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An Industry of Progress, Part III

By: Mario Montalvo
Posted: December 1, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Rancho La Puerta in its early days.

Rancho La Puerta in its early days.

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The Higgins’ opened Studio 55 Day Spa and Salon in 1998 in Laredo, Texas. The original space was 1,500 square feet and has now expanded to 4,500 square feet, making it one of the largest day spas in Southern Texas. With two expansions, and having served more than 36,000 clients, Studio 55 is one of South Texas’ most successful small businesses.

According to Marisela, “One of the many challenges we have faced was in educating our male clientele as to the benefits of spa services. One other major hurdle was to remove the ‘neon light’ from body massage services. We are presently working to educate our new and existing clients to realize that spa services are an investment in their present and future state of well-being. One way to ensure our future is by always striving to maintain the quality of our services, and the expertise of our staff, at the highest levels possible. There is a lot of misinformation out there and sometimes clients get very confused, so our job is to educate them, gain their confidence and keep increasing the frequency of their visits.”

According to Robert, “Given the slowness of the economic recovery, the short-term future of the spa business is more dependent on owner creativity than on general economic conditions. Even if you own an upscale spa, you should not consider your services as luxury items. The days of pampering are long gone. Clients want visible results related to their health and well-being, and they want them at a reasonable price. Spa services should be considered as a lifestyle habit, rather than simply a treat.”

Ray Stainback, Owner, Palomar Institute of CosmetologySan Marcos, California

Ray Stainback is the owner of the Palomar Institute of Cosmetology in San Marcos, California, which teaches esthetics and cosmetology.