Since her teenage years Kimberly DeFritas has dreamed of opening her own spa and salon. She has fulfilled that dream beyond expectation with the opening of 8 the Experience, Curaçaos premiere spa destination located in Coral Estate. By the time she graduated high school, Kim had begun her journey and studying skin care, makeup and hair dressing. In college after a particularly difficult exam, she met the professor who would become her mentor. He encouraged her to focus her studies on accounting and helped her develop goals for the future. This change in focus shaped her life in other unforeseen ways as it was in an accounting class she met her future husband, a Curacao native.
After cosmetology school, she and her husband settled on the island where her dreams would soon be a reality. Opening a business under any circumstance can be harrowing, but Kim faced several challenges when tasked with developing a successful spa in an environment and culture way different from her own.
To overcome these challenges, Kim became a student of Curacao studying the language, people and culture. She began networking through her position at the International School and soon met her future investors who encourage her to think bigger and let go of some of her more conservative ideas for the spa.
Their advice paid off, turning 8 The Experience into Curacao’s finest spa, a place for both locals and tourists to indulge and escape.
Kim had always planned to use a number in the spas name for easy brand recognition on an island with 4 spoken languages.
A full line of services are offered, from manicures and pedicures to hair styling and massage. Their most popular feature is the Chakra massage which uses intuition and aroma to create a customized experience in one of their private ocean view parlors. Guests can also relax in the outdoor pool or any of the three sensory chambers: the Forrest steam room, the Sahara sauna or the Igloo chamber. They are also invited to enjoy fresh cold pressed juice from local juicer Noosh. The spa’s design caters to both local residents and tourists weaving traditional Caribbean themes together with every changing locally sourced artwork. Her hard work and vision have more than paid off, as 8 the Experience was awarded the prestigious Salon of the Year by Salon Today magazine.
Along with managing 8 the Experience, Kim also works to give back to the community, specifically by coaching and becoming a female entrepreneurs on Curaçao. She is a founding member of Boss and Co. an organization of local female entrepreneurs dedicated to providing mentorship services and scholarships to up and coming talent.
written by Lauren Batey