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West Lawrence spa to open with new concept that combines hair and beauty, chiropractic and meal programs

My wife tells me I don’t know anything about spas. Once again this summer, our two kids are raising pigs for the Douglas County Fair, and I tell my wife all the time to come out to the pen with us. It is a great way to get a mud bath.

Somehow, I think she is going to be more interested in a new business venture in West Lawrence. A pair of sisters is teaming up to open a new spa that combines everything from chiropractic care to hair and beauty treatments to a nutritious meals program.

la Bella Vita Studios and Rodrock Chiropractic are set to open early next month in a 4,000-square-foot space at 1440 Wakarusa Drive. In case you are having a hard time picturing that, it is the building just north of the Social Security Administration office at Bob Billings and Wakarusa. The space previously was occupied by a women’s health care group.

“We’re trying to create a concept that is about total body wellness,” said Kristie Denham, owner of the la Bella Vita side of the business. “My sister is working on the inside, and I’m working on the external beauties.”

On the la Bella Vita side of the business, Denham will have six studios that she will rent out to independent beauticians who will run their own small businesses out of the space. Those are expected to include hair, nail, skin care, waxing and facial services. Denham is a longtime hair stylist who will be moving her hair studio, currently located in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street, to the new location.

Denham’s sister, Amelia Rodrock, will run the Rodrock Chiropractic side of the business and also will offer a food program called Optimal Living. The food program delivers a week’s worth of meals to people’s homes. The meals are made from locally sourced meat and produce and are prepared by the chef at Antonucci’s Italian restaurant in Baldwin City. As for the chiropractic side of the business, it takes all types of clients but specializes in care for women and children, Denham said. Rodrock’s husband, Jeremy Rodrock, operates Rodrock Chiropractic in Baldwin City. That business will remain open.

Denham said she thinks the new spa model will create excitement both among clients who are looking for one-stop-shop service and among beauty professionals who are looking for a chance to rent their own studio space. “We’re seeing success of similar models in Kansas City and Overland Park,” Denham said.

Remodeling work is already under way at the location, and the businesses hope to be open by July 1. In the meantime, I’ll keep mentioning the pig pen to my wife. You should see how I exfoliate out there.

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