Skin Deep

Stay Cozy offers skincare grounded in holistic principles

Staycozy 4Sometimes, putting on a happy face just doesn’t cut it. A real change starts from within.

That realization led NANCY HAAS to her profession as esthetician and owner of Stay Cozy Wellness Studio in Wilmington.

“I had low self-esteem and struggled with body image,” she says of her early life. “That led me to want to pursue a career where I would feel good about myself and help other women feel beautiful.”

Making a career change felt, says Haas, like a “massive leap of faith” in which she left behind not only her corporate job but her lifelong home in Long Island. “I traveled with no idea of what my next move would be,” she adds.

Yoga helped her make the stretch. Journeying to Indonesia, Haas completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program before moving on to India for more training. There, she discovered esthetics, the care of the skin, and subsequently became trained as an esthetician.

In India, she studied ancient healing methods, including Ayurveda, which takes a holistic approach to physical and mental health.

“It involves looking at your body as a whole: your breathing, eating, and exercise,” she says, adding that Indian healers use many holistic skincare products and routines.

“There’s so much to learn; I’m still studying. I try to bring that energy into my [studio] space,” she says. “It’s so easy in theory, going back to the basics of what makes a healthy lifestyle: connections, relationships, nurturing your body. I want to heal my clients’ skin by addressing the root causes of their skin conditions.”

Back in Long Island, Haas worked as a licensed esthetician for four years, doing further training with skincare educators, medical spa owners, and renowned estheticians there. Then she decided to take her holistic esthetics practice to Wilmington, where her mother lives.

Haas found a place for her studio in Elevate Coworking, a shared office space for women at Barclay Commons. Other tenants referred her to free small business resources, such as Channel, Live Oak Bank’s small business center in downtown Wilmington. She says she felt welcomed by the small business community, which made starting a venture seem less intimidating.

She also found friends and support at Pineapple Studios, where she throws mugs, bowls, and plates on the wheel – items she uses in her practice.

Stay Cozy caters primarily to women.

“I specialize in facials,” she says. “I do a lot with facial cupping and with lymphatic facials, which help with the circulation – anything that is creating puffiness. I drain the static lymphatic fluid, bringing everything down through the neck. It’s a very gentle movement; clients can do it at home as part of their regular facial routine.

“I want every woman who leaves my space to feel confident about their skin and to practice self-care,” she continues. “Hopefully, it’s the beginning of their journey and caring for their mind and their body.”

To promote that philosophy, Haas uses and sells Mukti Organics skin products from Australia, which she discovered in her search for clean products.

“I struggle with hormonal acne,” Haas says. “I tried [the products] personally and they were helpful to my skin journey, so I referred clients to them and brought [the product line] into my treatment room. They come from native Australian extracts and are organic, vegan, and cruelty-free. When you’re approaching a clean lifestyle it’s all about what you’re consuming: wholesome foods and organic skincare.

“Your skin is a reflection of what’s happening inside your body and in your life,” she adds. “I link holistic wellness with skincare: it’s all connected.”

To view more of photographer Logan Burke’s work, go to

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Categories: Health