Simple is Cool. Bliss is Cooler.

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in Community, Professional | 0 comments


Robin (left) with Megan Brown, receptionist and marketing coordinator, and Claudia Alarcon, Esthetician. Just two of team that were available for a quick photo that day.

 By Erin Gamble

As you may have read in our “Our Story” section, Sarah, Katie, and I used to live right in the heart of Glenwood South off of Boylan Ave until a house fire sent us packing. Among our many corporate neighbors were the sweet ladies of Simple Bliss Spa and Salon. If any of you have seen me in the last week or so, you know that I took the risk that many girls agonize over, and either regret or love – bangs. Sounds silly to you gentlemen, I’m sure. But the girls feel me. The new ‘do was a hit according to my friends and boyfriend, Sammy (unless they were just sparing my feelings). I attribute the success of this visit to my former “neighbor” and hair stylist, Kara; just one of the lovely ladies that are beautifying downtown Raleigh in every sense of the word. I decided to venture back this week for a much-needed massage (not that anyone ever describes it as a sort-of-needed massage).

Before my session I had the opportunity to sit down with Robin Berning, owner at Simple Bliss Spa & Salon. This would be my second massage with Robin and I was already a pretty big fan. But after our brief Q&A sesh in the Spa’s Relaxation Room, I see her in a whole, new light.

Robin has been in this profession for 25 years. She loves what she does and she loves Raleigh. Especially because it simultaneously provides a big-city feel with small-town, friendly relationships (couldn’t have said it better myself).

If you have relocated to Raleigh from the Virginia/DC area (good choice!), you may have heard of the Sugar House Day Spa and Salon. Robin was a key component in getting that business rolling and she thoroughly enjoyed her time there. However, seven years ago, when she and her family moved here, Robin quickly noticed a huge difference in her professional life.

“I found it extremely difficult to find happiness in my workplace,” she told me, remembering that the relationships at her old job were ideal and her new place of employment was less than joyful.  I’m sure we can all relate when we look back over our professional journeys.

Robin still commuted to DC periodically to fill in and make some extra money. After working one particular weekend at Sugar House, Robin collected her paycheck to return here to Raleigh. She glanced down at the amount, and burst into tears at the sad realization that she had made more money in that weekend than she did in two weeks at her new job. Robin remembers her friend and co-worker looking at her right then with wise words to offer:

“You need to work for yourself. You need to find a way. You need to open your own place.”

Robin refers to this as her ‘aha moment.’

Robin started this journey in a small room at Personally Fit, with no clients, and in the lowest of low economic times. She continued to travel to Sugar House to help support her family each weekend for 2.5 years while she built her business. TWO AND A HALF YEARS. After a couple of small spaces, Robin took the biggest chance of all and leased an old house in January of 2012 in Glenwood South.

Robin described the new location as a “full-blown party house.” The place needed countless renovations and changes to bring it up to code. By day, Robin was a imagepleasant, peaceful massage therapist. Nights and weekends, she was a lean, mean, home-improvement machine. Fastforward to the day of the interview where I sat in a beautiful room with lavender walls, chocolate brown accents, and lots of character. Robin modestly admitted that she did the decorating herself with help and input from the girls on staff. And speaking of her staff, Robin was most complimentary of her team.

“Everyone that works here is very good at what they do. Everybody is gifted in some way – touch, artistic style. Everybody. And they love what they do.”

When asked what advice she would give to the Raleigh entrepreneur, Robin’s response was simple, and practical:

“Keep going. Do the right thing. And do it well.”

Robin’s desire to do things “right and well” has brought her this far. And she looks forward to 2013 being the year she can watch her business thrive, with hopefully less construction, renovation, and long commutes to DC.

The services offered are quality, well-priced, and enhanced by the relaxing and friendly atmosphere. I speak from experience. Find the full list and learn more about the team here.

I recommend a visit ASAP to Robin and the girls there. And I also can proudly admit that today, Robin reminded me that when there isn’t happiness in your workplace, you can fix it! I will be visiting Simple Bliss again soon. Maybe for a massage or a hair cut. But mostly for a refreshing reminder of what we can conquer when we set our minds to it.


Couple’s massages are offered in the same room.


Where I had my deep tissue (pain-free) massage









Pedicures in a room with a view


Hair salon. Where the bangs were born.

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Upcoming Business Events

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in events, Professional | 0 comments

Our friend Derrick Minor does an awesome job at sending out great business, entrepreneurship, and innovation-type events. Here’s a quick run down of some upcoming events!

NC Fashion Week – April 22nd-April 26th at NC State à Details here: (still on)

Art2Wear Fashion Show at NC State on Thursday, April 25th at 6:30pm à Details here:

Hillsborough Street Networking Social at Raleigh Brewing Co – Thursday, April 25th  at 6:30 at Raleigh Brewing Company à Details here:

Headbands of Hope Anniversary Cocktail – Thursday, April 25th at 7:30pm at The Oxford à Details here:

Riley Life Logistics Open House Party – Friday, April 26th from 5pm-9pm at Riley Life HQ à Details here:

Lulu/NC State eGames, Monday April 29th, 2pm to 6pm at McKimmon Center à Details here: (

Cherokee McDonough Challenge – Application Deadline is Tuesday, April 30th à Details here:

Raleigh Chamber – 2013 Business Expo –

Lemonade Day Raleigh Gala – Thursday, May 2nd at The Stockroom:

Raleigh Fashion Worx – Friday, May 3rd at The Architect Social House à Details here:  

First Friday May with Symbology

Friday, May 10th Himilayan Happy Hour –

RTP 180 (Save the Date) – Wednesday, May 22nd from 6pm-8pm at RTP HQ à Details forthcoming

Startup and Play: Startup Summer – Wednesday, May 29th from 6pm-9pm at RTP HQ à Details here:

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