Selling Beauty and Relaxation

Mary Anny Oggioni DeFreitas learned at a young age to make people look and feel beautiful. “My grandmother was a cosmetologist,” Mary says. “She was the one who taught me how to do a manicure.”

Mary was born in Iúna in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She is used to scenic vistas, growing up at the foot of one of the country’s tallest mountains, Pico da Bandeira (Flag Peak), in an area known for producing coffee. Her first time on the Vineyard was the summer of 2002.

Mary, a resident of Vineyard Haven, has served on the town’s finance and advisory committee. She worked at the Mansion House on Main Street for eight years before striking out on her own – studying aesthetics and spa management in Hyannis and Las Vegas before returning to the Island.

Miss Mary Cosmetics is a beauty spa that provides customers with a one-on-one experience, where clients can make an appointment and receive multiple services – skin care, hair removal, body treatments, spa manis and pedis – all from the same aesthetician. End-of-week appointments are popular with clients.

“Waxing is what put us in the market,” Mary says. “We work with three different types of waxes: hard wax, soy wax, and ultra-sensitive zinc oxide wax.”
One Friday a client has an appointment for a quiet pedicure amid scented candles and ocean sounds. She enters a low-lighted room. Gets her nails painted. A salt scrub. She leaves feeling refreshed and confident. Mary says, “You can really achieve relaxation and you still get pretty.”

When not working or spending time with her fiancé and her dog, Mary kite-surfs. She is currently training in kite speed and hopes to chalk up some records both in the United States and Brazil.

Mary credits Susie Goldstein, owner of the Mansion House, with giving her valuable work experience. “She was a great person to watch and learn from,” says Mary, who makes a point of keeping up with hospitality trends. Boston and New York are frequent stops.

“I learn a lot by going to different spas,” she says. “In my travels to other countries, I am always booking spa services so I can check them out.”

But fostering relationships between customers and aestheticians, she says, is what keeps people coming back.

Miss Mary Cosmetics, 20 Surveyors Lane, Suite 103, Vineyard Haven, 508-536-1505.

The Brazilian biz

Here are a few other Island businesses run by natives of Brazil:

Ronaldo and Quezia Andrade of Andrade’s Landscaping & Masonry have been pruning, mulching, and setting stones for more than a decade, and founded their business officially in 2009. Specializing in organic vegetable gardens, Andrade’s prepares the soil and bed, puts in sprinklers, and installs fences. They can help harvest too, if needed.

Andrade’s Landscaping & Masonry, 46 Barnes Road, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-8831.

Last year Valerio Destefani opened Bite on the Go on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Recently he moved his Brazilian buffet to the former location of the Harbor Café in Vineyard Haven. “It’s going well,” he says. “People know my brand from last summer.”

Bite on the Go, 86 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-684-8257.

Spending time on the beach? Tucked off Main Street in Vineyard Haven, Island Fashion offers swimsuits, dresses, and summer footwear. Proprietress Simone Rodrigues da Silva gets her beachwear from Brazil.

Island Fashion, 18B Main Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-687-9580.