Winston Salem Journal - May 2020

Winston Salem Journal - May 2020

Winston-Salem business woman has repurposed her spa, enters hemp industry amid COVID-19

Despite the chance to reopen Ma’ati Spa in downtown Winston-Salem as North Carolina shifts into Phase Two of reopening, owner Maya Gilliam is already pivoting to a new business model because of the impacts she has experienced from COVID-19.

She has run her spa business since opening in 2011 at 707 N. Main St.

Gilliam has estimated her Ma’ati Spa sales will be down at least 40 percent from this time last year if she doesn’t change her business model.

“People have really cut back on any unnecessary expenses — luxury items like massages, facials and body scrubs,” Gilliam said. “They are doing it from home.”

She said it's also hard at the moment to get massage therapists to work at the spa because they are now going to people’s houses, and she has found that both customers and massage therapists are concerned about their safety during the pandemic.

“We feel like it’s better to move forward with an essential business that has to do with agriculture,” she said.

Her new company is Hempress Farms LLC, which has a small farm in Yadkin County for growing industrial hemp indoors and outdoors. It opened quietly May 9 and will have a grand opening in June.

Her Ma’ati Spa’s name has changed to Hempress Farms LLC and has been turned into a dispensary for the new company, offering such items as lavender CBD body butter, CBD body scrubs, hemp leaf oils with CBD and various teas, including ginger hemp flower and hibiscus hemp flower.


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