UNA alumna buys local spa


Emma Leigh Wright

2021 UNA graduate Alani Brown has accomplished a goal that she did not expect to meet immediately after graduating. She is now the owner of a operating business, Me Spa in Florence.

Brooke J. Freundschuh, Managing Editor

Few secure their dream job immediately after graduating college, but 21-year-old Alani Brown fulfilled her dream of buying her own business the day before graduating from the University of North Alabama in July 2021. Brown purchased the business known as “Me Spa” on Bradshaw Drive in Florence. 

Brown grew up in Killen, Ala. After graduating high school in 2017, Brown went on to get an associate’s degree in Salon and Spa management from Northwest Shoals Community College. During this time she also became a licensed cosmetologist herself.  

“I knew in the seventh grade that I wanted to be a part of the [spa] industry, but I truly fell in love with it about two years ago. I started working a job at a local spa and truly fell in love with my career, all thanks to my amazing clients,” Brown said. 

In 2018  she began taking classes at UNA to earn a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. 

For the last year, Brown has worked as an esthetician at a local spa.  

In June 2021, Brown and her friends decided to take a trip to the beach. They flew out of Muscle Shoals. The flight was delayed, but this inconvenience allowed Brown to make a life-changing connection.

She introduced to Brett Jennings, another UNA alumni. Jennings informed her that his wife, Ashley Jennings, was the owner of Me Spa in Florence, and that she would be selling the business soon, since they were moving to the beach. 

Brown quickly decided that she was going to purchase the business from the Jennings family. Brown sought help from Mitch Hamm at The Generator to file a limited liability company. A contract was quickly drawn.

On July 30, Brown signed the papers and closed on the purchase, becoming the owner of her own business and facility at only 21 years of age.

The following day, July 31, Brown graduated from UNA. 

While a student, Brown was a part of several organizations on campus. She participated in tee shirt designing for The College of Arts and Sciences. 

“This school will always have a very special place in my heart, from growing up running around campus for dance recitals and sports camps and coming to see the lions to finally being able to call myself an alumnus of this amazing university,” Brown said. 

On Aug. 1, Brown took full ownership of the business. The employees of Me Spa continued to work through the purchase, and the spa is still open seven days a week, never missing a day during the transition. Brown is dedicated to making sure the employees who are new to her are still valued for their service as she takes ownership.

Me Spa is open on Bradshaw Drive in Florence to provide services such as massages, hair styling, waxing, facials, body sugaring and more.

Brown is also considering changing the spa’s name in the future to make it more her own.

“I would eventually like to rent or build a location that is bigger to accommodate more employees and more clients,” Brown said. My goal is to attract people of all demographics and make it somewhere people want to go and enjoy. I have many ideas for the future of the spa and cannot wait to implement them.” 

Brown is only getting started both in her professional career and in her journey as the owner of Me Spa. To purchase a well-known business the day before graduating college is a large feat, but Brown believes she has all the tools she needs to lead the business with success and grace.