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Body business


Even during her 15 years working as a cosmetologist in Chicago, Nadyne Kokos never thought she would open her own salon.
What she did want to do, though, was create something that combined her passion for all things fresh and natural with her expertise in skin care.

That's how Wilde Urth cosmetics was born, made from all-natural, all-organic ingredients blended, cooked and prepared in Kokos' own kitchen. She includes ingredients from licorice roots, ginseng tea, cinnamon, chamomiles and roses to the more exotic and lesser-known Egyptian blue lotus and spices, oils and Ayurvedic herbs from India. Into her products go shea butter, palm butter and coconut oil from Africa and honey from New Zealand.

Almost all the ingredients, except the essential oils, are even edible. But to her surprise, people started calling her and asking her how to use her products.

"Everyone is so used to having one product for their eyes and one for their nose and one for their face and one for their arms," Kokos said. "They didn't know how to use their products."

Being used to the chemicals that are present in most common market products, most people were afraid of adverse reactions if they used the products "the wrong way."

"It was so hard for me to explain to them that there is no wrong way," Kokos said. "These products are completely safe and they could use it any way they want on any part of their body."

That's when she realized maybe it wasn't enough just to create natural skin-care products. She also needed to show people how to take care of their skin, how to care for themselves in a natural, safe and organic way.

That's how Wilde Urth Spa at Goodlette-Frank Road and Fifth Avenue South in Naples was born.

Natural and personal

Like her products, her spa is all about natural and organic. The ingredients Kokos uses in her facials and face masks are the same ones that go into her products. But there is another element to the spa, the personal touch.

"She caters to you. It's not a revolving door where they want to herd you in and herd you out. You are not just another facial," said Jennie Buehrer, a Marco Island resident who had her first facial with Kokos a couple of months ago and has been a fan ever since.

Before her facial, Buehrer said, Kokos talked to her, asked her about her skin and her skin problems and any particular issues she had or wanted to address.

"And as I was lying there with the mask on my face, she told me there was cinnamon in it and it just felt so refreshing," Buehrer, 42, said. "She custom-made all the stuff for me. It just felt so good and my skin feels better."

She is now not only a fan of Kokos' facials but also her Wilde Urth line of products. She has been recommending both to her friends, Buehrer said, and when she goes home to Nebraska in a couple of weeks, she is taking a bunch of products with her.

Listening to your skin and body

Apryl Evans is another fan of Kokos' facials, and also likes the personalized service. What she likes even more is that Kokos and her partner, Maribeth Bourgeois, listen to her. Bourgeois provides specialized massage and energy services at the spa.

With four children, Evans said, she really likes the deep-tissue massage.

And a session of energy work has the feel of something almost mystic, she said.

"She tunes in to your body. You can feel the sensations in your abdomen even when she is not even touching you," Evans said. "It's hard to explain, almost euphoric. When she is done, you feel all the stress gone not just from your muscles but also all the negativity gone from your body."

Every person has a system of pressure points in their body and those energies can be released by applying pressure to certain areas.

The important thing in both treatments facials and massages is to listen to your body, Kokos said, and work with it. When she works on a client's skin, she will also tell them what is in the product she is using on their face.

"It's so old-school, like using cucumbers on your eyes and banana peel on your face, it puts my mind at ease," Evans said. "Most times, you don't know what you are putting on your face, and I always wonder whether it is really making it better or worse."

A salon for everyone

Kokos said she wants her new salon to be for everyone in Southwest Florida, not just the rich. She and Bourgeois have been distributing coupons and special offers to various restaurants and other places around town for people to come in and take a break.

For example, a custom organic facial, along with a full esthetician consultation, costs $80, a 50-minute integrative massage combining several modalities is $80. Bourgeois also does specialized massage cupping an ancient therapeutic method to relieve muscle tension through suction created by plastic cups. The 90-minute sessions are $90 and a series of five is $395. Two treatment packages are discounted 20 percent, and Kokos is also running discount coupons in the monthly issues of Natural Awakenings magazine.

"All the people that live and work here, the teachers and the people in the restaurants and the retail stores not just the ones that vacation here they all work so hard all season long, and most of them don't even think of treating themselves to a facial or a massage," she said.