Unita Parnell, Caribbean Day Spa

Thanks to Accion San Diego for this story!


From a young age, Unita Parnell knew that she wanted to take a different path. “I had no footprints to follow,” Unita shared about her childhood. “Many people around me lacked the motivation to boost their own economic situation, choosing to not further their education nor pursue avenues of self-improvement.”

After receiving a very memorable massage, Unita was inspired to become a massage therapist. She earned her license and started working for local spas. After working hard for years under different employers, Unita decided to utilize her drive and experience to start her own business. In August 2012, Unita came to Accion San Diego for a loan to open Caribbean Day Spa, becoming one of the first Accion clients to have her loan funded through Kiva.org. Her $5,000 loan was used to secure a retail space and purchase equipment. Less than a year since opening, Unita’s business is profitable and has grown to the point where she has hired two part-time massage therapists. She recently became Accion’s first Kiva loan client to refinance her loan, and will be using the additional capital to expand her spa and purchase additional equipment to meet increasing demand.

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