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New spa brings retreat to Big Sky

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Sanctuary Big Sky opened in April of 2021 and boasts three treatment rooms defined by plenty of natural light and plants. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY WOODGER

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – In April, local Amy Woodger opened Sanctuary Big Sky, and the new spa is just that, a refuge from the dry climate and day-to-day stressors. 

Woodger has lived in Big Sky for 20 years and raised her family here. She had a career in sales and marketing at Moonlight Basin until 2006 when she became a stay-at-home mom and switched to part-time work. Her children are now 11 and 15 and her husband has been the superintendent of the Big Sky Golf Course for 23 years. She became an esthetician in 2017 after completing a 900-hour course at Health Works Institute in Bozeman. Before the pandemic shut down the ski town, Woodger worked at other local spas including Santosha Wellness Center, Solace Spa at Big Sky Resort and Big Sky Skin Care.

As businesses opened back up, she said she longed to return to work and connect with people. The space became available, and Woodger said it worked out perfectly for her new business.

“It’s felt really natural and I’m excited to learn more,” Woodger said of her new business. “I’m continually inspired to take on new continuing education courses to add different services for my clients.”

Sanctuary offers a menu of facials including microdermabrasion, plant peels and brow tinting, among other things. Clients also have the option to book a massage with Autumn Buckman, a licensed massage therapist who partners with Woodger and has taken up residence in one of the three treatment rooms at Sanctuary.

Woodger referred to the business as “her own sanctuary” and hopes that clients will find relaxation in the space defined by its high ceilings, many windows, natural light and plenty of plants. 

Woodger enjoys working with her hands and in the past has worked as a gardener, a baker and a lunch lady. She explained that she really enjoys engaging with people and that her facials are more of a full-body experience that have been known to render her clients asleep on the table.

One of Woodger’s treatments involves painting a mask onto the client and then wiping them down with a hot towel. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

“People need therapeutic touch, it’s very healing,” she said. “Everybody has been under a lot of stress, and that’s what I want to give to people.”

Each treatment is specifically customized to the client and Woodger said she seeks to gain an understanding of their lifestyle and existing skincare routine. She described herself as a “holistic esthetician” and said she mixes treatments for each appointment. No two facials are the same. 

Many years of living in Big Sky have familiarized Woodger with the climate and she said she has shelves full of organic skincare products that she’s curated specially for Big Sky.

After a month in business Woodger said she has been thoroughly enjoying her work and is able to serve three clients a day. 

“I’m really happy to have this place and to be sharing it with everyone,” Woodger said. “It’s been a really positive response. I’m inspired to keep going.”

Woodger’s services are available by appointment only through her website or over the phone at 406 -219-8353.

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