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The Wellness Approach

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: February 24, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Due to today’s unstable economy, spa owners must reformulate the way they do business. More and more of you are telling us that you are returning to your “spa roots” by going back to the basics and focusing more on the wellness approach in your menus.

In February’s Vocal Point survey question on www.SkinInc.com, we asked: “What advice do you have for spas that are changing their focus from pampering to skin care health?” It didn’t surprise me that, in the responses, the underlying themes were cater to your clientele and continue your education.

Felicia Brown, business and marketing coach at Spalutions in Greensboro, North Carolina, shared some great insight. She says, “The spa industry is changing with the economy. A big trend has involved adding wellness programs and other services that relate more to improving general health and well-being than to offering pampering and luxury. Spa professionals have caught on to the idea that you must teach clients to think of spa and massage services as part of a lifestyle or a healthy habit. I think this will help many businesses to keep their doors open, and is filling a need for an evolving consumer and marketplace.”

Many of you share the philosophy that the spa industry already does combine both wellness and pampering, and that today’s clients need both to help them better ride out the stresses and challenges of everyday life. “I think it is wonderful that esthetic professionals are finally recognized as the experts they are,” says Christine Dreier, owner of Christine Marie Cosmetics in Franklin, Massachusetts. “In an ever-changing industry where anti-aging has become the primary focus, it is important to know that your health habits affect the skin dramatically.”

Jane Aransky, owner of La Residencia Spa, Newton, Massachusetts, echoes these sentiments. “As far as I’m concerned, pampering and skin care health go hand in hand. It is not enough to sell a product to a client without expressing the importance of stress-reduction. I’ve been in business for 35 years and have seen amazing results with clients who use our spa as a retreat for their inner and outer selves. Let us all never forget the importance of pampering and the woman-to-woman connection. It can be life-saving,” says Aransky.