Jaquaszian Dukes is a Chicago Southsider and a 30 something single mom who escaped a physically abusive relationship and lost over 100lbs. In 2020, despite overwhelming odds, she opened a fabulous body contouring spa in the South Loop called “Body Within You.”
“She said her journey of losing weight, getting healthy, and getting away from her abuser helped her to realize that it is important for women to be able to dig deep within and find themselves. Her studio is non-invasive, very economical, and will help other women who want to make changes with their bodies without going under the knife or breaking the bank. People told her she would NEVER be a business owner, and now she owns a studio that helps women find who they really are inside out.”-Late Publicist Erica Faye Watson.
Chicago Defender: How and when did you decide you wanted to begin the body contouring studio “Body Within You”?
Jaquaszian Dukes: My journey started when I lost over 100 lbs. within the past few years. I looked into ways to lose weight that were non-evasive other than going to the gym and exercise. I was also researching practical techniques and procedures. I love health and anatomy. That is how I came about with interest. My friend is a nurse as well.
Chicago Defender: What is your mission, some goals, and philosophy?
Jaquaszian Dukes: My mission is to help both women and men feel good about themselves and take care of their bodies without doing invasive surgery. Surgery can be expensive and not always the best route for my clients. I offer alternatives and solutions to combat the problems that they have.
When I quit my job, I wanted to dive into entrepreneurship permanently and consistently. I had depression, but I pushed through it. I told myself I could do it and created the motivation to do it. I would tell people to “speak life and positivity into your business.”
My goals: Take it slow. Stay afloat and maintain. I would like to eventually to like to invest in a Med Spa and expand to a more prominent location in the beauty industry. “Body Within You” Contouring Studio is just one location connected to my other businesses. I own several businesses (body contouring, tax consulting, wine business).
Chicago Defender: Who are some of your clients?
Jaquaszian Dukes: My clients are single parents, and men that want to lose weight and tone. The service that I provide are massages, body contouring, foot detox, teeth whitening, and much more. I have been getting many clients coming in now in the spring, trying to lose and get toned for the summer.
Chicago Defender: What advice would you give a person starting a new business?
Jaquaszian Dukes: Take your time and figure out what you really want. Do not stress about it. Make goals and plans. Build your business piece by piece. The naysayers will come and you will lose friends, but stay strong. Some family and friends both doubted and downplayed what I had accomplished. I lost many friends during the pandemic.
Last year was both my breaking point and my turning point. I opened the Body Contouring Spa during a rough economic period, but I have proven determination and resilience amid a storm. I am confident that I made the right choice. I would give my advice to anyone; do not ever give up on your dreams no matter what. Find a way to make it happen and see it through.
Okema Gunn is a writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @sevengunn