Grand opening Thursday, October 12, 5 to 8 p.m.
By Michael Howell
A new full-service Medical Spa, including a Laser Salon and Men’s Den, has opened its doors in Florence. Rosalee Shorter, a native Bitterrooter, opened the business called RS Aesthetics in August of 2015 and moved into the current building located on 293 Rodeo Drive in Florence this June. A grand opening celebration is planned for next week.
After graduating from Stevensville High School, Shorter attended the University of Montana for a couple of years before getting her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Georgia State University. She then moved to Washington DC to attend George Washington University in a joint program resulting in one Masters Degree as a Physician Assistant and a second in Public Health Administration with an emphasis in community oriented primary care. After graduating, she worked at George Washington University Hospital in general surgery and trauma for two and a half years before moving to California where her husband John Masar attended a teaching program.
She worked for eight years in Sacramento as a Physician Assistant with Dr. Jeffrey Sweat, a board certified plastic surgeon, and built up a cosmetic practice including Botox, dermal fillers and laser treatments. Shorter and Sweat set up a private practice in California called J. Sweat Plastic Surgery.
Shorter and her husband then decided to move back to Montana to raise their four kids closer to both sets of grandparents who live in Stevensville and Missoula, respectively. Dr. Sweat, who maintains a license to practice in both Montana and California, serves as the Medical Director for RS Aesthetics and Shorter still travels back to California once a month to see patients in Sacramento.
Shorter has expanded her practice to fill her new 2,500 square foot impressively appointed facility in Florence, employing two estheticians, a hair stylist, two massage therapists, and a receptionist. One of the massage therapists specializes in deep tissue massage and the other practices a lighter, more relaxing style.
RS Aesthetics offers a wide variety of services, including facials, chemical peels, her own skin care product line, injections and lasers. Shorter is a master injector and considers herself a face sculptor.
“It’s not about looking like a Barbie doll,” said Shorter. “I try to maintain a natural look, but one that appears young, fresh and vibrant.” She said it is often not so much about beauty as it is about helping people regain confidence in themselves and feel good about themselves after going through cancer therapy or following some major weight loss or period of extreme stress that can make a person look and feel run down.
Shorter said that following the recent economic crash, a number of women came to see her after finding themselves being passed by in the job market and attributing it to age discrimination.
“I help them stay in the work force,” said Shorter. She also helps teenagers with their often-serious acne problems. She said that there are a lot of misconceptions about why people get things done. She said it is often not to “look beautiful,” but just to “look normal.” Over a period of years she has volunteered with the non-profit Women for World Health, visiting sites around the world to perform free cleft palate surgeries and treat burn victims.
RS Aesthetics serves men as well as women and, according to Shorter, the Men’s Den is Montana’s only men’s spa. Here the hard working (and even the retired!) men of the valley can enjoy a haircut, neck massage and neck shave while sipping on a mimosa or other favorite beverage. If they have to wait their turn, they can play a game of billiards.
Ready to serve both sexes and all ages in a relaxing environment, RS Aesthetics will be holding a grand opening on Thursday, October 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m. The event will be catered by Mission Bistro and there will be drinks, door prizes and deep discounts on the services. Dr. Sweat will also be attending the opening.