Authement began planning the launch of her Houma business – originally a women’s health club – when she was just 23 years old.
She opened the club at the age of 25, filling a need in the market for a women-only gym.
Today, a quarter-century later, the health club is accompanied by a unique-day spa for men and women that offers a plethora of services, and Authement’s business continues to occupy a unique spot in the marketplace.
“We offer over 100 services and specialty treatments,” she said. “I am the largest day spa in Louisiana.”
The Houma-born-and-raised Authement started in the fitness business at the age of 16, when she took a job at the Southern Health Studio in Houma. Her inspiration to enter the field was the desire to combat illness in her family – her and her father’s.
At the age of 8, she was diagnosed with diabetes, and a few years later her father suffered a series of strokes, Authement said. At the age of 13, she found herself charged with improving her father’s health as well as her own.
“I worked on myself and with my dad, because my mom worked,” she said.
That began a process of seeking out fitness- and wellness-related knowledge, Authement said.
“It’s been a lifelong pursuit,” she said. “I read and learned everything I could get my hands on.”
Using what she’d learned about fitness and about the business workings of a health club, Authement opened her women-only club with 1,000 square feet of space and a staff of one – herself.
But her desire to find out as much as she could about the latest findings and developments in training and wellness ensured that her business would grow and adapt to changes in the field. Since its inception, the business has mushroomed: Her facility is now 20,000 square feet and the staff has grown to 22. And the size of the operation is not the only thing that has expanded. What Authement learned over the years gave her clues about how the business of fitness and wellness would change and expand in the future, she said.
“With all the knowledge I had been gaining, I knew the industry would be growing into something else,” Authement said. To that end, she developed the spa and its ever-expanding line of specialty services to augment her women’s health club.
Today, Allie’s Figure & Day Spa offers services way beyond deep-tissue massage, services that proably seemed inconceivable 25 years ago. Those services, delivered by specialists in the facility’s 27 treatment rooms, include full-body exfoliating, nonsurgical liposuction and other cutting-edge treatments, she said.
Authement, 49, is trained in the use of permanent makeup, which can be used for anything from the permanent application of eyebrows to the replacement of hair lost to cancer treatment.
Authement’s facility also can administrater nonsurgical treatments such as epidermal abraisions to remove scars, stretch marks or acne, and to perform face lifts, she said.
The commitment to staying on top of the latest wellness techniques and technologies continues to this day.
“I’ve always done all I could to grasp all the information I could,” she said.
Authement, who is married, has two children and four grandchildren, exerts a healthy influence on the community beyond just her work with paying clients. “I donate about $20,000 a year in use of the facility,” she said.
Gift Certificates for Allie’s Figure & Day Spa are donated and used to raise money for charities fighting heart disease and cancer, and benefiting terminally ill children, Authement said.
In the future, she and her husband would like to expand the spa by building on to the current location, she said.
Though she has had offers to open new facilities in other Louisiana cities, no such plans are currently in the works, Authement said.
“Right now, we’d just like to expand here,” she said. “My husband and I are working on that.”
From the article in Bayou Biz for Allie’s Figure and Day Sap’s 25th anniversary December 9, 2002.