Helen Brown, executive spa director at Spa Solage in Napa Valley, has more than 15 years in the spa and wellness industry at the Forbes Four and Five-star level. Her expertise in developing innovative programming is based on a natural extension of her own lifestyle and beliefs. At Spa Solage, Brown directs all spa operations aimed to enhance the overall spa experience by developing authentic treatments that incorporate natural local elements.
Q: What made you go into the skin care industry?
A: “From the moment I first observed a spa in action, I was inspired by the transformative power of this industry. I was fascinated by the ability the spa treatment providers had to utterly change the mood and mindset of each guest ... Their sense of self, their self-esteem and outlook on life all seemed to be significantly improved and I wished to be a greater part of supporting and promoting such a positive transformation.”
Q: Do you have a skin care mentor?
A: “Each [mentor] has taught me different things from their own individual leadership style and knowledge base. Simply the opportunity to observe them and talk over challenges we are experiencing has been invaluable to me.”
Q: How do you stay current?
A: “I try to participate regularly in discussion groups with my peers and mentors. I strive to regularly read industry articles and journals. I also find great value in attending educational sessions and conferences to expand my knowledge.”
Q: What is your favorite treatment to receive?
A: “I love receiving Thai massage; ideally an 80- or 100-minute long session, traditional style on the floor. I find it incredibly energizing and invigorating, yet relaxing too. It reminds me how great bodywork can help me feel ...”
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: “I am inspired by the opportunity to exercise my risk muscle on a regular basis and incorporate new experiences into my life. I see it healthy to remember the humbling feeling of trying to learn something new and the satisfaction of seeing oneself improve.”
Q: What is your most common client feedback?
A: “They tell me that as great as the design of a spa may be, that it is truly the quality and service ethic of our staff that makes all the difference. And attention to detail and hygiene is naturally of great importance to them.”