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are made locally,” Lafuente said. Ivori also offers some of the same clothing lines found at Nordstrom’s in addition to her own signature line, Karma. Ivori officially opened last September but Lafuente held off on the grand opening until she found someone to utilize the back section of the store, previously occupied by Itty Bitty Beauty Boutique. With a number of potential businesses interested in sharing the space—including an ice cream parlor, candy shop, bakery, and a hair salon—Lafuente held out for just the right fit. “In my heart, I was hoping it would stay a beauty bar,” Lafuente said, adding, “I just thought that was a really nice compliment.” She got her wish. The same day she posted a For-Rent sign on the shop door, Tammy DeCosta, owner of BeautyMarks, contacted her and the two scheduled a meeting. “Tammy and I, when we met it was just, the energy was perfect and she’s just so positive and bubbly and I loved her concept,” Lafuente said. She believes BeautyMarks really differentiates itself from other beauty bars. “I even told her, I prayed for you; you’re the right person and this is the perfect opportunity for you.” Lynne Mosley, former owner of Itty Bitty is in complete agreement. “I love Tammy, and she’s the perfect fit for the shop, the perfect fit,” Mosley said. “She’s very kind hearted and she cares about her clients. She made me feel like she’s going to take good care of it. It’s a great shop to work in, and fun people.” The entrepreneurs celebrated their new business ventures in a joint Open House held last year on Veteran’s Day. “It was amazing, we had like over 100 people here,” DeCosta, said. “There was so much local support,” Lafuente added. DeCosta’s partnership with Lafuente is a true formula for success, as she has an equally impressive résumé, which includes the titles of general manager for a four-star restaurant, and assistant general manager at Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center at Eagle Ridge Golf Course. Born and raised in Gilroy, DeCosta and her husband Jason have two children; daughter, Lyla May, 7, and son, Maverick Jay, 4, who according to DeCosta, “lives up to his name for sure.” DeCosta was a stay-at-home mom for several years before deciding in 2017 to pursue a career as a professional make-up artist. This decision led to her enrollment in Gavilan College’s Esthetician Program, which made a significant impact on her career choice. “I fell in love with the skin care while I was in school,” she said. Through Gavilan’s mentor program DeCosta was partnered with Michelle Irkhin, owner of, J’aime Skin Spa, located in Morgan Hill. “Michelle taught me a better way to improve skin,” DeCosta said. “Just the transfer of energy, I’m really into positive energy. I do a lot of massage through my facials, it stimulates muscle GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN tone, circulation, it gets the lymphatic system healthy, all the toxins releasing. I do a lot of chakra meditation, so it’s positive energy transferred.” Their partnership continued after DeCosta graduated from Gavilan last January. “It was one of those things where we had really connected, and she was really hungry to work and be successful,” Irkhin said, adding that she asked DeCosta to join her staff after graduation. DeCosta remained at J’aime Skin Spa until the opportunity for BeautyMarks presented itself late last year. Irkhin sent her former employee off with well wishes. “I was so excited for her. As a female business owner, I don’t feel threatened by other businesses. I want us all to thrive.” In addition to her gratitude to Irkhin, DeCosta credits her family with the success of her new business venture. “I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my dad, and obviously without the support of my husband, family, and friends,” DeCosta said. BeautyMarks officially opened on November 1, 2018, and only three weeks later Samantha (Sam) Hindman, professional cosmetologist and hair stylist, was brought on board, making it “pretty much a one-stop shop,” according to Hindman, adding that she does eyelash extensions as well. “Just making people feel beautiful and amazing about themselves, that’s our end game,” Hindman said. In addition to the numerous services offered at BeautyMarks—facials, sugaring (an all organic form of hair removal), makeup, and henna brow shaping—the store features a unique skin care and makeup line called Osmosis. “It’s all holistic; they believe in curing the skin from the inside out,” DeCosta said. Both ladies feel they are living their dreams through providing the best they have to offer to the South County area. “To come in to work every day and be in this environment it’s really truly amazing,” Lafuente said. “Some of my best memories are sitting in my sister’s room, and getting all dolled up,” DeCosta said. “I kind of wanted to create that environment here…I think we do a good job of creating that.” february/march 2019 gmhtoday.com 43