Krystina Cabrera has always enjoyed getting massages and facials at the spa. But it wasn’t until she was 37 that she decided to go back to school and turn her passion into a business. Today, that passion has helped make her one of the first Kimco KEYS tenants, with the opening of Bella by Krys Day Spa in Kimco’s Melrose Village Plaza in Vista, Calif. She and mother, Julie Crumidy, are co-owners.

Krystina came to our center from a small residential studio. There she founded her business, and began building her clientele by offering customized facials, body treatments, lash extensions, and hair removal. The business grew beyond her four walls and she needed a larger, commercial space to take Bella by Krys to the next level.

When we met Krystina, she told us about her business plan and goals, and we found her to be an ideal candidate for our KEYS (Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start) business incubator program. A few months later, on Dec. 7, 2012, she held the grand opening of Bella by Krys at our center, with Vista Mayor Judy Ritter helping to cut the ribbon.

Krystina’s grand opening was a fun and exciting event created to give customers a preview of everything Bella by Krys has to offer. Estheticians were giving hand treatments, facials, and mini massages. Food and drinks were served. The spa gave discounts on treatments scheduled that night. And every attendee came away with a gift package filled with samples of the products Bella by Krys uses, all of which are 100 percent organic.

But we’ll let Krystina fill in other important details from here. We interviewed her recently about her experience with KEYS and where it’s all taken her. Tune in to our podcast to get a sense of who makes a good candidate for the program; what the KEYS process was like for Krystina; and the leasing, legal, marketing, and other support services we provided her. You can also read the transcript.

  • 1:19 How Krystina heard about the KEYS program and why she was interested in it
  • 2:20 What made Krystina a good candidate for Kimco's KEYS program
  • 2:49 Krystina's experience applying for KEYS
  • 4:25 What sparked Krystina's business idea
  • 6:13 Advantages that Krystina believes her new location will provide her business
  • 7:57 Bella by Krys Day Spa's unique selling points
  • 9:11 How Kimco is continuing to support Krystina now
  • 10:19 Krystina's growth targets for Bella by Krys

Krystina aims to continue growing her business, and hopes to open a second location in a Kimco center in the downtown San Diego area within the next five years.

We’re happy to be working together, Krystina, and we wish you the best of luck!

To see more about how the spa is doing, visit the Bella by Krys Facebook page and watch the video we created about Bella by Kris’ grand opening.

This has been an installment of StoreFront, an interview series with leaders of successful retail businesses. For more interviews, visit the StoreFront page. To learn how you can be featured, email us. We’d love to hear from you.