This Detroit Spa Offers A Softer Summer Life

Originally Published Dec. 19, 2023.

A new era is dawning for Black women: the “soft life” movement, which emphasizes gentleness, self-care, and unwinding deeply rooted expectations of resilience. This shift toward prioritizing mental health and happiness that was once an unattainable luxury is now being embraced as necessary.

The “strong Black woman” archetype has long been a double-edged sword: a testament to fortitude yet also a burden of silent endurance. While admirable, the perpetual resilience described by this narrative has overlooked Black women’s profound need for rest, vulnerability, and gentleness. The soft life movement seeks to restore that balance.

Cheryl Hudson, owner of Detroit’s Woodhouse Spa, has spent nearly two decades embedding the essence of soft life into her business. Situated downtown, the spa offers more than relaxation—it provides a glimpse of escape where Black women can embrace self-care without reservations.

Hudson explained to The Michigan Chronicle that as native Detroiters who appreciated spas, “My husband and I thought, ‘There’s no place like this in Detroit. We should open a spa.’”

Spotting a franchise ad in 2005, Hudson took action.

Under Hudson’s leadership, Woodhouse Spa has evolved as a critical sanctuary supporting the wellness of Black women in Detroit. Hudson recognized that “there’s a brand-new clientele of market here that we need to reintroduce ourselves to.”

Recent renovations and upgrades provide a luxurious embodiment of the #softlife ethos.

Manager Christina Woodall described the spa’s holistic experience: “It’s not just about skincare or waxing…it’s the scent, the feel of every product, the serenity of the music.” This multifaceted environment nurtures Black women rather than depleting them.

Understanding the soft life movement means recognizing self-care is more than indulgence; it’s prioritizing mental health and self-love. Woodhouse Spa invites guests to redefine success on one’s own terms through tranquility and self-compassion.

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