Know Your Neighbor: Sonja Mayer

Katharine Egli

Sonja Mayer in one of her treatment rooms at Sonja's Skin Care Saturday (Feb. 3) in Taos.

Valentine's Day represents romance, love and beauty. Individuals and couples experience romance and love in their own manner and choice. If your search includes beauty, Sonja Mayer offers special Valentine's Day packages at her Sonja's Skin Salon at Casa de Colores, Suite E-2.

"When dealing with beauty and skin, one must seek products and advice from a trained, licensed aesthetician instead of a salesperson who doesn't possess training in this area," said Mayer during a recent interview.

Mayer grew up at Taos Ski Valley. At the age of seven, her family moved to the Arroyo Seco area but maintained strong ties to Taos Ski Valley as her parents owned the Edelweiss. Sonja attended Taos Municipal Schools and graduated from Taos High in 1990.

Mayer continued her nearly lifelong love of dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she received a bachelor's degree in dance. She danced for several years with Marjorie Malone, Kechari Dance Company, Taos Dance and others. She also served as a counselor for the Delana School, a summer school for ballet at Taos Ski Valley.

Eventually, Mayer decided to change career course. She attended the Instituto de Bellas Artes Aveda in Albuquerque for five months. At the end of that intensive course, Mayer earned an aesthetician certificate and license.

Her first venture was providing skin care at Salon Marjorie. "It was a great experience. Before long, my clientele grew to the point that I needed a larger space. The Aveda Company only authorizes stores based on population, and for Taos County, only one is allowed. I had reached my plateau, and if I wanted my clientele to continue growing, I had to find a new space and a new company with which to participate," explained Mayer.

In 2007, the aesthetician opened her salon next to Urgent Care at 330 Paseo del Pueblo Sur. Her store features Dermalogica products, representing a company that encourages and assists young women entrepreneurs become successful business owners. Mayer described the products as all natural and designed for different skin types: anti-aging, teen acne, adult acne and sensitive skin.

Sonja analyzes and prescribes skin care for her clients. She offers regular facials, chemical peels and retinal facials. Creams, oils, cleansers, toners, serums, sunscreen and eye cream are available as well as men's shaving cream.

Sonja's Skin Salon also offers Nova lash extensions and the makeup line, Jane Iredale, which also includes consultation and treatments. The salon remains open by appointment only. For information or to schedule an appointment, call 770-2760.

Outside the skin salon, Mayer enjoys a rich, full life. She spends time with family members: father Dadou Mayer, who currently grows coffee trees in Hawaii, and Ilse Mayer of Taos. The youngest of three children, Mayer enjoys the company of sister Suzanne Mayer of Taos and brother Christian Mayer, his wife Christine and their three daughters. The Christian Mayer family lives in France and spends time in Taos as often as possible.

Sonja Mayer met Keith Schreiber of Tucson while both played tennis at Quail Ridge. Schreiber is a master landscape photographer, printmaker and workshop presenter. Life with their daughter Leila keeps her parents busy.

Like her mother, Leila is also a dancer. Sonja, who terms herself, "an old mom retired dancer," takes her daughter to classes at Taos Youth Ballet. "She's inspired, and even sings and dances to a karaoke machine. She's definitely not shy, and her grandpa calls her fearless. I call her adventurous, exciting and outgoing," Mayer said.

Sonja Mayer loves the outdoors, especially skiing. She loves art and travel. A treasured memory includes swimming with the dolphins on a visit to her father in Hawaii. "It was magical," Mayer said. "My hobbies include the sharing the pleasures of life with family and friends. I like to help others enhance life."

Red chile and the color pink top Mayer's list of other favorites.

Sonja Mayer is celebrating Valentine's Day at her business and at home.

"I'm decking out the shop with Valentine's Day décor. I'm also offering treatment packages, gifts with purchases and goody bags to commemorate this special day," she said. "I plan to spend Valentine's Day rafting with my daughter. I'll do my best to make February 14th, Valentine's Day, more beautiful for everyone,"

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