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BRAND FOCUS - ESPA

personal front, I am a mother of two sons and grandmother to six. I’m fortunate enough to have worked with both of my sons now for over 20 years – we share the same goals and know we can wholly trust each other.” When Harmsworth moved to Toronto, early on in her career, she was introduced to the therapy traditions of the Eastern European community, and developed a deeper interest in spa therapies.“I opened my first business there – a salon – when I was 25, back when the spa industry didn’t exist, and this early experience gave me the vision of combining health and beauty, mind and body, natural and scientific,” she says. “Even by 1993, when I created ESPA, the word ‘spa’ still didn’t exist. Hotels didn’t have five star spas, and no other brand combined fitness, clinical aromatherapy, and natural skincare products,” she adds. With the increasing need for relaxation and escapism to counter rising levels of stress, Harmsworth saw a real opportunity to resolve this issue by uniting the best European and American treatment philosophies and taking them into the 21st century with state-of-theart treatments and products. Yet, she was unhappy with the skincare 58 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

brands around that time, and felt they simply weren’t effective enough for her spa treatments.“Good, natural and therapeutic products just didn’t exist, so I used my extensive spa and product experience to create my own highly effective skincare line,” she explains. Furthermore, to ensure the quality and results were nothing other than exceptional and longlasting, they decided to make all their products at their UK factory.“Every ESPA formulation blends natural, sustainable, ethically-sourced ingredients, in combination with the latest skincare technology, to create the finest, natural, results driven skincare,” she ays proudly. ESPA has a global partnership with Ritz-Carlton, one that is close to Harmsworth’s heart.“Ritz-Carlton have been a highly valued client of ESPA for the last 15 years, and our newest collaboration plans extend this further, so coming to this region was a great opportunity for me to meet the team here and also launch four new products to this market – Optimal Skin ProCleanser, Skin Radiance Intensive Serum, Optimal Skin ProDefence and Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser,” she informs. The spa industry in this region is also growing, and they have projects currently under construction

in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. While Harmsworth believes that the 100 per cent natural fragrances in their products are loved worldwide, she notices that people in the UAE in particular adore the rose aromas that are used across a lot of their product range. However delving deeper into the clientele, the sheer range of cultures living here means that the skin types go right across the spectrum, from very dry to very oily. “But for all of these skin types, we’ve found the biggest concern of our customers in this region is dehydrated skin. The climatic conditions they face each day – going from high heat and humidity levels outside to cold, air-conditioned interiors – play havoc with the balance of humidity in skin, and hence, oily or dry, dehydration remains an issue. So the products, treatments and advice we offer must effectively overcome and manage this for all the different skin types. Women in this region also tend to wear more make-up than UK females, which can worsen dehydration problems if the skin isn’t properly cleansed and all make-up removed,” she explains. Which is why she encourages clients to listen to the advice of their therapist and buy the recommended products.“If they visit our spa, they will receive an in-depth consultation and skin analysis with our SkinVision lamp, alongside professional, tailored product and application advice, to best achieve the skincare and body results they desire at home,” she says. Why, you might ask, would this be your brand of choice? For one, the ‘E’ within ESPA represents ‘Education’. Harmsworth believes that advanced staff training across all levels in a spa is vital to its success, and this commitment – along with the development of their own training academy and education programme – is a core differentiator for them. “I’m so proud that we train over 4,000 therapists each year, continuously working to raise skills and standards in the spa industry,” she smiles. Another factor that makes ESPA stand apart is the wealth of skincare expertise they have. With over two decades of experience behind them, they today perform 3.5 million treatments each year across 60

Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

Top Hotel November December 2015 Issue  

Top Hotel Middle East is a bi-monthly business journal for senior level hoteliers, hotel owners, hotel investors and investment companies, a...

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