PennDot, Prices & Promotions….Oh My! @ ESSpa Kozmetika

With today’s post, I would like to touch on several issues that seem to cause some consternation every now and then. Hopefully, my comments will help foster some goodwill and understanding surrounding these very important topics and how they relate to ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare.

PennDot. Like Haley’s Comet (except more frequent and a lot closer), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation cannot help itself but to cause motorists in and around Greater Pittsburgh as much grief, stress and anxiety as possible when it comes to efficiently navigating area roads during the summer months (or as we like to affectionately call it “road construction hell”). As anyone who has traveled the Pennsylvania Turnpike knows, the WPA did not disband after FDR’s New Deal – it was rechristened PennDot and relegated to the constant work on our state’s highways. Usually this does not directly affect ESSpa Kozmetika as the WPA…oh sorry, PennDot most often is content to endlessly work on I-79, I-76 or other road that are far enough away from our little borough of Aspinwall. This year that came to a screeching halt as PennDot has turned its sights fully on Route 28. Yes Irene, the complete closing and reconstruction of a bridge that it seems like they just closed and reconstructed not too long ago is at hand and it is causing incredible delays, detours and distractions for anyone trying to efficiently drive to ESSpa Kozmetika from Downtown Pittsburgh. According to PennDot, they suggest that everyone (something like 40-50,000 cars per day) drive down a ramp, go across a bridge onto a single lane road (Butler Street) festooned with traffic lights (and the Zoo) and onto another bridge as the fastest detour around the construction zone.

I am here to tell you that there is a much easier and quicker way to get from Downtown (and the South Hills) to Aspinwall and ESSpa Kozmetika. HERE IT IS. Take Bigelow Boulevard (this is accessed via the same ramp / interchange for I-279 North right near Mellon Arena above the USX Tower) east towards Oakland (passing the Bloomfield Bridge) until you come to Baum Boulevard. Turn left onto Baum Boulevard and travel on Baum until you get to Negley Avenue. Turn left onto Negley and continue as it turns into North Negley Avenue. After 20 blocks, bear right as Negley turns into Mellon Terrace and then bear left onto One Wild Place (there will be a big Apartment Building on your right). Follow One Wild Place around the LEFT-hand hairpin turn and go past the Pittsburgh Zoo and down the hill. At the bottom of the hill turn right and stay right onto the Highland Park Bridge. On the bridge stay in the right-hand lane and take the Aspinwall Exit at the end of the bridge. The ramp will take you onto Freeport Road. Go straight to the 3rd traffic light and turn left onto Brilliant Avenue. ESSpa Kozmetika is located at 17 Brilliant (big red brick building on your left). From Downtown, this detour should take about 15-25 minutes (even at the busiest rush-hour).

Prices, prices, prices. One of the hardest things to discuss and figure out in any business is how to price accordingly. This is even more difficult during a time of economic upheaval such as we are currently in. And additionally more difficult in a business that is commonly considered to be a “disposable income” type of service. Allow me to say that in a perfect world, I would spend all of my waking hours giving my guests the longest, best service they could find anywhere at any price for little or no charge (ask around, it is my nature and it is what makes me happy). Unfortunately, I have a husband, a son and 30 some employees who rely on me for a livelihood so I have to find a balance and charge a fair-price. Many of my most loyal guests have noticed a recent price-increase in a few of our services and they have commented to me how much more they are than services at other salons. I must first say that most of these comments are because I did not price my services correctly in the past and allowed people to compare our ESSpa Kozmetika “apples” to other salons “oranges”. This is to say, the prices are not out of whack because people are not comparing the same services. Guests need to understand that our “standard” Hungarian Spa Manicures and Pedicures INCLUDES all of the EXTRAS that other salons charge additional fees for. Our standard nail services INCLUDE a paraffin foot dip. Our standard nail services INCLUDE an invigorating massage. Our standard nail serivces INCLUDE a thorough callus and cuticle removal. And our standard nail services take about 15-20 minutes longer than those at other salons. As for our other “spa” services, there really is no way to compare our ESSpa Facial Treatments to other spas as what we deliver is light-years more involved and effective and longer than anything offered at most other spas (anywhere, not just in Pittsburgh). We use more expensive products, we include more steps, we include more features (like a hand and foot massage) and you are on the table longer. And our massages are the same. When you schedule a 1 Hour Massage at ESSpa Kozmetika you must understand that your will be on the table for 60 minutes (not 50 or 55 minutes like almost every other spa int he world). And your Massage will include hot towels, warm blankets and proper attention to your feet, hands, head, neck, shoulders, arms, back, whatever requires the attention of one of our Nationally Certified and Licensed Therapists. In closing, when it comes to prices, I understand that every dollar counts but please note that I refuse to comprimise on providing my guests with the absolute best possible treatments and products and therapists and the only way to continue doing this is to charge a reasonable and fair price.

Ah promotions. No in the country spa offers more than ESSpa Kozmetika . No spa in the country gets as creative as ESSpa Kozmetika. No spa in the country tries to make spa treatments as accessible to as many people by offering insane offers as ESSpa Kozmetika. Yet sometimes, people still find reason to complain. While I understand that there is a common human desire to always want and look for something for free, I hope that everyone understands that at the end of the day, ESSpa Kozmetika is a business, with bills, and loans, and employees and rent and everything else that comes with operating a successful business. That being said, I really hope that everyone understands that in order for us to continue to offer such wonderful and ridiculously low-cost promotions (like today’s Facial for $39) I have to place some kind of restrictions on their redemption. I just want everyone to know that whatever restrictions there are – any conditions of use are solely placed on the promotions themselves AND NOT on our regularly purchased ESSpa Kozmetika Gift Cards. If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to contact me immediately at

I hope that this post answers several questions that people might have about some of the more important issues of the day. In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to stay-tuned as I am going to making some huge announcements in the next few months. And as always, everyone is invited to share your thoughts and comments with me about these or any other topics that you wish to discuss…..because without you, ESSpa Kozmetika would not be the wonderful place that it is and will continue to be.

Eva Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare
Named Pittsburgh’s “Best Green Spa” in 2009
Named the “3rd Best Spa in America” in 2008
17 Brilliant Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
(412) 782-3888


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  1. […] Original post by esspa […]

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