Archive for Tag: spa consultants
Re-Opening: The Challenge for Spa Management

June 10, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Re-Opening: The Challenge for Spa Management

We may not all get the infection but all of us are being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While working from home, our spa consultants are collaborating with experts in a variety of fields on innovative ideas that will help the day spas we manage as well as the hotel spas under our management

For years, the ISPA Foundation has been asking PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct consumer surveys that will help inform the ongoing growth of the spa industry. These surveys, known as the Consumer Snapshot Initiative, not only produce lots of good data for those of us in the spa industry, they also help us get a good read on what people are thinking. Like everything else these days, this year’s edition of the Consumer Snapshot Initiative – the 10th – is all about COVID-19. The survey is giving us an idea of how our clientele and their attitudes toward returning to their favorite spa and enjoying treatments. 

The main takeaway from the report can be summed up this way:

  • Across all age groups, spa-goers will be nervous about returning to the spa – even when they are allowed to do so. It’s not just spas, though. The survey’s findings indicate that people will be anxious about their safety in public spaces, with the highest level of anxiety associated with places and situations where they don’t have a lot of control over their interactions with others. 
  • Spa-goers say they will return, but spas will need to take steps to make them feel safe. Not surprisingly, our efforts as spa managers to increase our sanitation and hygiene protocols will play a big part in assuring our clientele. “Spas will need to adjust their practices to satisfy consumer concerns and clarify for guests how the spa-going experience will be different (i.e. what measures are being taken to protect guests, what a ‘socially-distanced’ spa will be like, etc.),” the Executive Summary from this year’s Consumer Snapshot Initiative says.
  • While they have been isolating at home, our clients have been learning to fend for themselves. As the survey summary puts it, “DIY wellness has become a larger part of spa-goers’ lives.” We may have to remind folks of the benefits they get from visiting our spas. “Given the nervousness many consumers may have about entering public places following the pandemic, spas will likely need to reemphasize the value of professional treatments and build the spa experience back into guests’ lives while navigating a general climate of worry.”

 

If you have questions about re-opening or providing assurance to your clientele, please contact the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville.

What Does Laurie Santos Know About Spa Management?

May 12, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

What Does Laurie Santos Know About Spa Management?

Are you familiar with Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos? She teaches the most popular course in the school’s 300-year history – “Psychology and the Good Life,” which teaches students about the science of happiness. Whether you are familiar with Dr. Santos and her work or not, you might be wondering what all of this has to do with spa management.

Dr. Santos is a big believer in being kind to yourself, if you’re focused on the marketing aspects of hotel and day spa management, you might be thinking that she would make a good spokesperson for the spa industry. While that might be true, it’s not where we’re going.

Our spa consultants, who are working from home like countless other Americans, talk to a lot of people (our spa management company works with hotel and day spas all across the country). Some of the people we talk to seem to be handling the challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic really well. Others, it seems, are letting their anxiety get the better of them at times. Of course, we could talk to someone who seems to have a positive attitude one day and is overwhelmed with anxiety the next. 

These Are Anxious Times

First of all, no one is going to blame you for feeling anxious. You certainly shouldn’t be beating yourself up about that. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we are all dealing with not only significant health and safety concerns but serious economic challenges as well. 

Dr. Santos might just be able to help. Her course – now called The Science of Well-Being – is being offered for free right now on Coursera. Taking it might help you make better choices and live a life that is happier and more fulfilling.

According to the course description: “In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.”

All of us at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company with headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina, are wishing you all the very best during these difficult days. If there is anything our spa consultants can do to help you weather the storm, please contact us.

Einstein Wasn’t a Spa Consultant, But…

April 9, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Einstein Wasn’t a Spa Consultant, But…

You might not hear Albert Einstein’s name come up very often in a discussion about spa management, but here at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, NC, we like to look at things a little differently. And we think Einstein still has something to teach us.

Einstein, a brilliant theoretical physicist who gave us the theory of general relativity and who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, could easily be considered one of the greatest minds of the 20th century – if not the millennium. This was a man who did not shy away from tough questions or hard work. 

Einstein’s Three Rules of Work

Einstein is, rather famously, said to have had three rules of work: “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” 

Our spa consultants think these “rules” can be very relevant to the situation we all find ourselves in these days. 

  • Rule #1: “Out of clutter, find simplicity.”

Have you noticed how very many people are attacking the clutter in their lives while staying safe at home? Yes, many people have time on their hands and are looking for productive ways to fill it, but we think there’s more to it than that. Clearing away the clutter is a wonderful way to gain a sense of control over your surroundings. And once things are clutter-free, it’s much easier to see the way forward. 

  • Rule #2: “From discord, find harmony.” 

From our perspective as day spa consulting professionals, we see this as a reflection of the value of diverse perspectives. Einstein didn’t say, “Ignore those whose ideas differ from yours.” It’s almost as if the discord is an essential element of harmony. 

  • Rule #3: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

It might be a bit of an understatement to say that we are all in the middle of difficulty these days. But we believe that Einstein’s rule holds true and that out of the incredible difficulties we face, incredible opportunities for the spa industry will emerge.

All of us at ISM Spa Management Company hope that you and yours are staying safe. We look forward to working with you when the time is right to start exploring those opportunities for the spa management industry.

Lessons Learned from Spa Management

March 18, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Lessons Learned from Spa Management

The spa consultants here at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, thought this might be a good time to take a few lessons from the day spas we manage

Wellness has become such an important aspect of spa design management and well as day-to-day spa management. And if ever there was a time for all of us to focus on our own physical and mental wellbeing, this is surely it.  

Wellness at Home

All of the spas we managed are powered by Privai, a botanical based product line that promotes a ‘spa in a bottle’ experience. Because Privai is readily available to our guests online, it makes the essence of every innovative spa service accessible at home. Here are 4 ways to recharge and replenish your skin in between spa days:

  1. Apply a facial masque {weekly} – to lock in hydration and keep your skin fresh. Privai’s Aqua Gel Masque is a game changer.
  2. Use an aloe-infused serum – hydrating serums are like a tall glass of ice water for your skin. Use directly after cleansing your face. If you haven’t tried Privai’s Calming Aloe Hydrator, add it to your to-do list.
  3. Stay moisturized – after taking your makeup off at the end of the day, apply a night creme. Privai’s Matte Moisturizer is a guest favorite.
  4. Drink 6-8 glasses of water, every day – and watch your skin thank you for it.

If you’re running low on beauty products, we encourage you to explore Privai’s luxuriously natural line. Upgrade your at-home skin care routine at: www.privai.com.

Of course, visiting one of the day spas managed by ISM Spa Management Company isn’t possible at the present moment. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all continue to pursue wellness in our own homes. 

Fortunately, breathing exercises – one of the easiest ways to manage stress – can be done anywhere. 

Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

As the health experts at the University of Michigan Health system explain, “There are lots of breathing exercises you can do to help relax.” They recommend belly breathing as a great one to start with if you want to relax and relieve stress.

Belly breathing

“Belly breathing is easy to do and very relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress,” U of M says:

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

 

All of us at ISM Spa Management Company wish you and yours the very best during this difficult time.

Should Wellness Be Part of Your Approach to Spa Management?

January 12, 2020 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Should Wellness Be Part of Your Approach to Spa Management?

When it comes to successful spa management, wellness is more than a catchphrase. It can be the inspiration for innovative spa treatments and the driver of increased revenues.

To understand why wellness is such an important concept in both hotel and day spa management, however, you first need to understand what wellness is. 

What Is Wellness?

According to Lexico powered by Oxford, wellness is a noun that refers to:

  • the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal

Dictionary.com defines it as:

  • the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
  • an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

And the Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of California Davis takes it a step farther, saying:

  •  Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.

 

Why Is Wellness Important to Spa Management?

The experts at UC  Davis believe that wellness matters for a number of reasons. “Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life,” they say. “Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.”

That brings up an important point that has been highlighted by The Worth Health Organization, which adds to our understanding of the concept of wellness by defining it as:

  • “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The Privai Wellness + Spa at the Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld will give you an idea of how the spa consultants at ISM Spa Management not only define wellness but also infuse the spa experience with its empowering and therapeutic aspects.

Happy Thanksgiving from ISM Spa Management

November 16, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James McCauley

Happy Thanksgiving from ISM Spa Management

At ISM Spa Management, we are grateful for each and every one of our wonderful clients. This year, our team of talented spa consultants has helped clients from the Graton Hotel & Casino in Rohnert Park, California on the west coast to Casa Monica Resort & Spa in historic St. Augustine, Florida on the east coast. 

We have also brought our unique approach to programming to spas beyond the country’s borders, including properties in Mexico and the Caribbean. At the international properties that are sharing our innovative hotel spa management philosophy with their guests, not everyone will be celebrating Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean they can’t partake in the benefits of gratitude.  

Giving Thanks

As a boutique spa management company known for designing innovative wellness experiences that are redefining the spa industry, our approach to programming expands upon the traditional definition of spa. Our talented spa design consultants and experienced spa architects are able to design a holistic spa environment that enhances the wellness experience, often times in ways that are not obvious to the naked eye.  

In our quest to develop dynamic programming that will distinguish the properties under the care of our spa management company and will provide meaningful experiences to their guests, we have developed an expertise in many aspects of human behavior and social science that go beyond what most would expect to find in spa consultants. 

In addition to developing a thorough understanding of the effect that colors, lighting, sounds and scents may have on spa guests, we have learned about the many facets of wellness and personal wellbeing. 

As a result of our efforts to provide unparalleled hotel spa management and day spa management services, we have become aware of the profound benefits associated with gratitude. Research has shown that a simple gratitude practice, as reported on the science-based positive psychology platform PositivePsychology.com, can, among many other things: 

  • Make us happier
  • Increase psychological well-being
  • Enhance our positive emotions
  • Increase our self-esteem

And so, as everyone at our boutique spa management company prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we would like to thank all of our clients for their business and for the opportunity they provide us throughout the year to experience the benefits of gratitude.

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

August 22, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

As much as the spa consultants at ISM Spa management company like escaping the summer heat and relaxing with a good movie, we are dedicated first and foremost to developing branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

Of course, Hollywood has produced any number of movies over the years that have been filmed, at least in part, in a spa setting.  One could say that, if you’re in the business of spa management, watching a movie that features a scene-stealing spa could be considered research. Very entertaining research, to be sure, but research, nonetheless. 

Spas on the Silver Screen 

You may be surprised at how many times movie cameras and crews have captured the beauty and amenities of international hotel and resort spas on film for all of us to enjoy – from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Liam Neeson in Unknown. Here are a few of our favorites:

Some Like it Hot 

Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon starred in this classic comedy from 1959. Curtis and Lemmon play two Chicago musicians, who had the misfortune to witness a mob massacre. In an attempt to escape from the bad guys, they join an all-girl band heading to Florida. Although San Diego isn’t exactly on the way from Chicago to Florida, the Spa at The Del in the Hotel del Coronado appears in the film. 

The Way We Were 

With stars like Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, perhaps it’s only fitting that the spa scenes in this 1973 romance were filmed at The Plaza Hotel in New York. Spa scenes from several other movies – including Funny Girl, which also starred Streisand – were also filmed at The Plaza.

Never Say Never Again

It’s not surprising that James Bond, as played by the always debonair Sean Connery, might find himself in the vicinity of a spa. And it’s not surprising that, when he does in this 1983 movie, the spa happens to be in Monte Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris.

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, our innovative approach to spa programming finds its inspiration, not on the silver screen, but in the indigenous characteristics surrounding each individual property’s location.  For more information, please contact us. One of our hotel spa management experts would be happy to speak with you.

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

July 20, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

When most people talk about how stressed out everyone is, it’s usually seen as something negative. In the world of spa management, however, the ever-increasing levels of stress in our world could be seen as promising. 

The hectic pace of today’s world is undoubtedly one of the many factors driving growth in the international spa industry. And according to recent research, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.  

At ISM Spa Management Company, we don’t take pleasure in the stress of others. In fact, we go out of our way to alleviate stress and promote wellness in any number of innovative ways. 

Are we really more stressed than previous generations?

Yes, we are. And Gen Z – those who are currently in the 15 to 21 year age range – is perhaps the most stressed of all. 

Every year, the American Psychological Association commissions a nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. The most recent survey revealed that more than nine in 10 Gen Z adults (91 percent) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). 

According to the APA, the survey also shows that, “Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress.”

“Current events are clearly stressful for everyone in the country, but young people are really feeling the impact of issues in the news, particularly those issues that may feel beyond their control,” Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer, commented when the findings were released. 

Is it just us?

The short answer is NO! Live Science recently ran a story titled, “People Across the Globe Feeling More Sad, Stressed and in Pain Than Ever.”

“A new survey of people’s daily emotions found that, worldwide, reports of negative emotions — including sadness, worry and stress — have increased over the last decade,” they report.

To understand what global and domestic trends like this could mean for the growth of the spa industry, you can rely on the expertise of the spa consultants at ISM SPA, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Branding is essential in modern spa management

May 28, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Branding is essential in modern spa management

Branding can be an incredibly powerful tool – when done right. 

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, TN, we understand that effective branding can provide a competitive edge. Our expertise in both brand promotion and brand development has enabled our clients to enjoy that edge. 

History of Branding 

The background information available on the development branding reveals interesting aspects of successful branding.  

According to a scholarly paper by Karl Moore, at the time an Associate Professor at McGill University, and Susan Reid, an Assistant Professor at the Williams School of Business and Economics, “Brands are as old as civilization.” Indeed, they found evidence of branding, in various forms, dating back to 2250 BCE in the Indus Valley. 

For centuries, branding was used to keep track of the ownership of livestock, a practice that carries on to this day. The modern concept of branding, on the other hand, can only be traced back to the 1970s.  

In How Brands Were Born: A Brief History of Modern Marketing, which appeared in The Atlantic, Marc De Swaan Arons noted that, “The shift from simple products to brands has not been sudden or inevitable. You could argue that it grew out of the standardization of quality products for consumers in the middle of the 20th century, which required companies to find a new way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

From there, he says, “’Winning’ was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and the[n] getting the total “brand mix” right. The brand mix is more than the logo, or the price of a product. It’s also the packaging, the promotions, and the advertising, all of which is guided by precisely worded positioning statements.”

In the 21st century, “The market looks very different to just 20 years ago,” Arons wrote. “The average western consumer is exposed to some 3,000 brand messages a day.” 

Cutting through the Clutter

Our spa consultants work closely with you to develop a concept that will infuse your brand with value. We look at market research to gain insight that will allow us to strengthen your spa’s position. We craft an authentic brand concept based on your spa’s culture that will pave the way for success. We can then weave your spa brand into every aspect of the guest experience – from product and service creation to subliminal design enhancements.

The bottom line: ISM Spa Management Company cultivates successful spa branding. For more information about Concept Development and Branding – or any of our other professional day spa management services – please contact us.

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

April 14, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

You don’t need a professional spa consultant to tell you that Mother’s Day is a big day in the spa industry.  always a tremendous opportunity for spas. As DAYSPA Magazine notes, “Every spa professional knows that Mother’s Day is second only to December’s festivities when it comes to gift card sales, and followed, of course, by Valentine’s Day.”

According to MuchNeeded.com, Americans are expected to spend more than $20 billion sending cards, taking Mom out to dinner or brunch and/or buying her a gift.  And it’s not just that we love our mothers. “Shoppers buy for their mothers and stepmothers, but a full 35% are buying for grandmothers, sisters, friends and even daughters — effectively expanding the reach of the holiday,” the website reports.

With that much on the line, you can be sure that spas all across the country are offering special Mother’s Day packages and discounts. You could let your clients know that you offer gift cards as the holiday approaches, but the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company specializing in innovative programming that is redefining the spa experience, believe that Mom deserves something more, something that will make her feel as special as she is.  

According to MuchNeeded.com, 86% of Americans will be celebrating the holiday – which falls on Sunday, May 12 this year. On average, they say, we will each spend an average of $186. Other sales projections from the website include:

  • Spending on flowers is estimated to be $2.6 billion.
  • We’ll be buying $4.6 billion worth of jewelry
  • We will spend $813 million on cards alone.
  • And, when it comes to personal services – like a spa package or pedicure – it is estimated that we will spend $1.8 billion.

 

Another statistic from MuchNeeded.com worth noting: 31% of all that money – which works out to approximately $6.9 billion – will be spent online.  

We hope you will be among the 86% of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day with the special people in your life this year. And we hope that the holiday will be a very special occasion at your spa.  If it’s not, remember that our day spa management company is driving industry-leading profits for our clients.