Supple Apothocary Brings European Spa Experience to Orleans
By: Susan Blood, August 15, 2012
JAMES JOINER JR. - A new face in town on Route 6A in Orleans.
I have put off visiting Supple Apothecary for two reasons.
First, it's likely to be dangerous to my personal monthly budget. Second, I felt like I needed a facial and maybe a seaweed body wrap before I went.
I wanted to look like I belonged there, but wasn't in desperate need of their products and services.
But the fact is, I am in desperate need of their products and services.
Supple is a new, European-style apothecary on Route 6A in Orleans. If you picture a pharmacy when you hear “apothecary,” put that vision right out of your head. This is closer to a spa, where a professional aesthetician is on hand to help you find what you need.
And while the she is helping you find what you need, you'll discover a lot of things you didn't know you wanted—but suddenly can't live without.
Berkeley on Cape Cod
Alison Supple-Evans started Supple Apothocary in Berkeley, California eight years ago, which is why you may forget you're on Cape Cod the moment you walk through the door. The store has a modern, streamlined aesthetic. In the front room you'll find fragrance, accessories, art and loungewear. The second room offers rows of skin care lines, most of which are free of chemicals and synthetics.
Dr. Hauschka is a popular line in Germany and “is as natural as it gets,” according to Supple-Evans. Swedish for “clean,” Ren is made in the UK and is a sophisticated line that's free from chemicals and synthetics.
The organic, all-natural Arcona line has a cult following in Berkley, Supple-Evans says. “You can use something tonight and see a difference,” she says. “It's a fun line to sell.”
SkinCeuticals is a diversion from the others—only dermatologists and aestheticians are permitted to sell it. It's the line of products they'll be using when they start offering one-hour, customized treatmet facials starting on August 17.
“We're using a cosmeceutical, medical-grade skin care line,” says Supple-Evans. “But I'm incorporating lavish massage and aromatherapy. So it's not like going to the doctor. It's like going to the fun doctor.”
"The fun doctor"
Supple doesn't offer a menu of treatments with catchy titles, because who do you want helping you decide what to do to your face, a clever copywriter, or an aesthetician?
“It's really different from the typical spa experience,” Supple-Evans continues. “You come in, we examine you, and when the treatment starts, we have everything we need to treat you.”
Going on tour with her musician/sound engineer husband Jon Evans meant spending months roaming around Europe, where Supple-Evans first discovered the apothecary concept.
“You walk in and there's a man in a lab coat to help you pick a serum or sunscreen. It's so different from [the US], where you're totally overwhelmed and you don't know what to buy and there's just so much of everything,” she says.
Synergy on Main Street
I said you’ll forget you're on Cape Cod at Supple, but that's not completely true.
The spa is all part of a convergence of like-minded people in the Orleans area.
“We have a nice synergy going with some of the other stores in town,” Supple-Evans says, including Weekend in East Orleans, Main Street Wine and Gourmet, Phoenix Fruit and Produce and Flowers by Mary on that list. “The person who's willing to pay more for organic nectarines wants to buy a Dr. Hauschka facial cleanser. I think there are more and more people like that on the Cape.”
She doesn't wear a lab coat at Supple, but Supple-Evans is there to help you pick out exactly what you need. As soon as she’s done with me.