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Darcy Buster

Caramie Schnell

The windows of Darcy Buster’s spa in Edwards look down upon the Eagle River and the path that runs alongside. It is the perfect location for a business which focuses on relaxation.”It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle on the street and come back here where it’s so peaceful,” Darcy says.Darcy grew up in Iowa with her parents and three older brothers. With all boys in the family, her parents were determined to have a girl.”The big joke is, if Dennis had been Denise, I wouldn’t be here. So I’m glad Dennis was a boy,” Darcy laughs.At the age of 20 she followed in the footsteps of her brother Dean who accepted a job with CMC. Not long afterward her brother Dennis (who now owns June Creek Electric) came out. Her other brother, David, also came to Colorado, where he settled in Denver.”I think we got to Colorado because my grandmother lived in Boulder,” Darcy says. “When we were kids we didn’t fly all over the place, vacation was driving to Colorado to visit Grandma. That got us our first exposure to skiing.”It was 1978 when Darcy moved to Vail and she’s quick to assert that the town, and the mountain itself, were a little different back then.”I didn’t go to regular college, I always say I went to the college of Vail Mountain and I knew it well back then.”The first few times Darcy skied, she ended up embarrassed at her lack of skill. As she says, she had never seen, let alone skied, bumps before. For nearly the rest of that first season, Darcy skied alone.”I just went up and I watched people and I learned how and I made myself do it,” Darcy remembers. “And I learned how to ski bumps. Then I started skiing with people again. I like skiing with guys, I like keeping up with the boys, jumping off cliffs and all that stuff.”Darcy’s first job, like many others before and after her, was as a front desk attendant at the Lodge at Vail. She remembers skiing five days a week and her first apartment, above the Rucksack, allowed her perfect access to the nightlife in Vail.”That’s the thing (about Vail), you can go out any night of the week and it’s fun; it’s a party. It’s not just Friday and Saturday night like in Iowa,” Darcy says. “I don’t do that anymore, I go to bed at 10 o’clock instead of going out at 10.”During that time Darcy met her former husband through a close friend. Within six months the two were married and a year-and-a-half later, the couple’s first daughter, Kelly was born. Three years later, Christy came along and completed the family.”(Our marriage) lasted five weeks short of 20 years,” Darcy says. “I think it’s sad, you don’t get married thinking that you’ll ever get divorced. A lot of our friends have gotten divorced too, I think it’s a sad thing, but it’s kind of how our society is now, too.”Though Darcy primarily worked as a stay-at-home-mom, she always had the entrepreneur bug, she says. She sold Tupperware for a period of time, had a party decorating business for a little while and always strived to stay involved with her daughters, volunteering at their schools and contributing a lot of time to the local Girl Scouts’ programs.In 1984 Darcy decided to go to beauty school and learn how to do nails. She drove to Glenwood every day to attend school and started off at Hair West.I started doing nails out of my home just for something to do and then the fumes got to me and it got tedious,” Darcy says. “I really liked the spa atmosphere though, and so I thought I’d go back to school and try skin care.”Darcy, as she says, ended up loving it. She began working for Skin Deep and eventually ended up renting a space out of Mountain Living Spa in Eagle, where she was located for nearly three years.Just about a year ago Darcy decided it was time to take a risk. She bought her own space in Riverwalk and started her own spa business: Pure Life Skin Care.”It was a scary decision,” Darcy admits. “There’s been a couple times since when I’ve gotten concerned because I’ve been a little slow one week, but now I’m just getting really busy, the momentum is there.”I’m kind of like that, I like to put myself out there, try and hopefully it will work. I’m lucky, I’m doing something I really love, I have a passion for it, and it’s interesting to me.”Karin Johnson, Darcy’s sister-in-law, has watched her try all of her different projects and sees this latest venture as being a perfect fit.”You can just tell that she’s doing what she really should be doing,” Johnson says. “She truly has the entrepreneurial spirit; she’s really hit on something with this. To take the risk that she took, to buy her own space, she’s truly committed to it and she’s doing a great job with it. Darcy has a great energy about her, she’s very positive.”Another thing Darcy likes about her job: “When people come to the spa, 99.9 percent of the time people are in a good mood, they’re psyched to be there and they’re ready to relax. It’s great to be able to work in that sort of environment.”Though Darcy’s two daughters have moved from the valley and are “out exploring the world,” as Darcy says, she has a hard time picturing herself anywhere else.”I love the area, it’s beautiful; it’s a progressive area, I like the small town feel but at the same time I like the energy and the movement and what’s going on here,” she says. VTCaramie Schnell can be reached at cschnell@vailtrail.com.


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