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Footsteps to Follow

By: Lois Hince
Posted: July 23, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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In 1977, the Cluffs opened The Oaks at Ojai in Ojai, California, actually inspired, in part, by Rancho La Puerta and the European spas Sheila visited in the early 60s. Today, the multiple award-winning destination health spa offers exercise classes, a spa cuisine food plan, and massage, facial, watsu, wellness services and more. Sheila combined her knowledge and experience with exercise and dance with good nutrition. It was a combination that has worked for the past 30 years and is sure to continue.5

Sheila Cluff will be 72 this month and is still working at The Oaks at Ojai. Last fall she competed in a national adult figure skating competition in Las Vegas, taking first place in freestyle and third place in jumps and spins. When she wonders why she’s skating again, she then says, “Why not? I could never have returned to jumping and spinning on skates after a 45-year absence if I had not stayed fit.”6 This truly is a testimony to her life and dedication to the spa industry.

Following footsteps

The dedicated spa owners, estheticians, massage therapists, educators, skin care manufacturers and distributors who work in the industry today—you’ve chosen some pretty big footsteps to follow that would not have existed if it weren’t for true pioneers in the industry, those who set the bar for all to reach. Just as you follow in these footsteps—or perhaps those of another industry notable who you’ve identified as your pioneer—remember that you are pushing that bar even higher and creating your own footsteps to follow in the process.


1. A Brief History of Spa,

2. Skin Care Pioneers—Part I: Elizabeth Arden, www.skincare-news/articles.php?ArtID=246, Jan 2007