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Archive for March, 2010

The 2010 IECSC Show


By Milana Knowles

Many of you attended the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) in New York this month, and I wonder if your impressions were the same as mine. I always go to trade shows with great enthusiasm and hope to find that hot new thing that will make waves in the spa industry. More often than not, I am disappointed that it seems to be same old, same old, for the most part. I see the same companies, same approach; same tired sales people who look as if they’d love to be somewhere else. Sometimes this mediocrity allows for a few new beauty/product lines to stand out, and I am happy to have found a few that did just that. Innovative new products, new spin on a concept, great new idea…


Retail, being so crucial to a spa’s profitability, is a component of your business that should not be taken lightly. It has to work with your business model and suit your clients and your general audience. There are some products, though, that are so universal that every spa should consider carrying:

BeingTRUE (Michael Hawley, CEO)

I met Michael at the Spa Exec event. I am a huge proponent of mineral makeup. It makes sense that spas carry makeup that is actually good for your skin. BeingTRUE embodies the best in current technology and ancient remedies. Experiential and efficacious, this targeted skin care and makeup addresses all skin types and conditions with therapeutic essential oils. Demanding more than makeup, these cosmetics with treatment-based color meet the ever-changing needs of today’s woman, from 16 to 60.

Pure Inventions (Johanna E. Cerligione, Director of Operations)

Pure Inventions is the true pioneer of nutritional, liquid supplements in the beauty industry and a trendsetter in the healthy lifestyle industry. The main goal was to achieve wellness of the whole person in a way that is convenient and easy to incorporate into a hectic lifestyle. This is the product you can serve in your relaxation room and one that every client should and will take home after a treatment.

All of the lines (Green Tea Extracts, Antioxidant Fruit Extracts, Pure Antioxidant Cocoa) in the Pure Inventions collection are delicious, all natural, fully standardized, and gluten-free and have no calories, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or alcohol. The delivery system (60 servings in a 2-ounce glass bottle) is eco-friendly and convenient. Just add to your favorite water for high-antioxidant hydration, and what is even better, they taste delicious.

NUTRICOSMETICS (Supplements That Nourish Your Skin)
GliSODin Skin Nutrients (Paula Simpson, Executive Director)

GliSODin Skin Nutrients is a professional nutricosmetic line dedicated to supplement your beauty regimen. The products are specially formulated by dermatologists and nutritionists to provide powerful antioxidants and bioactive nutraceuticals that promote enhanced and longer lasting results from your medical aesthetic treatments and beauty and wellness programs. Only the finest ingredients are selected for the products, to guarantee strong and positive results for beautiful, healthy skin.  Who knew that you could look better by taking a supplement?


I also attended some educational courses and found some speakers who have something valuable to say. Craig Ure from, in one very dynamic presentation in a room full of med spa owners, talked about using Google, video, blogs, and their own websites to successfully capture a wider share of the marketplace.

Another presentation worth mentioning was by Sarah Boumphrey from Euromonitor International, who offered research and statistics on the current state of the international economy, the future of luxury, as well as recession recovery dynamics in the marketplace.

Thanks to Nancy Griffin the founder of Spa Exec, who brought Sarah all the way to New York,  we learned valuable statistics on the current economic recovery:

The good news: A fragile economic recovery is under way.

The bad news: Consumers see their home as their entertainment hub, and a newly developed discount culture is developing thrift into a consumer habit.

The good news: Recession-wary consumers will look to escape not only at home, but away from home, and consumers are clearer on the empowering link between health and wellness and a happier, fuller life. Even the home as entertainment hub could be good news for day spas, as many consumers are turning to day escapes.

The bad news: The travel sector is recovering at a much slower pace than other aspects of the economy.

The great news: Value is no longer associated with just discounting; consumers are looking for value. Many companies are going back to basics, and value is equated with the quality of services offered. The success of any business will rest on its ability to offer products considered worthy of the investment.

What are your thoughts on trade shows? Email

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SpaFinder Deal Days — Take Our Follow-up Survey

SpaFinder Deal Days

SpaFinder’s inaugural Deal Days event, March 8–14, was a great success, bringing thousands of new customers to spas across the country. Through our advertising and strategic partnerships with People Magazine, USA Today, Condé Nast, Daily Candy, Today Show and Univision, millions of spa-goers visited and learned about new spas and treatments in their communities.

Based on our follow-up survey to spa-goers who took part in the Deal Days promotion:

  • 78% visited a new spa they had never tried before
  • 90% said they would go back
  • 100% said they hope there will be more SpaFinder Deal Days in the future

As you can see from our survey results, our spa-goers were quite happy with their Deal Days experience! We would love to get your feedback. Click here to take a short survey and give us your thoughts and suggestions on how we can make the next SpaFinder Deal Days, September 20–26, even better for your spa business.

A big THANKS goes to all of the spas that participated in Deals Days! We hope your business saw new growth and lots of traffic.

For more information about our next Deal Days in September, please visit our website, call (212)716-1167 or email

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A picture – of your spa – is worth a thousand words!

Tribeca Med Spa, New York City

Tribeca Med Spa, New York City

When your spa is listed on it’s displayed alongside thousands of other spas, so the inclusion of photos helps you stand out among your local competition.  Get the most out of your listing by featuring descriptive photos of your spa – the ambience, décor, facilities. Beautiful spa images give potential clients glimpse into your unique spa. Spa listings with their own photos generate far more traffic compared to listings with generic stock photos. 


Technical notes to keep in mind:


  • Your photos should be at least 350×260 pixels in size.
  •  If submitting larger photos, be sure that the subject is horizontally oriented to ensure it remains a strong visual after cropping.
  • JPG format is preferred, but TIFF or PSD is also acceptable (though considerably larger and difficult to email). GIF images are discouraged as they may lose color quality.
  • Your images should be free of writing, logos or other graphics.
  • When submitting your photos, please indicate your preference of placement by inserting a number in front of the file name (i.e. “01_terrrace.jpg”). Our web staff will decide the order if you do not indicate your preference.


Visual factors to keep in mind:


  • Descriptive photos of your location (the ambience, décor, facilities) generally give readers a stronger sense of your spa than a close-up treatment shot. If you can only post one photo, consider a property picture.
  • Stock photography can be a nice way to add atmosphere to your photo gallery but it can be repeated by other properties, taking away from your uniqueness.
  • Beautiful photography gives a viewer the sense that they want to be at the property. It is best to submit pictures that demonstrate the effects of spas like beauty and youthfulness. 
  • Photography of staff may not generate as much interest as photos of the actual property, especially that any turnover would require your pictures to be updated.


To submit photos contact:

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SpaLight On Michael Hawley, CEO, BeingTRUE®

BeingTRUEAfter beginning his career in the cosmetics industry as a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Hawley became vice president and general manager of the renowned Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago. In September 2009, he was appointed CEO of BeingTRUE®. With over 20 years of retail and cosmetic industry experience and a reputation as a strong, charismatic leader, Hawley was the ideal candidate for the position. He brings a wealth of retail savvy and experience to BeingTRUE®, the spa niche cosmetics and skin-care brand that was launched in 2004 and continues to penetrate the market and amass success.   


1.               What is the inspiration behind BeingTRUE?

The inspiration for BeingTRUE® is to embody the best in current, ancient, and future technologies to improve both the skin and the soul.  Every product, every ingredient counts.  Skin is left renewed and balanced, while the mind is left with peace and harmony.  Experiential and efficacious, our targeted products address all skin types and conditions and are infused with therapeutic essential oils that complement the true being and help center the mind. BeingTRUE® cosmetics are all about modern makeup in performance and shade range with protection. Treatment-based color meets the continually changing needs of today’s woman of all ages and allows her to protect her skin, complement her being, and apply with the ease. 


BeingTRUE® continues to pioneer the vision of offering high-performance products and spa protocols that deliver a wellness experience as well as clinical and dermatological results. 


2.               What do you find to be most challenging in the current spa marketplace?

The recent economic challenges have led consumers to make different decisions, which has affected the spa industry just as it has affected all types of businesses. The perception of value transcending price continues to become more important. We have reevaluated our protocols and developed promotional strategies to respond to the challenge. BeingTRUE® products enable our clients to continue their spa regimen at home as well. Every time they use our protective and treatment-based cosmetics or our targeted skincare, they are treating themselves to a little bit of the spa at home. 

3.               Can BeingTRUE® products be found in any retail locations? If so, where?
BeingTRUE® products are available in select spas nationwide as well as on our website:

4.               Tell us about your “Energy Work” line of products.

BeingTRUE® body care includes two collections that address the specific needs of skin today and for tomorrow. The goal of our “Energy Work” collection is to resurface, energize, and fortify the skin as the products invigorate, balance, and uplift the mind. Supercharged ingredients increase the circulation and cellular turnover, as active naturals work to restore moisture and enhance the skin’s immune response. Multitasking botanicals resurface tired, dull, discolored skin, bringing back clarity and vitality. Powerful antioxidants like green tea, white tea, and vitamin E deliver anti-aging benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory agents and protection against UV damage. The subtle balance of pure, therapeutic essential oils tones, conditions, and revitalizes, as the energetic and invigorating aroma promotes a fresh and clear state of mind. This is the perfect collection to kick-start every day.

5.               How do you partner with spas (i.e., support, educate)?

BeingTRUE® supports our spa partners by providing consistent training and sales updates, working together for successful results. We communicate regularly with a retail-driven message, recommending new selling techniques and innovative ways to use the product. We developed our marketing calendar with promotions to help our partner spas maintain their sales throughout the year with sampling and gift-with-purchase vehicles to drive repeat and new business. On our website, we have a Spa Locator section where online consumers can type in their zip code to locate a spa in their area that sells BeingTRUE® products, which helps drive traffic to their business as well as to our website.

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Melanoma Awareness Month Is Approaching!

Melanoma BraceletsMay is Melanoma Awareness Month, and SpaFinder would love for your spa to join us in the fight against this deadly but highly preventable disease. As you may know, SpaFinder is a devoted advocate of melanoma awareness, a cause near and dear to our hearts.

A great way to spread awareness about the sun’s harmful rays is by wearing SpaFinder’s “I Will Reflect” bracelets, which change color when exposed to harmful UVA rays, reminding wearers to apply sunscreen or get out of the sun.

These special bracelets are available to SpaFinder partners at a cost of $3.50 per bracelet, plus shipping and handling. When you purchase the bracelets, you join SpaFinder’s effort to fight melanoma. You may also choose to donate any proceeds from bracelet sales to a melanoma prevention charity of your choice.

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, more than 68,000 people were diagnosed in 2009 and an estimated 8,500 died from the disease last year.* Our 2010 melanoma educational campaign focuses on promoting a greater understanding of sun damage and the importance of daily sunscreen use, self-examination, and yearly full-body checkups at the dermatologist.

To learn more about SpaFinder’s Melanoma Initiative, please visit our Melanoma page.

To place an order for SpaFinder’s “I Will Reflect” bracelets or to tell us what you are doing to raise melanoma awareness, please contact Loreen Guertin at Lguertin@spafinder or 212-716-1167.

*Source: American Cancer Society

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Marketing Idea of the Month – SpaFinder’s New iPhone App

Consumers are going wild for the new SpaFinder iPhone app! In case you haven’t noticed, business is going mobile.
Banking, shopping, searching, dating, and now, finding and even booking spa appointments are done on the go. Wherever you are, you can turn on your iPhone and find a spa in that neighborhood. How great is that?SpaFinder iPhone App

How does the SpaFinder iPhone app work?

  • Automatically locates spas closest to one’s current location
  • Shows deals and last-minute special offers
  • Searches and books treatments in real-time using the SpaBooker Network
  • Gives descriptions and reviews and browses treatment menus
  • Provides easy driving or walking directions

Are you ready for all the new customers searching for you?

Have you downloaded your app today? Click here to download.

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