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Spa Building Advice From Nikki Oden, Owner, Living Eleven

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: December 15, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Nikki Oden, owner of Living Eleven spas in Delray Beach, Florida, and Las Vegas, has been through the process of building a spa from the ground up twice and shares some of her success secrets with Skin Inc. magazine. She also contributes information about her out-of-this-world event spaces in "The Main Event" by Cathy Christensen which appeared in the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

"The relationship with your architect is crucial. I interviewed six architects and I just trusted my architect so much. Hold off until you can work with the right people. When it came to my architect, I interviewed three people and the one I interviewed last was the one I chose. He was like, “I can do this project.” He was better priced and knew my blueprints better than I did … and I knew those plans. It was so easy and I did not have to worry about one thing during construction. Even if you’re in a rush, do not sign a contract with anyone if you even feel a moment of wishy wash. Reference, reference, reference!

Trust your landlord. If your landlord has relationships with people that he says are great, trust him. Your landlord may have suggestions, so you need to ask, because they can help you if you need help. Whatever the case is, you need to be partners.

Don’t go overboard for your choices in construction even if you have a lot of money. Get quality as far as things that are going to last forever and be low maintenance. I learned about the stuff that you don’t need. All of my steps are ceaserstone, which is outrageously expensive. Less is more, and you can always find a knockoff."