Arts & Life

From foundation to relaxation: La Dolce Vita Spa continues to rise

Located on East Broadway Street, La Dolce Vita Spa has evolved from a hair salon into a spa offering various massage, facial and body scrub treatments.

Opening in 1997, owner Laura Osuna purchased the building, once a doctor’s office, and got straight to renovation.

“I remember when I got here my mom said when she saw the property, ‘it will take you 20 years to fix this place yourself,’” Osuna said. “And then I said, ‘but mom, it’s gonna take 20 years for this neighborhood to improve. So we’ll just be ready.’”

Osuna had an interest in working with other people’s hair and enjoyed the physical aspect of the work. Paired with her interest in esthetics, the women in Osuna’s family inspired her with their entrepreneurial work.

Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1840 and have been entrepreneurs since. Both of Osuna’s grandmothers had businesses, as did her parents.

However, Osuna’s mother wanted her to complete university first. She started at Rio Honda Community College, then transferred to Pacific Coast College before attending Long Beach State to study art.

After attending the Beach, Osuna fell in love with the city. She knew she wanted to stay in Long Beach and looked for a beauty school to attend so she could open her spa.

“And so then I was really lucky enough to be able to go to school. Some girl gave me the number of the school and I called them.”

While creating the service menu for her spa, Osuna wanted to include special couple’s options for those looking to celebrate an anniversary or enjoy each other’s company.

All services come with different package options to include more than one service in the visit and depending on the package, it could include champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Since buying her building, Osuna has completed numerous renovations. She transformed a window into her front door, converted the doctor’s rooms into spaces for massages and dealt with plumbing issues.

Laura Osuna comes up with different concepts for each room in her spa which she takes around a year to execute.
Laura Osuna comes up with different concepts for each room in her spa which she takes around a year to execute. Photo credit: Marlon Villa

In October 2023, Osuna dealt with multiple pipe leaks that flooded more than half of the building. During this time she utilized her outside facilities while preparing the inside.

Despite the issues, Osuna stays positive and shares her knowledge with others. She has a program called Out of the Hood where she teaches young adults job skills, primarily in the culinary and hospitality industries.

“We’ve always had a really great relationship with Hilton, Hyatt, Westin, Renaissance. So many of our former front desk [hosts] here, after I’ve brushed them and polished them a little bit, they can definitely go and slide right into that environment,” Osuna said.

Osuna continues to offer her professional insight, she plans to continue growing her salon space. Her next project will double her space as she expands to her roof.

As La Dolce Vita Spa is approaching 28 years of operation, Osuna’s passion for her trade and her community continues to shine.

La Dolce Vita Spa is open 1 – 9 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and 1 – 8 p.m. Sundays.

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