By Anna Smith
Angie Brace-McLeod has been in the business of beauty for over two decades, and is finally getting started on her own shop where she wants to be above all else.
Her new shop, nestled in two of the rooms in the Irvine Hotel, is actually her second, after a tough-to-follow first shop in Acme closing down in 2020.
“I had an injury, I crushed my arm. So I was out of the business for a while. And then last year, I had my fourth surgery and got my mobility back. So in March, I opened up my shop here,” said Brace-McLeod. “Why Irvine? Irvine is where I want to be. That’s why, you know, I live out here. I’ve got lots of friends and family out here and I just wanted it to be here.”
Brace-McLeod got her journeyman’s ticket for hairdressing back in 2002, but part of her passion is making more than just a place to get your hair done.
“So I have the hair salon services. And then I have Chantel who provides spa relaxation massages. And I am also a Reiki practitioner,” said Brace-McLeod.
“My last shop, it was more of a Wellness Spa, like I it was quite a bit bigger than this, obviously,” said Brace-McLeod. “And I had a medium and Reiki master as one of my contractors there, who also became a good friend and I took my training through her.”
The hotel was the only real option for opening a shop in Irvine, and while getting the space renovated in order to be able to properly function as a salon and spa has been a challenge, Brace-McLeod is happy with how the space has turned out, and is already looking to the future of her business and how the location in the historic building can work for her.
“It has a lot of character. Yes. And there’s been talk of ghosts and all kinds of things, but I haven’t experienced anything,” said Brace-McLeod.
Jenesis Junction has been open since March, and is happy to offer hair services and massage with homemade, natural oils. They also sell homemade bath salts, soaps, with plans for other gifts as the space continues to shift and grow.
They are currently on the hunt for someone interested in working with the team for esthetics, looking to hopefully take over another of the old rooms to turn into a space for that.
“We did a lot of classes in my old shop,” said Brace-McLeod. “I do want to get back to that again. So like we did some wellness classes and craft classes and that sort of thing. So I’ve been speaking with Lou and, and Margaret and I think we’ll probably start doing some of those downstairs.”
Overall, Jenesis Junction will likely be a place to watch over the next few years, as it grows from a small salon to a Wellness Hub for the people of Irvine and the surrounding area.