NAPLES, Fla — Her story is unique and courageous, but Destiny Perez feels like a lot of women will be able to relate to it.
“I know this is what I’m meant to do,” Destiny says. "I’m meant to make women feel beautiful again.”
Destiny’s story is part of a series called SWFL Reinvented: Moving Forward. Every Thursday, Fox 4 Morning News Anchor, Chris Shaw, meets a person who has changed their life to start a new business. We meet them at the beginning of their journey, and follow them through all the ups and downs of starting up.
Becoming an aesthetician in Southwest Florida was never part of the plan for Destiny.
She had a job in finance and a large family in Ohio.
But Destiny says she also had a violent partner.
“He was very abusive. Emotionally, physically. And it was very hard to go through,” Destiny says.
“When a woman is in the position that she is being abused, [abusers] really try to target everything on the inside. They try to make you feel like you’re less than.”
For a long time, Destiny says she longed for peace and a safe place for her five children.
“Throughout that whole turmoil and process, I learned about myself,” she says.
“I was just trying to make a better life for my kids and I. And it was through that struggle and all that turmoil that I just decided, enough is enough.”
Destiny left Ohio with her children and came to Southwest Florida to be close to her mom. She helped out in her mom’s salon, and immediately felt a connection between the customers and her own liberation.
“After every single woman would come out feeling refreshed and renewed, it just gave me this passion,” Destiny says.
She wanted to help women in her own way. So she started saving up. First, to go to school and get training. Then, to start her own business.
In early 2020, she was ready to open Beauteous Aesthetics. But then the pandemic happened.
“I was devastated,” she says. "It really shattered me, because that was supposed to be my main income. How am I supposed to support my kids?”
It was not an easy year. But, as a family, they got through it. Destiny used the time to get more training. She also found a new location, on US 41 near Vanderbilt Beach Rd in Naples.
In February she started doing facials, massages, and body treatments. She feels like she’s giving women what she has, a new start.
Her business is just getting started, but she hopes her children have already learned something from her journey.
“I just hope they never give up. No matter how hard life is. I hope they never give up and they keep trying. And I hope they see that, no matter what, their mom never gave up.”