But for Pasquale, that often meant growing up in a home with no candy or sugar cereals, and, sometimes, even contending with sprouts germinating in the bathtub.
“There were times, when Neka was a child, that I could tell she was embarrassed by her hippie parents,” Ann says. Before PTA meetings, for example, Pasquale would carefully select and lay out the clothes her mother was to wear. “She wanted me to look the part!” the hippie-turned-spa-expert says with an easy laugh.
Despite all those growing pains, Pasquale clearly was influenced by her mother’s passion for health and healing. She enrolled in acupuncture school after college and—after becoming a licensed acupuncturist with a practice of her own—accepted her mom's offer to work together.
At the time, Ann was operating Cheek t’ Cheek, a 600-square-foot skincare business that she’d opened in 1979 in Larkspur, California. Years later, when a larger spa space became available in Mill Valley, Ann and Pasquale decided to take their working relationship to a new level.
A far cry from Cheek t’ Cheek’s modest outpost, Evo today boasts nine treatment rooms; an inviting reception area with green and bronze mosaic tiled walls; and an expansive boutique, tastefully appointed with high-end product lines (Éminence, Epicuren, Jane Iredale and SkinCeuticals to name a few) as well as loungey sweaters, plush robes, handbags, jewelry and accessories. Ornately carved 19th-century wooden doors imported from India separate the boutique from the treatment rooms, and to pass through them is to enter a space that feels at once peaceful and transformative.
For most spa owners, setting out to quadruple the size of their facility would be a daunting task. But armed with little more than a dream and some meager savings, Ann and Pasquale say they took things one day at a time, dealing with issues as they cropped up.
“For those first few months, we basically winged it,” Pasquale recalls. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t bumps along the way. So much closeness can take its toll. “When you’re stressed out and you’re working with your mom, all of your stuff comes up,” Pasquale says. “You don’t have the same boundaries as you do with other people.” Sometimes that translated as general irritability, other times as a lack of checking in on a personal level.
“We definitely needed more of a break from each other, but we worked through it,” Pasquale says. “Luckily, we’re on the same page when it comes to just about everything.” And when they’re not? “My mom has the last word!”