Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz has been touring Black-owned and women-owned businesses throughout the state, and this week visited a business in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
Camylle Appiahene is filling a much-needed niche – several niches actually – with two separate businesses she has recently opened in West Hartford.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who has been making a point of visiting Black-owned businesses during the month of February in honor of Black History Month and has an ongoing campaign to recognize women-owned businesses in the state, paid a visit to one of Appiahene’s enterprises on Monday.
Appiahene, in partnership with co-founder Charlotte Bell, recently launched Royâ Medspa, at 45 South Main St., Suite 209, in West Hartford Center.
“We talked about creating a space that looked like us,” said Bell.
“It’s really for everybody, but owned by women of color because you don’t see that,” Appiahene told the lieutenant governor.
“We don’t take time to pamper ourselves,” Appiahene added. That can be said of all women, she said, and Royâ is intended to be a place where “women can come to get beautiful.”
The word “Royâ” is old Farsi, Bell said. It means “dream.”
It’s a place for relaxing and rejuvenating. The cozy space is soothing yet colorful, accented by greenery, a touch of glam, and a fluffy white rug in the waiting area.
Royâ Medspa opened in January, and offers services that include Botox, dermal fillers, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma injections, and facials. They also offer IV hydration, with a variety of saline solutions infused to assist with muscle recovery, metabolism or immunity boosting, and hangover relief. Chemical peels and waxing are also among the services provided.
Appiahene, who serves as medical director, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the medical field. She started off as a certified nursing assistant, earned her B.S. in nursing from UConn followed by her M.S. in nursing from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford in 2013. She is on track to earn her doctor of nursing practice from USJ this year.
Bell also has many years in the medical field, starting off as a home health aid for seniors while earning her B.A. in psychology. She earned a B.S. in nursing through Northeastern University’s accelerated nursing program and in 2018 earned an M.S. in nursing, also from Northeastern. She is certified as an acute care nurse practitioner and also works for Yale Urology.
Domonik Clausell, a cosmetologist and esthetician, also works at Royâ Medspa as does nail technician and esthetician Katherine Robles.
Before co-founding Royâ Medspa, Appiahene launched her other business, Innovative HealthCare of Connecticut. She started off in 2020 in a “very tiny office” in downtown Hartford, but in December 2021 moved to the Armory Building at 836 Farmington Ave., Suite 219, in West Hartford.
There she works alongside certified nurse practitioner Rushickah Brooks and Maybelle Mercado-Martinez.
When looking at the data of who received assistance from the PPP program in Connecticut, Bysiewicz said more than 80% of the businesses were white-owned, and nearly 80% were also male-owned. In January, the Women’s Business Development Council, and the state Department of Economic and Community Development announced a COVID-19 relief program – the Equity Match Grant Program – designed to provide much-needed cash grants to women entrepreneurs, which in Connecticut are also 33% Black-owned, she said.
While the first round of funding closed several days ago, Bysiewicz urged Appiahene and Bell to watch for the announcement of the next round of grants this spring or summer.
“What’s your future vision?” Bysiewicz asked.
“Are you really ready …” was Appiahene’s reply. “This is our starting point. We want a sauna room. We want to do scrubs. We want to be a women-owned one-stop-shop for all things beauty.”
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