BeautyMark: A Jerusalem beauty salon collective run by women


Getting into business can be hard, and this is especially true for those working in the beauty services industry. In Israel, this particular sector is filled with hard-working professionals, many of them women, who work out of their homes or travel to see their clients.

But in the heart of Jerusalem, a group of women entrepreneurs have changed that, coming together to run their own salon. A year and a half later, it’s now going strong.

The BeautyMark boutique salon is the brainchild of Daniella Mark, a makeup technician who had found success doing makeup, nails, waxing, and other services. Eventually, it was time to stop doing all this work from her home.

“I really felt the lack of colleagues, and I wanted to have a workspace and a home space,” she explained.

But getting an office by herself wasn’t easy.

NAIL TECH OLGA AMOS HARD at work on a client’s nails. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

“All of our businesses are over-saturated, so it’s very hard to get started in an office, especially alone,” Mark said.

She needed to put together a team, a veritable Avengers-esque squad of trained beauticians, each specializing in her respective field. Finding them all wasn’t hard.

Working with Mark at the salon is hairstylist Debra Neal, also known as Hair Stories with Deb; massage therapist Ma’ayan Shalom; and nail artist Olga Amos – a collective of immigrants and returning citizens.

“Debra was my sister’s hair stylist,” Mark said. “Ma’ayan was a client of mine, and Olga and Debra have known each other for a long time.”


Each is an entrepreneur with her own brands, and they work together to build up clientele, offer advice, and help each other succeed.

Now, having a salon space at 111 Agrippas St. in Jerusalem makes a major difference for them, as they no longer need to welcome strangers into their homes or to travel. 

“The benefits of working out of a salon far outweigh the benefits of working from home,” Mark said. While noting that there are challenges, such as administrative work and having to deal with the Jerusalem Municipality, “in return you gain a community of clients. It’s not just you and them one-on-one for an hour. They become friends, family. This is the case with our colleagues, with whom we have built a sisterhood, too. You have people who also come here just to chill and hang out because they love the vibes.”

“We’re really open and curious about people, and we’re good at what we do,” Neal affirmed. “It brings interesting moments and people.”

“Working in a salon is 100% better,” Amos said.

“I used to travel to my clients for my work,” Shalom said, adding with a laugh, “I nearly broke my back trying to carry my massage table up flights of stairs in Jerusalem. And these apartments didn’t always even have room, so I had people come to my house. But there’s the security issue of me being a young woman inviting these random people into my home. 

“Having a salon and co-workers has been a game changer. I’m not alone, and it’s an environment where I can bring new clients in.”

Since joining BeautyMark, Shalom’s business has been booming, with her treatments always being tailored to the client’s needs.

“I work more with chronic pain and injury,” said Shalom, who learned her techniques at Reidman College. “Most massage therapists just do [set] treatments to fill the time. They work on what they want to, and not what the client needs. It’s just not personal. I try to give patients the massages they need.”

Noted one customer: “BeautyMark is where I go when I want to pamper myself. They have such a supportive energy, women helping women take care of their bodies.”

Running a beauty salon during wartime

AFTER THEIR success in opening a business and establishing a clientele, BeautyMark is looking to expand.

“We planned to move to a bigger place or upgrade our things here,” Neal explained. “We want to be bigger, we want another hairstylist and nail technician, we want more rooms. We want to be a place where anybody can come in and get all of their beauty services done in one place and feel comfortable.”

Since the war with Hamas started, however, expansion plans took a backseat.

“For the first three months, my husband was in Gaza, and I’m pregnant and have a toddler,” Mark recounted. “Our clientele was divided between those who thought, ‘Do my nails even matter?’ and those thinking, ‘We need to keep living and support Israeli businesses.’ We also get more soldiers because of the discounts we offer.”

But in other respects, the war has helped business.

“Waxing has become more urgent than ever,” Mark said. “This used to be something you would schedule a month in advance, but now we’re getting calls from women who say, ‘My husband is coming home today, do you have an appointment right away?’ Nails, however, have been up and down. When there’s more bad news, there are fewer nail clients, but that always leads to a bigger wave of people looking to treat themselves.”

Noted Amos: “People are living with stress and trauma, but in this war specifically, people don’t want to forget about themselves. They don’t need to return to normalcy, they need to pamper themselves and don’t want to neglect themselves.”

But at the same time, the entrepreneurs at BeautyMark have also been volunteering during the war.

“Ma’ayan and I started working with soldiers,” Neal said. “We started traveling from base to base doing haircuts and massages together. Once a week on Sundays, we would go to different bases from the South to the North. We’re not going to bases as much now in the winter, but we still take care of soldiers, and we want to go back when the weather is better.”

BEAUTYMARK’S CLIENTS are a diverse mix of people from all over Jerusalem, and the owners realized they had to adjust their facility to suit their clientele.

“We have a mechitza [separator] for when religious women need to get their hair done. When a man comes in, we make an announcement first so all the women inside know,” Mark said. 

“It’s a fascinating place. We have haredi women covered from head to toe, and women with tattoos sitting in short shorts. They’ll talk to each other about life, kids, and so on. We don’t turn away any client based on race, sexuality, or nationality.”

“It’s nice to know there’s a place I can go to take care of my body,” remarked a customer. “It’s such a wonderful place to visit. It feels like I’m supporting good friends, and being taken care of by them.”

Where did the name come from?

“I had a six-hour meeting with my mother and sister, both entrepreneurs, trying to come up with a really good name, and we came up with nothing,” Mark said. “When I came home, my husband practically farted out of his mouth ‘Your last name is Mark and you do beauty things, so you should call it BeautyMark!’ That was brilliant!”

But the name has a double meaning, too.

“A beauty mark is a collection of skin cells that didn’t spread evenly like the rest of the skin. They joined together to become that dark, beautiful center,” Mark said. “That’s exactly what we are. We could have spread and stayed in our separate places, but working together we’re a beauty mark!” 

To make an appointment at BeautyMark, visit:

Follow members of the BeautyMark collective on Instagram:

  • Daniella Mark:
  • Debra Neal:
  • Ma’ayan Shalom:
  • Olga Amos: