#TheRootTrip: Treat Yo’ Self at Atlanta’s Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa

YouTube screenshot
YouTube screenshot

I wanna make this clear: Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa at 341 Nelson St. SW in Atlanta is one of the best black-owned businesses I’ve ever visited. Point blank. What makes it the best? A number of things.


Owner Yolanda Owens is a cool and beautiful sister (Alpha Kappa Alpha member, by the way) who’s owned her day spa since 2003, and she exudes a confidence that resonates with her staff. Iwi, which stands for “It is what it is,” has a mission to bring truly natural, nonchemical and nontoxic beauty services to the Atlanta community. And it works.

I asked #BlackTwitter and #TheRootTrip community for a recommendation for a massage, and once Iwi popped up, I called and asked for an appointment. Boom, appointment set. When I walked in, I was impressed by how quickly I felt like I was being extracted from the busy streets of Atlanta to a tranquil space where one could immediately relax.

Jars of natural oils are filled with combinations of green teas, brown sugar, different fruits, and other natural items like grits and flaxseed to gently scrape the dead skin off your body. As I looked around, I thought to myself, “This is all great, but do they work?” I’ve been to plenty of spas with their mint waters, soft robes and towels, and gentle music, but the overall experience had been lousy. Could Iwi Fresh deliver?

Lemme tell y’all something. While at Iwi, I had a wide variety of services, including a natural vegetable facial that made my face feel like it was softer than a newborn’s. Like, three days going, I keep running my fingers on my face, tripping off the softness. Then I had a chair massage, which meant elbows in the right places. Over to the corner to get a shave with a straight edge, hooking up my mustache and goatee, all while getting multiple hot-towel treatments. And did I mention the lemon treatment during my pedicure that made my size 12s feel ... dare I say ... beautiful?

Look, I’m not even trying to be partial. I love this place, and if I could bring it lock, stock and barrel to Los Angeles, I would. Plus, they sing!

The cost of services was $375 and well worth every penny. Go spoil yourself. Get Iwi Fresh! Total spent on black businesses to date: $925.



Nice! I was listening to an interview on the radio the other day with a bay area black woman who started a line of beauty products in her home. She started selling them online, eventually opened a store in Oakland, and has now expanded to SF. They cited a study (apologies, I can’t recall the source now) which found that the demographic creating the largest number of small businesses in America right now is...black women. So, a little bit of good news....