September 22, 2006


Incline's own ShopGirl starts new concierge service


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Bonanza Photo - Emma Garrard ShopGirl owner Lin Pruett offers a concierge service for Iocal residents.

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Morgan Kriz
bonanza staff writer,
September 22, 2006

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Incline's new concierge service, ShopGirl Concierge, has owner Lin Pruett shopping till she drops.

"I am good at shopping," Pruett said. "I always find unique items and gifts that no one else has. I make sure my clients get all they need and want so they have time for themselves."

In addition to personal shopping, ShopGirl offers services such as running errands, travel, theater and special event arrangements, as well as referrals to service providers and local home and car repair vendors.

But ShopGirl's services are "not just for the 'Madonnas' of the world."

"Bigger cities like San Francisco are used to having this (concierge) service ready at hand," Pruett said. "I am offering the best possible service at the best possible price point, here in Tahoe."

Excellent service with integrity and confidentiality are the most important aspects of ShopGirl Concierge services, Pruett said.

"My services are for people who don't have the time to take care of their own tasks and errands," she said. "I take care of what you have to do, so you can go and enjoy the things you want to do.

"The services available through ShopGirl Concierge are limited only by your imagination. If it's legal and feasible we will do our best to achieve the goal of the client. I help clients achieve what they need."

Pruett has lived in the Reno/Tahoe area for more than three decades.

Her family of four has lived in Incline Village, her "stomping ground" as she calls it, for the past 14 years.

Keeping up to date on current trends, home decor, fashion and electronics for all ages is an important part of the job, she said.

"I am very knowledgeable of the area," Pruett said. "I know who to talk to, where to go.

I have great connections in the area. I have many close relationships with vendors in the Reno/Tahoe area who will most likely offer me a 10 percent discount for using ShopGirl Concierge."

Pruett is a member of the International Concierge and Errand Association, ICEA, an association for professional concierges from all over the world which has spawned connections locally, nationally and internationally, she said.

"ShopGirl, (it's) easy to remember," Pruett said.

Lin Pruett and Shop Girl Concierge can be contacted at (775) 832-SHOP (7467), (775) 232-5325 or email

For more information, visit

"Business Profile" is a regular feature that looks at local businesses in the Incline Village area. The Bonanza does not endorse this or any other business. If you would like your business to be profiled, please call the Bonanza at (775) 831-4666.



Incline Generosity & Kindness

Viana Zucchet
Special to the Bonanza
February 15, 2008

Previously, I have had the opportunity to write about the different types of domestic violence, but today I wanted to share with you a story about the generosity of people in the Lake Tahoe area.

Every once in a while we get to partake in a "wow" moment. This past holiday season I witnessed a "wow" moment right here in our own community. It amazes me people can be so kind during the holidays. Like all the bad is wiped out as people celebrate the birth of Christ and the New Year. People really want to make a difference or a change.

Tahoe Women's Services Adopt-A-Family program has become a tradition to many locals during the holiday season. Generous families and individuals call TWS looking to "adopt" a family to provide them with presents they might not otherwise have. We ask our clients to make a wish list, and then they wait to be adopted. When we ask mothers to make a wish list of things for themselves, it amazes me.

I typically have to convince them that the adopter wants to adopt mommies too! Such was the case when I began looking for a family for a special lady to adopt. Little did I imagine the magnitude of compassion of what was about to come.

Lin Pruett, owner of the local business ShopGirl Concierge, a full service Concierge company called looking to adopt a specific type of family. Lin called as if she knew it was a calling! Lin has always been an advocate of bestowing "random acts of kindness" to whomever crosses her path. She was looking for a family that would be willing to meet with her and celebrate the holidays. Typically the adopter and the adoptee never meet and it is very confidential and anonymous. But Lin was certain she wanted to have a connection with this family and to also teach her two children how to help others who are less fortunate.

"We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful and serene place and a country that has such abundance," Lin said. "I felt pain in my heart when I heard about the locals here in Incline that needed just the basics. I then sat down with my children and asked them if they would like to be involved in helping a family who desperately needed basic items and didn't have enough money to buy presents for their children. My family agreed to have a smaller Christmas so we could help a family here in Incline. The joy my family felt was the best gift we all received."

I thought of the perfect mom and child.

I have worked with this particular client for some time and thought she would be open to this unprecedented request.

This particular mother is a survivor of domestic abuse, as well as sexual abuse as a child, and is struggling with diabetes. This young, single mom was the ideal. I passed her wish list on to Lin, we planned the meeting and worked on her wish list. Lin was able to buy not only winter coats for the family, boots and gloves, clothing for the child, an air mattress and a space heater to keep warm, but was also able to help the mother buy birthday gifts for her child and a grocery card from Raleys for food.

Here it comes, the Wow moment, Lin felt there was more she could do to help this family and asked me if there was anything else I could think of to help this family out.

I shared with her that the mom could lose all her teeth because of the diabetes and not being able to afford dental care.

Well, Lin sprang into action. Long story short, Lin not only adopted my client and her child for the holidays, but she also paved the way for my client to get the extensive dental procedures she so desperately needed. Through a personal connection with Dr. Randall Iwasiuk D.D.S. and the kindness of Dr. Karen Kurcharski and Dr. Dan Muff, Lin was able to see to it that the client will receive over $10,000 worth of dental work free of charge.

WOW! What a truly amazing example of generosity. Thank you Lin, Dr. Iwasiuk, Dr. Muff, and Dr. Kucharski, it's what makes my job worthwhile!

Viana Zucchet is an advocate for Tahoe Women's Services Incline Office.



Along with the many services ShopGirl Concierge provides, Lins company also ventured into taking on the position of Manager of Operations for a local Spa that needed some help.  Lin was able to raise profits by 54.2% for this company with her diligent marketing and policy placement for this Spa in just 6 months.  Lin worked with this client for 12 months upgrading image and procedure and was able to help this clients Spa get into 2 major worldwide Spa magazines, this article below included which was a feature in Spa Fresh Magazine.  In addition, Lin was able to get this clients Spa as the first Spa in Northern Nevada to be featured in a major Spa magazine article.

Aloha Skin Spa Located only about 50 miles from the easy to access Reno Airport, Aloha Skin Spa is nestled in the pine trees only a half mile from the Northern tip of Lake Tahoe, Nevada. A beautiful setting in inself, let alone for a world-class boutique spa with a very tropical Hawaiian atmosphere. As you enter the spa, the smell of fresh Orchids and burning Passionfruit Candles make you feel as if you just stepped off your plane on the Big Island. This spa has just the perfect amount of aromas that gently combine for that tropical feel. You will hear the zen-like sounds of running water come from a beautiful bamboo waterfall that seems to engulf your senses.

Greetings of Aloha are heard from the friendly and polite staff. For the first-time visitor or the very happy repeat client, you will be pleasantly surprised at the feeling of the Hawaiian Spirit of Aloha that surrounds you as you are welcomed to the spa. Fresh orchids are flown in each week to the spa to create leis for the clients as they arrive for their treatment. As Spa Manager & Operations Director, Lin Pruett, explains, "Aloha Skin Spa is about being a step ahead and a step above the rest." Quite frankly, any spa can put up some tropical pictures and have a Hawaiian themed-treatment but most locations can not duplicate that Hawaiian energy that permeates the environment at Aloha Skin Spa. Environmental friendly bamboo flooring warms the rooms and creative tropical artwork create a feeling and not just a theme-spa.

In the book, The Aloha Spirit by Serge Kahili King, the Hawaiian word aloha stands for much more than hello or goodbye or love. Its deeper meaning is the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo). Nothing is more true at Aloha Skin Spa then the ever present attention to the life energy of the staff, treatments, and surroundings.

Aloha Skin Spa was opened by husband and wife team, Bruce & Nicoa Wood, in late 2006. Both from Hawaii, they wanted to bring that Hawaiian spirit back to the mainland along with the idea of bringing a life energy to their spa.

Spa Director Pruett explains that a feng shui expert was brought in to consult on the construction elements, treatment room elements and even the placement of staff in rooms that match their own energies. "We wanted the staffs' individual energies to match the energies in the rooms and be able to then transfer that energy to the client," explains Pruett. Staff members had their personal number, element and animal determined to match up with the rooms in which they work to not only incorporate the energies but also to balance the spa as a whole.

All of the effort in creating this calming yet energized environment is noted by the client. Each room has elements of feng shui and energy maximized for their comfort. The extra attention to details is what makes Aloha Skin Spa stand apart from any other.

The spa's clientele is made up of both local residents and visiting clients that travel to the Tahoe region 3 or 4 times per year. With their extraordinarily trained staffed and superb treatments, most of the out of town clients must center their Tahoe visit around their spa treatments, because yes they are that good. Also conscious of the community, Aloha Skin Spa sponsors mixers, wine tastings and provides free services to many organizations in the area. Again, a true sign that a spa understands and cares about their clients and their community.

Our experience at Aloha Skin Spa was nothing short of awe inspiring. Having been to Hawaii, we thought there was no way to recreate the feel and aromas until we walked into this spa. Not overwelming but just the perfect blend of fruits, and flowers to make you want to continue to slowly inhale and exhale. Receiving our fresh orchid leis and hugs from the Spa Director, we were asked to relax and change into thick spa robes and flip flops to fill out the new client questionaires. I was impressed that the questionaire was a full and complete background questionaire asking questions about physical conditions, previous experiences and of course a detailed list of facial and skin questions.

Both of us were experiencing a Body Scrub, Wrap, Massage & Facial but each treatment was customized for our particular skin and as for the massage we chose a Deep Tissue and Swedish to expierience both.

My first treatment was a full body scrub and wrap. I was introduced to my Massage Therapist, Wendy as she politely lead me to the one of 6 treatment rooms. Once inside she described not only the treatments but general information about the ingredients and products being used and instructions on how to proceed. Sadly many spa employees forget to inform the client of what I call the basics:


Explain what to expect during a treatment. -I don't think any client would feel that they are given too much information. Especially if a client is new to the spa, it's imperitive that the staff member explains the treatment experience so that the client isn't left wondering on their own what is happening or how they are suppose to proceed. Aloha Skin Spa takes that extra step to make sure that the client is informed, feels comfortable and is at ease with the treatment itself, the level of clothing and what to expect throughout.


Explain the products and ingredients used and why -Wendy went out of her way to answer my questions about the sugar used for my body scrub and how the wrap was going to make my skin look amazing. As a spa professional, don't underestimate the power of knowledge. Be able to answer questions about the products and especially why certain ingredients are used for different skin types. I've found that even if a client is a little shy about asking many

questions during a treatment, offer a little product information at the same time you are describing the treatment steps. A soothing informative voice during a treatment, as Wendy's was, is so pleasant and assuring that it made me feel even more relaxed because as a client, I knew that my practioner was educated, trained and excited about the treatment. It really showed.

I enjoyed a full body dry brushing that was stimulating and relaxing and that was followed by a sugar body scrub. The scrub, which was a combination of fine sugar and warmed coconut and kukui nut oils was mixed right before it was applied and smelled of natural coconut. Not overly perfumed but a natural coconut oil which was so sensuous. I remember thinking about how relaxed I was during this treatment. The room definately had an energy and I could hear the sound of the bamboo fountain outside the door but with the combination of the Hawaiian music and the faint aroma of coconuts, I was becoming energized but in a relaxed way.

Following the body scrub, a vitamin enriched mask was applied. Meant to rehydrate the skin, this nutrient-rich recovery mask was a perfect follow-up to the scrub. With the mask applied to the entire body, including the back and stomach, foil and microfiber blanket envelope the client to soak deeply into the skin. It was at this time that Wendy used warmed oil to massage my scalp and I have to say that it was too good, of course in a perfect way. With instructions to take my time getting up from the table, I was able to use a private shower located in the treatment room to wash off the mask and scalp oils and to prepare for the massage to follow. I was greeted near the bamboo fountain by Wendy again to lead me to the massage room. A simple yet modern room with different Hawaiian music playing softly. I asked for the Deep Tissue Massage but have to say that any time the word "deep tissue" is used in a description it makes me a little nervous.

Wendy, who has 22 years of experience and is completing her 120 hours of training for Lomi Lomi Massage Certification asked me about my neck injury that I wrote down on my evaluation form. After talking about the massage technique she was going to use, I felt confident in her abilities and was looking forward to the massage. Again, Wendy softly explained the various movements before and during the massage, putting me at ease and of course creating an even more relaxed environment. Her ability to understand muscles and tissue was amazing.

She used a technique that I didn't realize could be used with massage. Isometric Isolation of the muscles. Basically, using pressure points in tight muscles the client tightens the muscle while the practitioner presses or releases the muscle. I have heard about this facinating technique but in the framework of physical therapy or electronic stimulation or manipulation but didn't realize it could be used during massage. I can say that my neck and shoulders were more relaxed then I have ever been and were relaxed for weeks after this amazing massage.

The only fault we can find of Aloha Skin Spa is their generosity and sincere care taken with clients. They simply spoil their clients to the point that no other spa can compare. If you are taking in several spa treatments, the staff at Aloha provide a mid day snack that is designed for the client. I hesitate to say "snack" as it's more like a small buffet of your favorite food. At the time of booking, the client is asked about food preferences and any diet restrictions and a mid day meal is provided. And what better way to relax in between treatments then a rest in their private alcove with the perfect Passionfruit, Orange and Guava Mimosa and take your time refueling before your next treatment.

Aloha Skin Spa is just the perfect tropical retreat, both in environmental setting and size. Each of the 6 treatment rooms are specifically designed for an individual treatment. The spa offers massages, body treatments, spray tanning, custom facials and a sonic sauna for steam detoxing or as a muscle heat treatment in between treatments.

The final treatment of the day was a customized Epicurean Facial with my Estetician, Ashley Hotz who was just perfectly friendly and knowledgeable. At Aloha Skin Spa, the client really does feel like royalty and the staff all go out of their way to inform the client and give them the absolute best treatment available. My facial lasted well over 90 minutes and I thank Ashley for not scolding me for my lack of facial regimine. Aloha certainly doesn't offer cookie-cutter, one-treatment-fits-all menu. This was evident during the facial as Ashley used my detailed pre-treatment questionaire and skin evaluation to determine each varing step in my facial treatment. I am often astounded by spas that preset their facial treaments products as if the entire population only has two skin types. Bravo Aloha for putting the technology and knowledge back into real facial treaments.

Aloha Skin Spa is a great destination spa offering a true feeling of Hawaiian spirit through perfect body and skin treatments. Aloha Skin Spa Staff: L to R-Luba (Massage Technician), Dana (Estetician), Lin (Management), Ashley (Estetician), Wendy (Massage Technician)

Be Present August 5, 2009 Article in North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Newspaper

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