The Lemon Drop owner makes longtime dream a reality

Laney Griffo
Amanda Presley’s only co-worker is her puppy Nala.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A new South Lake Tahoe business aims to help people relax and find some good vibes.

Amanda Presley, who is a long-time aesthetician, opened the Lemon Drop in July of 2020, during the height of the pandemic.

While the business is new, for Presley, it’s been an idea in the back of her mind for many years. During school, one of her assignments was to start a fake business and Presley was not amused by the assignment. She named her fake business A Esthetic, (A for Amanda) and moved on.

“Then I went home that night and went to bed and I literally dreamed it,” Presley said. “And I woke up and I remember calling my mom and telling my friends, ‘I’m going to name my place The Lemon Drop if I ever open my own business.’ And it was kind of stuck, I always just had it like way back in the back of my brain.”

The Lemon Drop offers waxing and skin care, such as chemical peels and facials. For Presley, the look of her studio was important to her. She said she wanted “fun vibes” and a place where everyone feels comfortable.

“Everyone says, when they first walk in, that it looks like me, and it’s kind of the biggest compliment that I can get,” said Presley, whose fun, laid back personality comes through when she speaks.

Once the pandemic is over, she hopes the studio can be a place where people can just hang out

Right now, “it’s a one-woman show,” she has no other staff, just her and her puppy Nala. Although, she does hope to expand down the line and hire other staff.

Amanda Presley has poured her heart into this business.

Presley has seen some of the impacts the pandemic has had first hand in her clientele, especially “maskne.”

“The maskne honestly breaks my heart,” Presley said. “I’ve been able to do my best at taming it but it really sucks because we keep doing the thing that causes it. Normally, when you find out what causes acne, you throw it out the window and never look back but this has obviously been different.”

In addition to the maskne, she’s seen a lot of stress related skin issues because of the pandemic.

“Stress is a hormonal thing so it does cause breakouts,” Presley said. “I handle stress really well so I do my best to project that confidence into others and reassure them that change can be good and that we can’t stress over what’s not in our control.

“Again, stress and masks are not causes that someone can throw out so it’s about taking small steps to tame and manage and hope that leads to improved skin and happy vibes,” she added.

Right now, the business is her whole life and she’s poured a lot into it. But when she’s not working, she loves laying on the beach soaking up rays or hitting the slopes. She runs nearly every day but wouldn’t necessarily say she loves running, she just likes the way it makes her feel after.

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