February 26, 2020 141 PM
MARFA — A large sparkling golden arrow to the left of the Wrong Store on Highland directs you down an alley that leads to the entrance of Mira Marfa. El Paso-born licensed medical esthetician Jacqueline Del Omo chose the name Mira Marfa in part to honor her history and heritage. In Spanish, mira means “look,” and Del Olmo encourages people to look at their skin and really see what they love about it. She says her services are not about changing skin, but improving conditions and how we see ourselves.
“Language is power, and being of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent,” she said, “something so small as using my native language is empowering.”
Del Olmo’s parents owned a medical supply company called Larico Medical in El Paso. “In the back of my mind,” she said, “I always felt like I wanted to own my own business, but struggled to figure out what that would be.”
“Being a Latina business owner in Marfa means I can be a role model to other women just like me who need to know we are strong, capable, and can do whatever we put our minds to,” Del Olmo said. “I think it’s somehow more important in this community to be a role model to these women.”
She wishes there were more Latina-owned businesses around the area, though, and says there aren’t many. Ideally, she would like to meet more Latina business owners and form a support system to talk about community issues and challenges.
Mira Marfa currently offers a variety of services including facial treatments, waxing, lash lifts, brow tints, and LED light therapy. Del Olmo customizes facial masks by mixing different enzymes and ingredients during each session to best fit each client.
The sunshine pouring through the large banks of windows in Del Olmo’s shop provides a summer-like, balmy atmosphere, making the space warm and welcoming. She started her business two years ago and still has many of her original clients; she moved to her new location on Oak St only six months ago.
This new location provides the space for her to curate her client’s entire experience. “I love escorting them through the retail entrance into the treatment space and transporting them into a completely relaxing space I have created for them to enjoy,” she said.
The shop offers a refill station in an effort to help negate the waste and higher costs that come with fancy packaging. “Being a licensed medical esthetician, I am a little obsessed with ingredient lists,” she said.
You can bring in your own bottle or purchase a glass bottle from the shop and pay per pump of any of the refillable items, including shampoos, conditioners, body oils, shower gel, body lotion, and a face cleanser.
Del Olmo has worked at Austin-based clinical offices and in cosmetic medical spas and has experience working with clients with cancer, common skin conditions, and those seeking cosmetic skin treatments.
Skin care was not something discussed during her childhood in El Paso. “Maybe it was specific to my family, but skin care wasn’t mentioned at all outside of maybe eventually getting ProActive for my brother.”
Del Olmo recalls her brothers saying that they didn’t need sunscreen because their skin was naturally darker. Working at the clinical office, though, helped break most, if not all, of the learned skin care myths from childhood. Del Olmo will tell you, no matter who you are, to wear sunscreen. And she’s right.
“If good skin care isn’t something you grew up with,” she said, “you feel like you’re supposed to feel dry –– especially being from a dry and arid climate like El Paso.” For many of her childhood years, she assumed she was supposed to have dry skin because she lived in West Texas.
During her services, Del Olmo helps educate clients on the best ways to care for their skin. Her facial services are relaxing and educational. She is bilingual and is able to speak in depth and detail with clients who feel more comfortable speaking Spanish.
Del Olmo’s business is fueled by regular clientele who live in or frequent the area. She says about 90 percent of her clientele are either full-time or part-time residents.
Mira Marfa is celebrating its two-year anniversary with a customer and community appreciation party by way of a sock hop dance party on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, starting at 7 p.m. Those interested in sampling the services can arrive at 6:30 p.m. for LED and oxygen treatments. There will be an open bar, Del Olmo’s parents will cater the event, and The Sepiatones will play jams from the fifties and sixties, followed by a DJ set from Del Olmo.