Spa Inc. Winter 2019/20

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The Importance of Accessibility


Celebrating the Publications Mail NO. 40026342

The Rise of Men s Treatments



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spa news

Infrared saunas are heating up, survey reveals a growing interest in wellness and a new sustainability initiative targets spas



spa light

The 2019 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards showcase the best of the best


in the know

How to attract male customers – and keep them


science of the spa The importance of accessibility


fresh & new

Products that he’ll like, too


spa business

How the industry is welcoming everyone – not just women

14 Part II: Retail excellence and sales success



spa star

Cheryl Thompson, author of Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture


27 20 Cover photo: Spa Nordic Station, QC

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between us

Times, they are



s we say goodbye to another decade, we’re reminded (yet again!) that time passes too quickly; admittedly, for most of us, just looking in the mirror every day is a reminder. But with age, and time, comes wisdom – and as we enter the 2020s, the spa industry is a much wiser place than it was even 10 years ago. The awareness of diversity, and inclusivity, is constantly expanding in many realms, but especially in the world of wellness. A spa is somewhere we go to relax, to feel accepted and comfortable. For this issue, we planned to focus on couples’ and men’s treatments, which made us look at the ways the spa industry has opened its doors to everyone, quite literally. As service providers, spa employees hold the power to make any customer feel like a million dollars, or much less. Each client has specific needs and expectations; maybe, they simply want to relax, but on the other hand, you might encounter someone who is distressed with their appearance, and needs guidance to make the right treatment decisions. Neither should be taken lightly – both are equally important goals. Spa professionals are the people we trust to deliver these results, so how they treat their customers often has more impact than they might realize. No matter who you are, when you invest in your wellness and physical improvement, you expect to leave the experience feeling better, not worse. Having sensitivity to the differences between body types, gender identities and other issues will help any spa become a more comfortable retreat for its customers. We hope this edition of Spa Inc. opens up a dialogue to improve how we see each other’s differences, and how we treat others. To celebrate those spas that exemplify the highest standards of customer service, we’ve included all of the 2019 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards winners – many of which are leading the way in expanding the definition of excellence. Sharing how leaders succeed is part of our mission, so you also can read about how to increase retail sales success on p.17. Who knows what the next decade will bring, but each of us can work on making this world a better place. As wellness ambassadors, you play an important role. Never underestimate your impact, because the smile on your client’s face simply reflects how you make them feel – and Popi Bowman happiness is priceless. Have a Happy New Year! MANAGING EDITOR

Check us out online @SpaIncMag

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WINTER 2019-20

ISSN 1710 -1727 Volume 16, Number 4

Publisher Susan A. Browne

Managing Popi Bowman Editor Art Katrina Teimo Director

Contributors Ildi Arlette Jana Manolakos Vivienne O’Keeffe

Director Beth Kukkonen of Sales

Senior Account Edith Dhillon Executive 905.707.3525

Director Stephanie Wilson of Marketing

Production Crystal Himes Manager

Published four times a year by: Dovetail Communications Inc. President: Susan A. Browne Tel: 905.886.6640 Fax: 905.886.6615 Email: SUBSCRIPTIONS AND RETURNS 30 East Beaver Creek Rd, Suite 202 Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J2 PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40026342 Legal Deposit – National Library of Canada. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Dovetail Communications Inc. cannot be held responsible for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on information appearing in Spa Inc. Spa Inc. and Dovetail Communications Inc. do not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising. Spa Inc. will review unsolicited submissions (hard copy or digital texts, photos or illustrations) for editorial consideration but does not guarantee their publication. The submitted material may be used without consent or payment. One-year subscription: Canada $25, U.S. $39. Single copies: $6. Please add GST/HST where applicable. PRINTED IN CANADA

Printed on paper with 10% post-consumer waste. This magazine is recyclable. Please recycle where facilities exist.

spa news

Infrared saunas gaining steam in the spa industry In late 2019, the HotBox Sauna Studio opened several locations in Atlanta after a successful launch in Los Angeles, and plans for 2020 include more than 40 additional locations throughout the U.S. Much like a tanning salon, guests check in at the front desk, grab a towel and head to a private infrared sauna room, where they can choose a colour for their medical-grade chromotherapy session, plug into an iPad and relax for 45 minutes; this is followed by a vitamin-C infused shower. The founders of HotBox Sauna Studio include Alex Samios, who opened the country’s first dedicated infrared sauna studio in 2010. Another U.S. company, HigherDOSE, operates several infrared sauna spas in New York, and sells infrared sauna blankets for home use. Its Williamsburg location also offers CryoFacials, lymphatic drainage therapy and other addons. Many other spas in Canada and the U.S. include infrared saunas in their facilities, and the numbers are growing. Infrared saunas aren’t new – for decades, they’ve been used in healthcare settings to treat various conditions, including sports injuries. Instead of using steam or hot air to warm the body, an infrared sauna increases the body’s core temperature from within. The touted benefits include improved circulation, weight loss, relaxation and pain relief; exposure to infrared light also increases collagen production. According to HotBox Sauna Studio, the choice of colour also enhances certain effects: pink for calming, orange to boost energy, red for extra stimulation, yellow to increase optimism, blue to feel more centred, purple for inspiration, turquoise to relax and green to feel more balanced. For those spas in Canada looking to add this service to their offerings – or if you’re looking for a home unit – we found an Ontario-based company with some enticing options: SaunaRay produces a wide range of toxin-free infrared saunas and accessories, handmade using local, non-allergenic wood. The company also designs custom projects and “athletic saunas” for cycling, yoga and other activities. For more information, visit:

New Year’s wellness goals The 2020 MINDBODY Wellness Index surveyed more than 20,000 adults from 50 U.S. cities; 40 percent male, 60 percent female. The results are interesting: • 55 percent plan to attend at least one wellness event in 2020 • Of those, 24 percent will visit a spa; 16 percent will attend a nutrition/cleansing event; 15 percent will go to a wellness festival • Lash services are growing in popularity, with 45 percent of women and 24 percent of men planning to try lash extensions; those who already use lash services comprised 30 percent of respondents • 54 percent of those surveyed would try a nap bar; almost 70 percent would use a nap pod at their workplace if it was available

CIDESCO launches sustainability initiative In December, CIDESCO – the world standard for beauty and spa therapy – launched a Six-Step Guide to encourage sustainability in the spa industry. President Anna-Cari Gund explains, “Our members can really make a difference when they come together to support such an important issue. Operating sustainably needs to be built into all our working practices, wherever we might be based, and having guidelines to follow makes it easier and achievable.” The CIDESCO guidelines outline six steps for encouraging sustainable operations: • Reduce Waste • Avoid Pollutants • Invest in Staff Training: • Source Sustainable Suppliers • Conserve Water • Conserve Electricity CIDESCO sections in each country will support this program by nominating a Sustainability Mentor who will be available to provide advice and guidance. For more information, visit

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Best of the The

T H I S Y E A R ’ S S PA AWA R D S S H O W C A S E C A N A D A’ S CROWN J EWELS OF THE WELLNESS WORLD Each year our list of candidates grows – sometimes exponentially – and the Spa Inc. judges have the difficult task of deciding who will be celebrated as Canada’s best spas. With the support of Leading Spas of Canada, this awards program recognizes the hard work, innovation and excellence of the spa industry, whether it’s a small business or a worldwide brand. Many of our country’s best spas also have gained international acclaim, and for good reason. The winners of the 2019 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards exemplify the highest standards of customer service and wellness treatments, often in unique and luxurious settings.


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Grafton, ON Celebrating its 35th year in 2020, Ste. Anne’s Spa attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually and expanded its business offerings to include an all-natural skincare line (including a new selection of CBD products), a tea collection and baked goods. Facilities include a eucalyptus steam room, massage chair room, fully equipped exercise area, a seasonal outdoor pool and year-round outdoor hot tub/grotto. Four group cottages can be rented, accommodating up to 11 people; a group of five or more can book a private chef experience, with a four-course meal. Yoga retreats and wellness packages, including bootcamp and personal training, cater to those who want a structured program, but the facility’s 400+ acres provide plenty of trails and outdoor activities – including, horse stables where guests can participate in grooming and “morning muck” with the stable caretaker.

spa light TOP NEW SPA Verde Day Spa – Downtown

Canmore, AB This full-service organic spa has three locations, its most recent opening in downtown Canmore. With an emphasis on holistic wellness, the Verde Day Spa features Éminence Organics Skin Care products in many of its treatments. Hot stone massage, Ayurvedic head massage and reflexology are offered, along with manicures, pedicures, wax and tint services, facials, body wraps and scrubs.

m Sp a at th e i Fa rm on t B an ff Sp ri ng s

Magog, QC This spa is located in a natural setting with a peaceful atmosphere, featuring a creek for swimming, Finnish saunas, a Russian banya, a steam bath, cold plunges and waterfalls – plus, a choice of services including a variety of massages (Swedish, lymphatic, reflexology and many others), with an hour-long couple’s side-by-side treatment that includes access to all facilities. Among the first Nordic spas in Quebec, Spa Nordic Station aims to create an “unforgettable experience” that reconnects its customers with nature, enhanced by forest massage cabins.

a re St

TOP HYDRO SPA Spa Nordic Station


Toronto, ON Now with three locations in the Toronto area, Glow Medi Spa provides medical esthetics and non-surgical cosmetic enhancements, led by Dr. Diane Wong, MD. The first location opened in Yorkville in 2001, and since then the business has become known for its excellent customer service and wide selection of treatment options, including radio-frequency skin tightening, microneedling, fractionated laser skin resurfacing, laser body contouring and injectables. The Markham location recently expanded to include a Glow Peel Boutique, which offers 30-minute facials designed for busy customers, with complimentary makeup touch-up.

ill W

TOP MEDI-SPA Glow Medi Spa

TOP HOTEL SPA Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs

Banff, AB willow-stream Willow Stream is Fairmont's signature spa brand, which includes 16 locations as far-flung as South Africa, Egypt, China and India. Here in Canada, two Willow Stream spas landed on this year’s Top 25 list, and the 38,000-sq.ft. Banff location was selected as the Top Hotel Spa because of its winning combination of luxury amenities, a wide selection of treatments and an incredible setting. An expansion and “refresh” will be completed in early 2020. The treatment menu provides “just for men” experiences, including a

3.5-hour Stress Relief package (massage, facial, pedicure and lunch). Couples can choose from two treatments, either a onehour exfoliation/massage/body wrap/ facial package or up to 90 minutes of sideby-side massage. The spa also offers three- and 12-month memberships, which provide discounts on products and services, plus unlimited use of the facilities (including fitness classes). Product partners are Kerstin Florian International, Tata Harper, Tara Spa Therapy and Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup. S p a I nc .c a


spa light TOP DAY SPA Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

Blue Mountains, ON bluemountain In a town that’s best known for its winter skiing, this spa is perfectly suited to its natural setting, with a Finnish sauna, eucalyptus steam room, thermal and Nordic waterfalls, hot baths, cold plunges and outdoor relaxation areas – situated on 25 forested acres with views of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment, not far from the world’s longest freshwater beach. The massage menu includes a onehour couple’s session, along with Swedish, therapeutic and pregnancy treatments up to 90 minutes long, including facility access. Overnight getaway packages also are offered with several partners, including local B&Bs and the Blue Mountain Resort. This is one of four Scandinave spas across Canada, from Whistler, B.C., to Montreal and Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

EDUCATION AWARD Canadian Laser Safety

Toronto, ON Providing Laser Safety Officer (LSO) training for estheticians, registered nurses, dermatologists and plastic surgeons, this is the only laser safety body in Canada. Class 3b and Class 4 lasers require Laser Safety Training by all users and operators, and an LSO must be appointed. Courses take place in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Calgary.

CONSUMER’S CHOICE AWARD Ayurveda Rituals Studio Spa & Boutique

an di ve na Sp a B lu e M ou nt ai n

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Toronto, ON In business since 2000, this spa was an early proponent for Ayurvedic treatments, and now its owner also hosts classes to teach other spa professionals about the ancient healing techniques, including a nineday course covering all of the essentials. The spa also produces its own line of serums, facial masques and massage oil blends. A half-day urban retreat is a 4.5-hour session including prayers and mantras, followed by a facial, whole body massage, head massage and more. The “rejuvenation detoxification” package is a three-hour session with many of the same services.

TOP SPA PARTNER DermaSpark Products Inc.

Vancouver, BC The exclusive Canadian distributor of TriLipo, OxyGeneo and Divine Pro equipment (by Pollogen of Lumenis), along with FreezPen and Dermaroller products, this company prides itself on being a spa partner, and provides training plus marketing support to ensure its products bring value to businesses.


spa light

Top Spas

Achieve Wellness Spa Fort McMurray, AB

Glow Medi Spa Toronto, ON

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City, QC

BALNEA spa + réserve thermale Bromont, QC

Hammam Spa Toronto, ON

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris Toronto, ON

Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, BC shangrila/health-leisure/chithe-spa Dol-ás Spa Wallace, NS Elmwood Spa Toronto, ON Ten Spa

Ici Paris Skin Care Clinic + Spa Toronto, ON

Pacific Mist – Spa and Hydropath Courtenay, BC

iwa Spa Blue Mountains, ON JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa Minett, ON

Sante Spa Victoria Victoria, BC Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain Blue Mountains, ON bluemountain

Elmwood Spa

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spa light Top 25 Spas Spa Eastman Eastman, QC eastman Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, ON Spa Nordic Station Magog, QC Spa William Gray Montreal, QC Ste. Anne’s Spa Grafton, ON

Strøm Spa Nordique Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC Ten Spa Winnipeg, MB The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge Whistler, BC Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs Banff, AB Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver, BC willow-stream

BALNEA spa + réserve thermale

Spa Nordic Station

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spa business




ince Antony and Cleopatra, couples have indulged and shared in the experience of head-to-toe bliss to relax and unwind together. Not wanting to miss out on this potential growth opportunity, Canada’s spa owners and managers have tapped into the purchasing power of this market segment, offering services and treatments that meet the unique needs of couples, and men – who are gradually warming up to the idea of solo spa visits. Among them, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has partnered with several outstanding spas in Quebec, a province where male spa14 S pa Inc. | Win te r 2 019 -2 0

goers outnumber those in other parts of Canada. The Fairmont owns the Fairmont Le Château Montebello Spa and partnered with Amerispa’s Moment Spa in its other four Quebec-based properties: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Fairmont Tremblant and the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Spa. In addition to eight treatment rooms and three manicure and pedicure stations, Le Château Montebello Spa boasts a very popular couple’s suite, Salon La Source, a private spa retreat

spa business pedicures, facials and body scrubs, according to Spafinder, an featuring a fireplace, a Japanese sunken tub for two, rain shower online retail hub. and side-by-side treatment tables. Making the decision to include “Throughout the last decade, wellness culture has become couples and men’s treatments at the spa was largely driven by widespread,” Mandréa explains. “Once considered luxury, wellness consumer demand, says Montebello’s Spa Director, Sylvie Legault, today is accessible to everyone. We have seen an evolution in our who has been with the award-winning establishment since 2006. clientele for the past years. Men are more likely to take spa time for “We see an increase every year,” she explains, adding that themselves, so we offer a selection of treatments that are adapted managing demand means juggling available resources. “But the to men’s habits and skin types.” problem is that right now, we don’t have the facility to accommodate these growing numbers.” For example, currently there’s only one CATERING TO MEN, AND MORE space to accommodate a 60-minute couple’s massage; to serve Manscape Spa, which launched 10 years ago in Victoria, B.C., is more guests, treatment times occasionally have been shortened. one of only a few in western Canada with services offered from a Legault says that plans are underway to add three more couple’s uniquely male perspective. Owner Doug Janczyn points out that treatment facilities, something she anticipates will boost service his eco-certified spa is trans-friendly and explains, “As a true demand by around 15 percent. men’s spa, we are open to all sexualities – they are irrelevant to our The couple’s suite gives clients time to spend together after a work; we are inclusive to all humankind, regardless; and will busy week, with a glass of sparkling wine and treatments that can professionally take on any client or challenge if able, and within be customized to meet their individual needs, Legault explains. “In the scope of our services and philosophy.” our suite you can upgrade your massage from relaxation and gentle The spa was thrust into the spotlight recently when its General pressure to deep tissue. We also offer aromatherapy massage, Manager, Angie Barnetson, was asked by the B.C. Human Rights reflexology and a range of other treatments.” Tribunal to give expert She says the spa created a testimony in a high-profile case; couple’s package specifically for Jessica Yaniv, a transgender that room. “The first hour gives spa-goer, was denied waxing them time alone together. We “Once considered luxury, wellness services (including Brazilian, or prepare scrubs and they exfoliate “brozilian”) by numerous one another in the rain shower. today is accessible to everyone. estheticians, and took her case And then they can soak in the We have seen an evolution in our to court. Barnetson agreed that Japanese bath together, which clientele for the past years. Men waxing the male genitalia, we have readied with essential especially, is a specialized oil and sea salt.” are more likely to take spa time for procedure; the case was Asked if there are any themselves, so we offer a selection dismissed, but it highlights an “Montebello babies,” Legault important distinction in client giggles and explains there have of treatments that are adapted to care and sensitivity to unique been a few occasions when men’s habits and skin types.” requests. couples have returned to Janczyn sees attitudes rejuvenate after giving birth, but – Caroline Mandréa, Director of Marketing, changing towards the she denies any direct links. Amerispa’s Moment Spa, Quebec transgender community. Although there are strict “Personally, I enjoy the client protocols, the staff will make relationship with both males efforts to adapt to each guest – and females,” he notes, adding, “This work has really opened my and that includes facilitating marriage proposals by arranging for eyes to the sensitive needs of transgender guests.” He says that rose petals and champagne, or pampering newlyweds after their embracing the transgender community has helped the spa boost hotel wedding reception. client numbers and its reputation, and has led to new service After indulging in a shared treatment, many couples take offerings. advantage of sinking into deep, comfortable couches in front of the The most sought-after services at Manscape include back fieldstone fireplace adorning the adjacent spa lounge, where waxing and male Brazilians (“brozilians”). The team pioneered a Legault will often find them fast asleep – accompanied in some unique approach to permanent hair reduction, says Janczyn. cases by snoring men, who she says have become more in tune “Through the use of waxing and skincare combined, this technique with self-care. has revolutionized how we treat hair removal requests, especially Caroline Mandréa, director of marketing for Amerispa’s for those of our clients that identify as transgender.” Moment Spa in Quebec, also has seen a trend toward a more Manscape offers its clients education and counselling on gender-neutral spa-goer, explaining that “it’s not just for women current trends and how to achieve a “look.” The current trend only.” Men represent around 35 percent of spa-goers, for whom among male-identifying spa-goers is the natural look, with more massage remains the most popular treatment followed by S pa I nc .c a


spa business guys opting to forgo traditional chest waxing for chest hair that is trimmed and neat. Janczyn believes that men are becoming more aware of their health, personal care and grooming. “This awareness, and shift in mindfulness toward overall health and maintenance, skin and grooming is why we feel an overwhelming responsibility to educate both our clients and the community about the subject,” he explains. Janczyn says his staff are committed to building long-term relationships with their clients by listening, educating and following up. Making their male guests feel comfortable leads to better communication, he adds. Among his staff, physiotherapist Mike Hundza, an expert in nerve rehabilitation, works with clients that are experiencing hair loss and the challenges of aging. In addition to prescribed homecare routines of exercises to “floss the nerve,” as Hundza says, the approach is combined with skincare advice and treatment plans aimed at compelling the skin to heal, repair and restore, while improving overall health. For Janczyn, the ultimate value lies in helping people feel comfortable in their skin, which contributes to them feeling more confident in life.

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spa business PART II:






In the last issue, we discussed some of the basics of retail strategies for spas – but there’s much more to consider.


y now, hopefully you’ve recovered from what was likely one of the busiest times of the year. In the last few months, clients flowed in, spirits were high and now you’ve settled into a more normal pace of business. Now’s the time to take advantage of implementing best practices that can boost your retail and overall sales, and help keep your appointment books full. First, a quick reminder about how important it is to have a retail mindset versus a product mindset (this was explained in the Fall issue). The difference between these two perspectives is everything in terms of selling products versus treating your space – no matter how large or small – like your clients’ home for expert advice on how to prolong the positive effects of the treatments they’ve enjoyed. Shifting mindsets: Create a new January effect The “January effect” is a term used by the financial industry to indicate a seasonal increase in stock prices during the month of January. In the spa industry, I like to use this term to do a shift in mindset that positions January as one of the biggest revenue opportunities of the year (along with July and August). November and December schedules are normally full, leaving little room to increase revenue. Months like January, however, are often lighter, leaving huge opportunities or capacity for revenue. Traditionally, our mindset around January is full of negative stereotypes that lead to limited thinking: People have spent their money in December, clients have retail fatigue, people are too busy, everyone is in debt from the holidays, no one buys in January, or bargain-hunters need big discounts in January. Limited thinking equals limited outcomes. Instead, consider these facts: January is a time of renewal and a fresh start; most women report being giftgivers and welcome “permission” or encouragement to spend on themselves; and many clients are looking for downtime in January to make space for physical and mental restoration after a busy holiday season. How can your business support these universal

truths? Think about what your client promised him- or herself for the New Year; chances are that they included more time for selfcare, adventure and connection – things like a monthly massage or pedicure, trying new services and treatments, more “me time” or time with friends and family. I have a client for whom we designed a loyalty program that allowed their clients to earn dollars toward future services with each treatment and based on the gift cards purchased. The business started promoting this offer in September, knowing the higher frequency of spending/visits to their spa between September and December. They specifically allotted these dollars for services or treatment between January 1 and February 15. This will be the third year that they’ve successfully created a successful January effect, filling their service providers’ schedules 60 percent more than before this campaign. Better together: Bundles & kits Want to get serious about increasing your per-client spend? One of the best ways to achieve this by using what you already have is to stop relying on your product lines for “kits” (and stop complaining that your product lines don’t create speciality kits year-round) – instead, create your own. There are two simple ways to get products into your clients’ hands and homes, and to bring more cash to your bottom line. The first way is to remember that product lines are logically designed, with many products formulated to compliment each other or for using in succession with each other to maximize their effects. This means that you can customize what and how you sell a product line. How powerful would it be to tell clients that you’ve created customized kits for their home use? You already have the products, now you just need to decide what the kits will be. The expert service providers reading this already know that, for example, a cleanser and moisturizer go together, so why not sell S p a I nc .c a


spa business them together? Now consider masks and scrubs, serums and moisturizers, eye creams and lip products, shampoo and hair masks – the possibilities are endless. You don’t need a special bag, pouch or container to present these in, and you don’t need your reps’ permission, although their support is always appreciated. What you do need is a compelling name and be ready to educate the client on why and how these products are better together. Some winning kit names include The Starter Kit, The Brightening Kit, Acne Defense Kit, Anti-Aging Kit or something that aligns with your spa, salon or clinic’s brand. If you like to bring in nature or a natural theme, use names based on the elements. If you like more glitter and sizzle, get creative with kit names like Glow Getter, Date Night/First Date or Me-Time. Kits that are designed and positioned as being “favourites” sell exceptionally well. Try asking lead staff such as a top esthetician to create a kit and add this description to the kit name, such as “Sarah’s Favourite,” “Top Seller” or “Most Popular,” and watch your staff engagement and sales climb. Another option to increase per-client sales using your retail products is to bundle them. This is a more creative method of gathering products that may not be from the same line and go well together, by grouping them into a bundle that appeals to clients or gift-givers; for example, lifestyle products such as post-massage moisturizers with warm wraps and essential oils, or nail polish with cuticle oil and jewellery. Create a “Relax and Restore” bundle so that the products used for the massage your customers rave about can be enjoyed at home or whenever they need it. Somehow, while most shoppers may have been open to buying one product, when presented with a bundle, they often buy the larger package.

Leverage milestones A milestone is a meaningful date or event: birthdays, engagements, weddings, new jobs, anniversaries, reunions, babies, empty nesters and the list goes on. For some, every Friday is a milestone for surviving another week! What are your client’s most meaningful milestones? In the spa industry, birthdays are the most commonly recognized event. Some spas choose to collect major milestone information like birthdays and send a simple note of acknowledgement, while others provide an incentive such as a savings or a service. Both are effective. Think about the main birthday milestone, like turning 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old. How can you position your client message to help them mark their milestone and enter this new chapter feeling their best? Be strategic: Send these types of birthday milestone offers up to one month before their special dates. Consider the couples market. Once a couple visits and enjoys your services together, you helped them create a ritual, an anniversary of their time together at your spa. Clients always appreciate that you take note of what we call their loyalty anniversary – the date or length of time they have been a client. Yes, it takes more attention to detail to track this data, but the returns are creating another opportunity to invite them back for a visit versus hoping they’ll return.

The average amounts that customers spend are compelling:

Downtime can be learning time There is a direct link between the number of learning/training hours you provide for your team and your revenue. If nothing else, use January and slower times to tackle the long list of tasks that you’ve been putting off, including doing some structured learning sessions, refresher sessions or advanced training. Call on your reps to step in and offer training, encourage staff to use time to treat each other or at least observe services so that they can be better cross-sellers and be better advocates for services and products. It’s true: Spas, salons and clinics that provide more staff training, of almost any kind, also experience higher revenue.

Single product sales Moisturizer: $55-$85 Mask: $65-90 Serum: $90-$255

Kits or bundles Starter kit: $130-$325 Brightening kit: $150-$255 Anti-aging kit: $335-$520

Average total: $210-$430

Average total: $615-$1,100

One commonly asked question is: Do I need to discount my kits or bundles? The answer is no, you don’t have to! Think how you can add value. Kits normally have added value, and bundles are normally discounted. For kits, if buying four products costs $325, you can charge the same price, you can offer a discount (e.g. save $25) or you can add in an extra product or a service. Be sure to note the value of the product or services you are adding (e.g. glycolic peel valued at $90, or complimentary essential oil valued at $70). Test pricing scenarios and add-ons to be sure you’re providing appealing incentives, without offering excessive discounts. Your staff will be more likely to sell kits or bundles that provide real value to your clients. Pro tip: Use inventory you received from large product orders, leverage business building points or ask your rep for a few gratis products to use as value-added products. 18 S pa Inc. | Winte r 2 019 -2 0

Pro tip: Asking key questions on booking calls (or intake forms) can provide valuable information. Try asking, “Are you celebrating any special occasions or anniversaries or coming in for some relaxation?” Customize the questions to suit your business.

Pro tip: Do the most difficult thing that you’ve been putting off first. Ildi Arlette created her company, Results Continuum Inc., in 1994 as a premier consulting, training and HR company. Since 2004, she has specialized in consulting with Canada’s top dermatology, plastic surgery, spas, retail, cosmetic, medical and dental clinics to increase their business results by catalyzing patient service and levels of employee engagement. Ildi has developed and delivered customized business plans, training sessions and workshops while acting as a trusted consultant to over 90 top Canadian and American cosmetic clinics. She is an awardwinning business leader including Top 40 Under 40 and multiple nominations for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards. Ildi also was recently nominated for the 2019 Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Award (A.W.E.).





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t’s not as if men are strangers to the spa experience. A PwC report for the International Spa Association (ISPA) found 47 percent of spa-goers in the U.S. are already male; they’re mostly aged 25 to 44, and come from CA$66,000+ income households. They’re less cost-averse than women, and experience higher than average levels of stress. Roughly half are interested in other spa offerings, including hydrotherapy, acupuncture, mind-body experiences and aromatherapy. From a product standpoint alone, the men’s grooming market for spas in 2018 was $50.4 billion and expected to exceed $60.7 billion by 2020, according to Euromonitor International. Skincare products that are professionally recommended, which most men prefer to over-thecounter, will hit $166 billion in 2022, according to Allied Market Research.

in the know Clearly, men are buying into what spas are selling. So why do I believe that men are still an untapped market? For starters, our programming and marketing efforts have been directed predominantly at women. This makes sense from a historical standpoint, but we’re behind the times. Euromonitor says that in 2018, more than 56 percent of U.S. male respondents admitted to using some sort of facial cosmetic-like foundation, concealer or BB cream at least once. In China, approximately onefifth of men older than 25 years regularly apply lip tint and BB cream. Men don’t visit spas for the same reasons women do. Yes, both sexes want to look as good as they feel. But while women go mainly to destress, men primarily want to regain vitality and wellness, relieve sore muscles or tackle skincare issues. And while they may not be consciously seeking relief from our increasingly lonely, tech-centric world, men can gain at least as many of the mental benefits long enjoyed by women. In fact, a 2017 study at Oxford University found that men benefit more from face-to-face interactions (and activities) than women. For a tactile business like ours, that’s important to know. Of course, not all men are the same. We need to be increasingly sensitive to, and respectful of, the many shades of gender identification in clients nowadays. Providing custom-tailored treatments and prescriptions will become increasingly important in a world where sexual orientation might be considered non-binary. Also bear in mind that spa visitors vary enormously in terms of experience and level of sophistication – from first-timers to veterans. In my days as a full-time skin therapist, I found men to be rewarding clients – open to learning and appreciative of the time I took to educate and inform them and answer their questions. Many turned into loyal return clients for treatments and products. Day spas have done an exceptional job of attracting and retaining female clients, in my experience. But now that it’s 2020, what do we need to do to attract and retain more men?

Create authentic customer journeys Men are loyal, but in my experience, not as knowledgeable as women about treatments, product ingredients, etc. Men want consistency in products and services, and like being treated with warmth, respect and professionalism. When they get these things, they’ll come back – and likely evangelize your business to their pals.


1) Educate them – bearing in mind their age when deciding how much knowledge they need. A teenager with acne, for example, may require more guidance establishing his skincare routines in concert with grooming care. Older men will be more open to suggestions on skin regeneration and well-being. 2) Men want detailed skin analyses. Avoid feminine terms such as “pampering,” “soothing” or “calming.” Instead, choose stronger words like “vibrant,” “energized” and “vital.” 3) Men want to clearly understand the benefits of products and treatments you suggest, without being overloaded with technical jargon. Start by giving them a simple, customdesigned routine for their skin. 4) Appeal to a man’s desire to feel more confident and youthful. Suggest things like peels, skin regenerating treatments and laser resurfacing. Chances are he’ll be open to your recommendations. 5) Be bold and confident. Uncertainty and inexperience irritate men (and all spa-goers, for that matter). People today have no time to waste; they want results yesterday. 6) Don’t laugh at “dumb” questions. Although it may seem unsophisticated to you, most men would consider a question like, “When do I use a cleanser?” to be perfectly reasonable. Keeping the atmosphere warm, friendly and professional will keep him engaged.


In the past I would (and still do) advise spa developers wanting to minimize men’s amenities that equalizing facilities for women and men will attract more men. As an example, a client in an urban area that implemented my advice grew their male clientele to 50 percent, from only five percent, in less than 18 months. Design with man-friendly décor and amenities I’m not suggesting that you mount a stuffed moose head over your entrance, but setting up your facility to offer men as enriching an experience as your female clients receive will make them feel valued and welcome. That means, for example, shunning overly feminine décor in favour of designs, colours and architecture that appeals to both sexes. Flowery scents and pink walls may send Jack packing. Men aren’t comfortable being treated as an afterthought – and they can tell when they're not valued. S pa I nc .c a


in the know 7) Create a safe space. Massage is the number one treatment for men, so it’s important to train the team to deal with inappropriate behaviour – particularly in hotels and resorts. Empowering your team members with clearly articulated boundaries keeps everything professional. 8) Don’t try to “sell” men. They want to buy skincare products as we all do, but they don’t want that yucky, impersonal sense of being “sold” to. Instead, show them how a product feels on their skin. Let them see and feel its effects for themselves. 9) Keep it simple. Men generally appreciate straight talk and brevity and are uncomfortable waiting around. They are also less price-sensitive than most women. Once you’ve established yourself and your facility as a trusted, credible resource, your male clients will be open to new treatments and product suggestions. In the medi-spa market for men, for example, we see an uptake in all kinds of treatments: broadband light therapy (BBL), laser hair removal, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for hair regrowth and skin regeneration, neuromodulators such as Botox, fillers and tattoo removal. And I’ve already mentioned the potential arrival of makeup for men.

One word of caution before you start overhauling your marketing strategies and bringing in a new interior designer and construction crew: In terms of products, at least, the gender gap may be narrowing. According to NPD’s iGen Beauty Consumer report, nearly 40 percent of young (18-22) adults are interested in gender-neutral beauty products. But until (and if ) the day of gender neutrality for products and services arrives, consider a more man-friendly approach – while treating each new male prospect as the unique individual he probably is. If he leaves happy, chances are he’ll be back.

Vivienne O’Keeffe, CIBTAC, AAD, PEA, is President of Spa Profits Consulting Inc., and an expert in designing successful spa concepts. She is also an international consultant in developing product lines, treatment plans and training programs, a member of ISPA and a recipient of the Spa Industry Association of Canada Outstanding Industry Service Award in 2001, 2005 and 2012. More at

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science of the spa


importance of accessibility M

eenu Sikand, founder and CEO of Accessibility for All, is one of more than six million Canadians affected by a disability that limits their daily activities. She’s spent most of her life paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Like any other woman, the internationally acclaimed disability rights advocate loves to be pampered, but was discouraged in her search for a spa that understands what true accessibility means. “Real accessibility doesn’t just mean an ability to get through the door and assuming someone can move from one chair to another,” she says. “If they can’t get their treatment, it’s not accessible.” Sikand suggests that spa owners look at their equipment and services from end-to-end, not just when a client enters the door. “Look at it not as charity but as a new customer base that you can acquire,” she explains. “More accessibility is good in general for everyone. Being inclusive is better for your bottom line and the industry as a whole.” Sikand would like to see the spa industry set a standard checklist across the board. A starting point Here are some of the questions Sikand asks: “Is the chair moveable? Do you need a sliding board to assist with transferring people onto your treatment tables? A lot of massage tables are not wide enough to enable someone to roll from side to side. Are there mechanical lifts? Are staff trained on transfers?” Modifications don’t necessarily need to be onerous, and Sikand


encourages spa owners to think outside the box. “Consider involving people with disabilities, the end users of the service, to help in auditing the spa for gaps in accessibility,” she advises. “Other suggestions include making sure the washrooms are accessible, developing customer service standards that encourage awareness of disabilities and training staff.” A question of legality In terms of legislation, several provinces are front-runners in developing local accessibility laws and regulations that protect and enforce the rights of people with disabilities. Ontario was the first province to introduce legislation specific to creating barrier-free places, passing the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) in 2005; since then, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have set their own laws, B.C. is close to ratifying its act and voters in Saskatchewan and the Yukon are putting pressure on their respective governments to follow suit. The federal government caught up this spring, passing Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, which focuses on organizations under federal jurisdiction. Although many of these laws were originally written to govern public spaces, a number of Canadian spas have taken up the call, posting their own policies on accessibility, and constructing facilities that reflect those unique needs. Among them, Ste. Anne’s Spa has a statement of commitment to accessibility, which stresses compliance across its operation under S pa I nc .c a


science of the spa the province’s ODA: “Our commitment to making our organization accessible includes the integration of accessibility legislation with our policies, procedures, programs and training.” The spa’s HR director Cindy Smith explains, “Approximately 1.8 million Ontarians live with a disability, and as the population grows older, this number will continue to increase. Our organization has made a commitment to accessibility for everyone who uses our services because this makes good business sense, and it is also a legal obligation.” Canadian wheelchair athlete Joel Dembe recently indulged in a men’s facial and massage while at the spa, and he suggests in his blog that being wheelchair-bound was no barrier: “The moment we entered, we were embraced by the warm and friendly staff. They treated us like family, offering help at every turn.” Although Alberta has yet to pass its own standalone legislation, facilities like the Red Earth Spa at Canada’s Banff Caribou Lodge have gone so far as to offer a fully accessible environment featuring lower sinks, roll-in showers and higher toilets with grab rails. For Sikand, the landscape is promising as the population ages and has specific needs, greater spending power and growing awareness of barrier-free environments. “It is important for people with disabilities to feel beautiful, just like everyone else,” she says.

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The Rick Hansen Foundation offers these tips for boosting accessibility in your spa. Make a good first impression. When people approach your business, ramps and automatic doors allow customers with mobility devices (and parents with strollers) to enter easily. Clear the aisles. Regardless of a person’s abilities, having a floor space free of obstacles allows any customer to move through the store easily and eliminates tripping hazards. When people can access all areas of your business, they’re more likely to have an enjoyable experience and spend more time there. Be seen. Signs using a 72-point, sans-serif font (e.g., Verdana, Arial) are easier to read, make navigation more straightforward and accommodate customers who are deaf or have low vision. Ensure the washroom is accessible. An accessible washroom has a door that is at least 85cm wide, a grab bar at the side and back of the toilet, an 80cm space beside the toilet and a turning radius of 1.2m. You can provide even more space if the door on the bathroom stall swings out, instead of in. Provide accessible print materials. In addition to written text, having Braille on signage, menus and business cards will help people who are blind or have some form of vision loss. Also, include photos on your menus to make it easier for customers who may be deaf-mute to indicate what they would like to order. Find the right light. Adjust the lighting to meet and support the needs of your customers and employees. Although ambient mood lighting creates a casual or romantic setting, it might not be bright enough for customers to read menus, way-find or communicate if they use sign language. You can provide clip-on lights for greater illumination. Many tools are available online to help calculate the lighting required in a given space. Consider the highs and lows. Offer a variety of high and low tables to accommodate customers who use a wheelchair or scooter, or have other mobility challenges. Offer flexibility at the point of sale. Portable debit machines or an extendable cord give customers a more convenient way of paying, especially for individuals using wheelchairs or for those who aren’t tall enough to reach a fixed debit machine. Open up to closed captioning. Turning on closed captioning on any in-house TVs will allow customers who are hard of hearing or deaf to follow along with whatever program is on. Arrange for sensitivity training. Education is the best way to change attitudes and break down barriers for people with disabilities. Providing your staff with training on topics such as how to assist those with mobility devices, interact with service animals and other situations, will ensure that everyone is informed on how to accommodate and include all people.



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TOP 25 SPAS IN CANADA Achieve Wellness Spa BALNEA spa + réserve thermale Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver Dol-ás Spa Elmwood Spa Glow Medi Spa Hammam Spa Ici Paris Skin Care Clinic + Spa iwa Spa JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa Le Monastère des Augustines Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris Pacific Mist – Spa and Hydropath Sante Spa Victoria Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain Spa Eastman Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto Spa Nordic Station Spa William Gray Ste. Anne’s Spa Strøm Spa Nordique Mont-St-Hilaire Ten Spa The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim THANK YOU TO OUR ESTEEMED JUDGES: CHRIS RYALL





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fresh & new ELMLINE

Herbal Tension Balm

A product line launched by Toronto’s Elmwood Spa, ElmLine’s Herbal Tension Balm features feverfew, traditionally used in herbal medicine for easing migraines; peppermint and rosemary improve circulation while offering an instant sense of calm and well-being. This homeopathic stress soother is recommended for anyone seeking relief from muscle pain, tension, headaches or body aches.


ClarinsMen Everyday Heroes

From the trusted name of Clarins, the famous French skincare company established in the 1950s, this ClarinsMen set includes essential products for cleansing and moisturizing, in retail and sample sizes. The new ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm (50ml) features bison grass extract and organic extract of leaf of life, both of which are skin tonics; the formula is nongreasy and “invisible.” The handy carrying pouch also contains ClarinsMen Exfoliating Cleasner (125ml), Shampoo & Shower (30ml) and Shave Ease Oil (3ml).


Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

This unique shampoo features a blend of Binchotan charcoal and vegetable-derived micro-exfoliators to draw out impurities and gently remove build-up, for a scalp that feels balanced and refreshed. Cooling spearmint, peppermint and tea tree oils soothe, while coconut oil moisturizes. Super-vitamin panthenol provides essential nutrients to nourish strands from root to tip.


Natural Salve | Traditional Remedy

For plant-powered pain relief, the Traditional Remedy Salve offers natural therapy for tension, pain, bruising and inflammation. Ingredients include shea butter, cannabis sativa oil, arnica, white willow bark (an antiinflammatory), peppermint and rosemary, along with shungite (an anti-bacterial).

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This three-in-one facial scrub brush, pre-shaving and anti-aging device uses low-frequency pulsations to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while leaving the skin looking firmer. One side is a facial scrub brush, the other activates the anti-aging treatment; in combination, the device removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores to prep skin for a closer, more comfortable shave.


Normal/Dry Skin Kit

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Uni(sex) N°.5 Deodorant

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Cell Rescue Active Gel Toner

This alcohol- and astringent-free formula prepares skin to receive corrective actives and normalizes pH levels. Herbal extracts, coldpressed plant oils, natural botanicals, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid hydrate the skin and provide enhanced cellular protection. The 70-percent organic formulation also incorporates aloe vera, amino acids and healing calendula oil, in an easyto-apply gel that isn’t watery.

spa star back to the 1920s right here in Canada that were promoting mailorder hair or skin products for black women. Many black women bought their beauty products through mail order; they simply weren’t sold in stores.




he most neglected person in America is the black woman,” said human rights activist Malcolm X in 1962. The same still holds true today in Canada’s beauty culture, according to a book published last April by Toronto-based author and academic Cheryl Thompson, an assistant professor at Ryerson University. Her book, Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture, points to a lack of representation in Canadian history and gaps in information on consumer behaviours of black women. What is the message you want your book to send? Women are not all the same. Black women have a very unique narrative and a unique experience. There needs to be awareness that black women don’t experience the same things other women do, and it’s also based on the unique history that we have living in the Western world. Across the traditional workplace, there are unspoken rules about what’s professional and what’s unprofessional, and all too often, people consider it unprofessional for a black woman to wear her hair naturally. My whole intention with this book was to get people to talk to someone first, to connect, to listen to them and see where they’re coming from before making assumptions about them. Your book is based on your doctoral dissertation. What was your thesis? In essence, the book is making the assertion that beauty culture doesn’t exist on its own. It really needs the media; the media is the driving force of beauty culture. What I found is that there seems to be so little information about Canada’s black beauty culture. I noticed how black women are symbolically annihilated from a lot of beauty culture advertising. I reviewed archives in Canada and the U.S. to locate what I would call the material culture of beauty: ads with images and text. I found some going

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What did you discover about Canada's black beauty culture? One of the realities in Canada is that a lot of black history has just not been given much attention. Black Canadian newspapers go back to the 19th century; there’s a whole history of advertisements in these papers promoting the sole black woman entrepreneur typically selling products out of her home. Most people don’t know that Canadian civil rights activist Viola Desmond, who’s now on the $10 bill, was one of those entrepreneurs. The media ignored that fact. She gained notoriety for challenging racial segregation in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, when she was not allowed to watch a movie in a theatre because she was sitting in the whites-only section. At the time, she was driving around the province selling her homemade beauty products; she was what we would call a “beauty culturalist.” She not only ran and operated a beauty salon, she also started the Desmond School of Beauty Culture, where she was training other black women on the techniques of haircare, and also made and sold her own products. Are you seeing improvements in how black women are portrayed? On the one hand, we’re not dealing with an extremely racist culture circulating pervasively, and if we do see those things, we now have agencies that handle them. The only real move I’ve seen is in gender parity. But when you look down deep at the question of race and gender, you tell me where the black women are, even though we’re getting degrees, we’re going to university getting trained, and yet you look at who is making decisions, who are getting executive director positions, who are presidents of companies? I see a lot of white women doing those things; I don’t see a lot of black women. How is beauty defined? I really think beauty is about loving the package that you’re in and making the best of it. As a culture we still don’t appreciate a real diversity in our concept of beauty, because we still attach limited attributes, like the size of your nose or how far apart your eyes sit. Just like there’s a range of flowers, I think there’s a range of beauty, and it includes self-love and kindness. Are self-care and spa treatments important to you? It doesn’t matter what your income, I believe every woman should experience spa treatments for themselves at least once in their lifetime. It’s almost like meditating. You meditate to disassociate with your body. In the same way, when you go to a spa, you are disassociating from your life. You release the toxins in your skin, but also release the things that you’re holding onto emotionally. I also believe that there’s a therapeutic aspect to someone else touching you. Moments of self-care are so important to our overall well-being.



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