Archive for Tag: spa consultants
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.

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

March 6, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

As leaders in the field of spa consulting, the team here at ISM Spa makes a point of keeping up with the latest trends – not only in spa management but also in wellness and other related areas.

If you’re interested in spa management – whether day spa management or hotel spa management – you should, of course, already be aware of the ever-increasing importance of wellness. The majority of clients are as interested in strategies for wellness in their day-to-day lives as they are in wellness treatments at the spa.

At ISM Spa, our unique understanding of the spa industry and its clientele has allowed us to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to developments in wellness – both inside and outside of the spa.

A little earlier this year, we saw a report from a Forbes contributor on Wellness Trends You Have To Try In 2019, which was geared to consumers..

Our top picks from their list include:

  • Unplugging. Dr. Alka Gupta, co-director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing program at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, told the reporter, “We are seeing a variety of apps and tools that help us monitor our use of social media. Sometimes consuming social media is important and can be helpful, but we often access this information mindlessly. I think we will continue to become more aware of the way we consume content, allowing us to unplug and avoid digital distractions that are not helpful.”
  • Finding big meaning in small rituals. “This year, we’ll all be shifting into a practice of curating moments that make us pause, appreciate and realize we deserve beautiful moments whenever and wherever we can get them,” Ashli Stockton, founder and chief executive of Sunday Forever, said.
  • Getting back to simple. “People are longing for permission to simplify, unplug and connect in meaningful ways,”  Dr. Lisa B. Nelson, director of medical education at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, says.

 

ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, has designed advanced wellness experiences that are redefining the spa industry. If you want to be ahead of the next trend, one of our spa consultants would be happy to speak with you.

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

February 16, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

ISM Spa is a women-owned boutique spa management company. That’s just one of the reasons why our innovative spa consultants are looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8. International Women’s Day means different things to different people, but the global focus on equality and celebration is clear. At our spa management firm, we see it as an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions women make to the social, economic, cultural and political life around the world.

According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the number of businesses owned by women has grown considerably in recent years.

  • As of 2018, there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Compare that to 1972, when there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses, representing 4.6 percent of all firms.
  • Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S.

 

That is definitely worth celebrating!

Throughout history women have made valuable contributions to the wellbeing of their families, their communities and the world. The history books tell us of amazing women who accomplished great things, but there are countless more whose efforts to bring about a better future for their communities, their children and for themselves never made headlines.

International Women’s Day was established in 1911 by the Suffragettes who were striving for the right to vote. To this day, it continues to be a powerful platform that drives action for gender parity, while celebrating the achievements of women.

Some of the greatest International Women’s Day videos from around the world

There are 10 values that guide International Women’s Day:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

 

International Women’s Day 2019

Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved. The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

​IWD photos: In every part of the world, groups are calling for a #BalanceforBetter

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

You can be sure that here at ISM Spa Management, we will take a few minutes away from our day spa consulting duties to put our hands out and STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE on March 8 and throughout the year as we continue to do what we can to make a positive difference for women.

Employee engagement is essential to successful spa management

February 2, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Employee engagement is essential to successful spa management

At ISM Spa, we believe that employee engagement is an essential component of our mission. Whether we are developing a plan for day spa management or hotel spa management, our spa consultants understand that employees who love coming to work and who care about the people who walk through their doors are one of a spa’s most valuable assets.

From a spa management perspective, engaged employees are particularly important. Unfortunately, engaged employees are the exception rather than the rule. According to Gallup, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work. The latest State of the American Workplace report from Gallup says that just 33% of employed residents in the United States are engaged at work.

How to spot an engaged employee

“Engaged workers stand apart from their not-engaged and actively disengaged counterparts because of the discretionary effort they consistently bring to their roles,” Gallup’s experts explain. “These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company. They are the people who will drive innovation and move your business forward.”

What Gallup refers to as actively disengaged employees, on the other hand, are poison. “Not only are they unhappy at work, but they are intent on acting out their unhappiness.”

Engaged employees can be counted on to:

  • Look for solutions to problems
  • Generate new ideas
  • Help build your customer base

 

Gallup identified another category of worker – not-engaged employees – and says they are “perhaps the greatest untapped opportunity for businesses to improve their performance and profitability.”  We couldn’t agree more. Having the right people in place is a key building block for success – in any venture.

Margaret Jacoby, a contributor to the Huffington Post, wrote a piece on the Traits of An Engaged Employee.  “Employee engagement is the magic ingredient and the special sauce that makes all the difference in business,” she says.

If you would like to talk to one of our spa consultants about the role employee engagement plays in either day spa management or hotel spa management, please call 828-544-8377.

Sleep on it Innovative Spa Management can deliver sweet dreams

May 10, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Yes, that really is a thing.  And it’s a very important thing.  Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep.  And when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your ability to dream – and to live your dreams – is limited.

The spa consultants at ISM SPA understand the importance of both sleep and dreams.  We all groaned a bit when we realized it was time to change our clocks again.  That’s when we found out that the fact that National Sleep Awareness Month coincides with the yearly ritual of switching over to daylight savings time is no accident.

“In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall.  An ‘earlier’ bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night,” Vanderbilt University reported. “If you have insomnia or are sleep-deprived already, you could experience more difficulties. In this situation, you could see decreased performance, concentration and memory during the workday, which is common to sleep-deprived individuals.  You also may experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness. All of these are more likely if you consume alcohol or caffeine late in the evening.”

Sleep support is just one of the innovative programming concepts introduced by ISM SPA consulting as part of a completely holistic spa environment. Our unique treatment helps people experience the benefits of sleep and the healing it can bring.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this refreshing concept, here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation that might help you get a good night’s rest:

  1. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  2. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day,but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
  3. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
  5. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. 

Research also shows that we sleep better in a cool room (the optimal sleeping temperature is apparently between 60 – 67 degrees). All the experts agree that we should turn off all our screens before bed, too.  The little from those screens – including your phone, your laptop or your TV – can trick your body into thinking it’s time to get up, not wind down.  Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will also help.

Your physical environment can have a big influence on your moods, your energy and your ability to relax – whether you’re in your bedroom or at the spa. Design Expert Douglas Stratton, a valued member of the Innovative Spa Management Executive Team has an inherent understanding of mood, ambiance and character that allows him to seamlessly transition any space into an elegant atmosphere of warmth, serenity and escapism.

If you would like to see your spa’s menu and its environment go from traditional to transformational, we would be happy to meet with you. Our spa consultants work with day spa management clients as well as hotel spa management clients to introduce a holistic spa environment that will enhance the wellness experience for your guests.

And – if you don’t manage to improve your sleep cycles during National Sleep Awareness Month, you’ll have another chance to find inspiration and encouragement when Sleep Better Month rolls around in May. https://naturalsleepmattress.com/whats-in-a-bed/

The men’s market continues to offer opportunities for growth

May 5, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

Savvy day spa management finding ways to capitalize on that growth

According to recent research, the number of men going to spas continues to increase – and the industry continues to adapt to this trend.

According to an article on Complex.com, Mashable reported that the number of men who are undergoing spa treatments has greatly increased within the past few years. Much of that can be attributed to the male grooming boom.

From 2007 to 2012, beauty and skincare products geared towards men increased about 70 percent, the article noted. The spike is yet another indication of how men are becoming more concerned with their personal appearance, and they’re consequently adopting grooming habits that were once solely associated with women. This is also reflected in the recent menswear surge, which actually surpassed the growth of the women’s market just a couple of years ago.

“I think that guys are becoming a little more comfortable with taking care of themselves and realizing that beauty and taking care of things such as aging in the future isn’t such a feminine thing,” Jose Girona, manager of Living Fresh Spa in New York, told Mashable.

On top of that, the skincare industry has begun to offer products formulated specifically for men.  Instead of using their girlfriend’s moisturizer, they can now find products formulated for their skin (Did you know that a man’s skin is 20% oilier than a woman’s?) and marketed to their masculinity.

There are those who see this trend as a real opportunity.  Because the skincare needs of men are different than those of women. OM4Men has introduced the first skin-type and condition-specific line that addresses the biological differences in male and female skin.

“At OM4, men are our core business – not an add-on to a shave line, not a repackaged set of SKUs from a women’s line. Made for men by men,” the company says.

Mike Bruggeman, founder and CEO of OM4, grew up on an organic dairy farm in Wisconsin and enjoyed a career in hospital administration before following his passion. In creating Organic Male OM4, he has made it his mission to help men understand the importance of skin health and nutrition and help them make the connection between looking good, feeling confident and achieving results at work and in life.

Mike doesn’t just talk the talk.  He walks the walk, making sure the standards at Organic Male OM4 are rigorous – from green chemistry formulas using only the purest, ethically sourced ingredients to the socially responsible and eco-coconscious corporate culture.

For some men, adopting good grooming habits in the privacy of their own homes is just the first step. The next step is to explore what spas have to offer.

Day spa management across the country has taken note of this trend and has begun to accommodate the guys with an assortment of treatments, like massages, hair removal, laser treatments for acne scars, and less extreme chemical peels. Some businesses have even revamped their interior to resemble a sleek man-cave, complete with low lighting, dark wooden accents, TVs that play sports games, and in-door plants in lieu of flowers, Complexreports. (The spa consultants and spa architects working on those projects must have had fun breaking new ground!)

According to the International Spa Association, the number of males who have visited spas over the past few years has gone from 31 percent to 47 percent. “There’s something about being attended to,” Topper Schroeder, owner of Gendarme Fragrances and the Gendarmerie Spa in Los Angeles, told Mashable. “I think men’s spas relate more to their mental health.”

Men still make up a small portion of salon customers in the United States, but their numbers are growing, especially in the 18-34 age group, a global market research group said.

In a report aimed at the salon industry, Mintel said that 52 percent of the men it surveyed had gone to salons, which it broadly defined as anything from a luxury spa to a corner barber shop. Fifty-eight percent said they’d gone for a mere haircut. But among males aged 18-34, 25 percent said they had gone for a manicure or pedicure, and 20 percent had treated themselves to a facial.  The report of this study appeared in the New York Daily News.

Developing products and services aimed at this younger male demographic
represents a real opportunity.

Has your hotel spa management taken steps to assure male guests wanting a mani/pedi will feel comfortable? Have you spoken with spa consultants about introducing a line of products geared just to the guys?

If you’d like to talk to the internationally recognized spa consultants at ISM SPA Management Company about ways that your spa can take advantage of this opportunity for growth or have questions about other industry trends call ISM SPA Founding Partners Christina Stratton & Ilana Alberico at 828-242-4415.

Spa Industry Sees Increases – Our spa consultants can help you take advantage of industry growth

April 30, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: Christina Stratton

For the first time in the history of the International SPA Association’s (ISPA) U.S. Spa Industry Study, the total number of visits to spas rose above 180 million. ISPA’s annual findings of spa industry financial indicators reported that the number of spa visits is estimated to have increased to 184 million in 2016, up from 179 million in 2015 (2.5 percent increase). According to an ISPA news release, the industry also continues to experience steady growth in overall revenue, locations and revenue per visit. Additionally, as the industry grows, so do the number of available employment opportunities.

The ISPA Foundation commissioned PwC to conduct the study, which presents what is known as the “Big Five”: total revenue, spa visits, spa locations, revenue per visit and number of employees for the United States spa industry.

“We are thrilled to see our industry’s hard work and dedication truly pay off with more and more consumers enjoying spas,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “An increase in visits means higher demand of spa services, which demonstrates a very positive outlook. As jobs are created to meet this demand, we will continue to promote the benefits of a career in the spa industry.”

The rise in visits drove the total revenue to surpass its previously record-setting mark in 2016, increasing from $16.3 billion in 2015 to $16.8 billion (3.1 percent increase). Additionally, there was growth in the total number of locations throughout the country, increasing from 21,020 in 2015 to 21,260 in 2016 (1.1 percent increase).

“The ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study reflects a pleasing picture of steady growth in the industry. The key metrics are all continuing their upward trend and the numbers in employment highlight the importance of the spa industry to the US economy,” said Colin McIlheney, Global Research Director for PwC.

With a modest increase in the overall number of employees at 1.6% (365,200 in May 2017 up from 359,300 in 2016), there are currently 32,930 vacant positions for service providers in the spa industry.

If some of those vacancies are hampering the success of your property, contact ISM SPA management company.  ISM SPA has made operating profitable spas that deliver five-star service a specialty. ISM’s acclaimed spa consultants understand that the success of a spa is based on the quality of the people operating the facility and interacting with spa guests. The company’s approach to day spa management includes a strong focus on talent management and acquisition. In fact, ISM SPA puts such an emphasis on people, they developed nationally-certified training courses to provide continuing education for spa employees. They also offer an extensive job coaching program that identifies promising employees and then offers the professional training needed to develop their potential.

Experts in the spa management industry point out that spa jobs can offer many benefits, such as schedule flexibility, opportunities to work in a variety of international environments, exceptional training, and career growth. Working in a spa offers many perks that freelance work does not, including a steady supply of new clientele, working in a health-minded environment, and opportunities for continuing education, as well as administration benefits like advertising, accounting, and booking. With a decrease in contract work between 2016 and 2017, the spa industry presents many opportunities for employment in a business that offers job security and career growth as it continues to flourish.

“According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are still seven million people unemployed throughout the country. Promotion of careers in the spa industry will be an important initiative for ISPA moving forward,” McNees said.

ISM SPA consulting says the findings are in line with what they have seen in the field. If you would like to position your property to take advantage of the upward trends in the industry, ISM SPA consultants can show you how.  As leaders in hotel spa management and day spa management, they have the expertise needed to track and understand shifts in the industry – often long before others.  And it is their clients who benefit!