The short story:
Plain and simple, a lot of people and businesses need help right now. It’s urgent. There’s no playbook for dealing with 2020 and 2021 for the spa industry. We may remember the lessons of the last economic recession, but this isn’t the same.
Our colleagues, friends, and families need support on many fronts: work-related & financial, mental wellness, emotional needs, help with physical exhaustion, plus a desire for genuine care and connection. We’re not in this alone though some days, it sure feels like it.
I was previously working on this website, focusing on general spa and consulting information. Eventually, that will be posted. I put it on hold to pivot and focus on compiling information to help businesses navigate the pandemic, natural disasters and other unplanned disruptions.
Countless hours have been spent learning what businesses were doing and interviewing owners, spa directors, vendors, and industry leaders. Many organizations stepped up and created COVID-related business resources, which have helped thousands of people.
However, it became clear that there were gaps that needed to be filled. Plus, I believe the information needs to be easily accessible to everyone regardless of who you are, where you are, the type of business you have, and your affiliations.
I decided to launch the website without every piece of information perfectly and completely compiled. That would take too long. Honestly, with perfectionist tendencies, this stresses me out. Be patient; this is still a work in progress.
Please share widely, and let’s do our very best to work together with generosity, graciousness, and gratitude.
The longer version:
Why, for the past 18 years, have I wanted to teach and share easily accessible, affordable education with people who spend their days helping others through their work in the spa industry?
Perhaps it’s in my DNA. For 32 years, my mom taught 5- and 6-year-olds how to read and write in classrooms filled with bright-eyed wonder and first-grade attention spans. Seriously impressive.
Here’s how it happened.
Once upon a time, I worked with an organic skincare brand in sales and training. I loved that job! Quickly I realized that many vendors focus on resort and luxury spas as prospects and clients.
It’s the small businesses, however – day spas and solopreneurs – that are the backbone of our industry. Day spas make up 80% of spa businesses vs. only 9% resort/hotel spas (from the 2016 to 2020 International Spa Association industry surveys, this number hasn’t changed). Yet the small businesses, those that don’t appear on magazine covers and don’t have the same resources or budgets, are the ones that keep our industry going.
Often, the owners are trying to do everything themselves and are using personal and family funds or loans, all while experiencing the hardship of small profit margins. Sometimes, they don’t draw a paycheck for months.
Over the years, I’ve wondered continuously – Who is helping these businesses that make up most of our industry?
Fast-forward – past the years when I was working amongst wild monkeys at an island resort in Malaysia, then working as the Spa Director of large California and Las Vegas resorts, and then entering the consulting world.
Different jobs. Beautiful locations that delight the senses. Glittering lights. The same unanswered question.
Who is helping the small businesses that make up most of our industry?
Though my hospitality career was built by working in luxury resorts, I absolutely love and many times prefer working with small businesses – spas, solopreneurs, product companies, educators, events, and other consultants. It’s uniquely fulfilling.
Trying to build successful businesses without a lot of resources while wearing all the hats and many times also raising a family – seriously impressive (just like my feeling for teachers.) They keep the heartbeat of our industry alive.
With 30 years in hospitality, spa management, and consulting, plus a couple of stints in vendor sales and the wonderful and physically demanding massage school experience, plus remembering the lessons of the last recession and living through another one right now…
It’s time to freely give the information that businesses critically need to help make difficult decisions. Time to set loose decades of knowledge with plenty of diverse experience and viewpoints to make a more significant impact on those we serve.
It’s time to be the answer to the question that tugged at my heart all these years.
Please come join me!