D’Marie: “The massage therapist has to work from the heart”

As an old saying goes, those who persevere succeed. In the end, that’s what life is all about: pursuing your dreams. Maricel Ponvert Iser knows this well. After many ups and downs, she decided to set up a massage salon.

The first attempt failed despite her determination. But some time later, with more experience and better prepared, she tried again. And she succeeded. She even went further.

Today, her business is located in the heart of Havana’s Vedado district, designed in homage to the Virgin Mary and Oshún, a mystical place where one appreciates peace and good vibes.

What distinguishes it from other salons in the capital?

Bamboo interior decoration, the smell of incense in the air. Entering the salon is like suddenly coming upon a space of relaxation and healing. A place to escape from the stress of the city, work and everyday life.

D’Marie Holistic and Wellness Center has been in existence for 5 years and is the preferred place for many people in the Cuban capital who opt for a boost to their physical and spiritual health in the hands of professionals.

Here the best of massage and reiki techniques come together, with a collective headed by Maricel, a woman with an enormous entrepreneurial spirit.

“I have worked in different areas, but I have always had a special relationship with massage, since I started receiving them as a 16-year-old teenager,” Maricel explains.

From the beginning…

When her first massage salon had to close due to lack of clients, Maricel started offering home services. That’s when she began to get regular clients. After 16 years, a friend suggested she reopen a salon and use promotion to achieve what she couldn’t the first time round with the business.

“At the time, my husband was practicing third-level reiki, a type of Japanese alternative medicine considered pseudotherapy, grouped among energy therapies. So I decided to set up a center where I could unite the two activities.”

That is why her business, as she describes it, is not a spa, but a holistic center where, in addition to massage, all her workers are trained in reiki techniques, at least to the first level.

“When we opened, I had mastered the massage and the specialties, but I didn’t have all the business knowledge to set up the venture, to make it prosperous. That’s why I went to CubaEmprende, passed the workshop, and was able to get the necessary tools, and thanks to that workshop, I can assure you, my business has reached this point: we have customers, we have work, and we do what we like, we are happy,” she notes.

What can you find at D’Marie?

“We are a team of massage therapists and reiki practitioners who harmonize physical bodies, on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. To achieve the absolute well-being of the client.” This is their letter of introduction.

And all this really can be found at D’Marie. Services such as microdermabrasion sessions offer mechanical peeling to eliminate dead skin cells, reduce skin imperfections and sun damage; aesthetic services such as natural masks and depilations; facial and body cleansing.

In addition to massage courses and meditation sessions, the center offers a wide variety of massages: for babies, foot reflexology, specialized massages for teenagers and dance students, chiropractic, cupping, localized fat reducer, lymphatic drainage and even the couple modality.

Business model or life philosophy?

Maricel says that her philosophy of life is based on the premise that the greatest thing a person can have is to be good, to be able to help, and she applies it to her business.

“If you don’t put heart into what you do, your hands can’t respond well. I take care of my workers and they take care of my clients.”

In this salon everything has the added value of the good energy that emanates from the drive, desire, commitment and love that its creator puts into it, along with the professionalism of the young team that accompanies her. Undoubtedly, the best choice to heal body and soul.

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