and passing the state board exam, Dempster added full-service facials, waxing, lash lifts and extensions, and other spa services. The business also specializes in bridal and special-event makeup.
The added services made a noticeable difference in Dempster’s business. “Since the store is located in a small city, I needed to make it a one-stop shop,” she says. “I want customers to come in for a facial or makeover and be able to get a new outfit or a gift while they’re there.”
Helping customers feel their best is what motivates Dempster. “We want to look our best and age gracefully and I’ve had, and still have, many customers going through tough medical conditions that affect their skin or cause hair loss,” Dempster says. To help these customers, Dempster became certified in microblading, an eyebrow tattooing technique used to create the look of natural hair and permanent makeup.
“My goal is to always make life easier for my customers,” she says. “I’ve been offering permanent makeup for years and really enjoy it. It makes me feel great when I have a customer thank me for making them feel pretty again.”
In 2020, after 16 years of operating in the original space, Dempster moved her business across the street and transformed it into an upscale boutique and spa, making it the perfect backdrop for pampering on your wedding day or for a special event. The building maintains much of its historical character and beauty – one of Dempster’s goals when renovating the space.
She credits her loyal employees for helping the new space and maintaining success. “Finding the perfect employees is so important,” Dempster says. “One of my most loyal employees, Marsha Truitt, is a former teacher and has been here for 10 years. Her hard work and love of makeup and fashion has been a very valuable asset.”
“Being a woman in business has posed many challenges through the years – balancing family time while trying to run a business and make it successful,” she adds. Dempster has poured her heart and soul into this business and appreciates her family, employees and customers for supporting her dream.
You can visit Stacy’s at 116 North Lebanon Street in Lebanon. Give them a call at 765-482-3442 or visit stacysboutiquespa.com.
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