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Archive for April, 2013

Spark the Spa & Wellness Conversation: Q&A with Lindsay Lopez, Form Pilates Union Square

Lindsay Lopez, Form Pilates Union SquareThis inaugural feature in our Q&A spa and wellness series brings you the insight of Lindsay Lopez, founder of Form Pilates Union Square in NYC. She shares details into marketing strategies, the philosophy of her studio, tips for motivating clients, and more.

Q: You’re originally from L.A. and relocated to NYC. Do you find the Pilates scene to be different between the two cities? If so, how?

A: I grew up in Los Angeles and started teaching there over 10 years ago. When I started teaching, Pilates was not as prevalent as it is now….there were very few studios on the scene. I had never seen classical New York-style Pilates until my mentor came to L.A. to teach; it’s definitely more of a modern take on the method. In California, Pilates is more fitness-based; people are more interested in esthetics, having a flat stomach, perfect body, and here in New York, people are more concerned about getting around. You have to walk everywhere, climb the subway steps, etc.

Form Pilates Union SquareQ: What would you say is your philosophy for your studio?

A: I’ve worked in a lot of different Pilates studios and right before I had a chance to take over this existing Pilates studio, which became Form, I was working at Equinox. One of the things that I felt after years of teaching was that it was really hard to make a living teaching Pilates, and people didn’t really understand that you can’t teach 40-plus hours of week without burning yourself out.

At Form, teachers could come, they could bring their own clients, charge what they wanted and still have a great, clean space with equipment that was in working order…They like it because they make more money, I like it because I have less overhead, and it seems to work well.

I really wanted it to be about a community, about entrepreneurs, where teachers could be entrepreneurs as well. Sixty percent of revenue is rental income, that’s little to no overhead…We’re hoping to open a second location next year, same concept.

Q: What kind of marketing do you find to be most successful?

A: I built my business on word of mouth. I don’t do too much traditional marketing…The biggest marketing tip I can give is to build your email list organically through your website…I’m diligent about communicating with my list; it keeps me in their mind. It’s organic. It’s people that raised their hand and said, “I’m interested.” I give a lot of high-value free content: videos or articles about food, nutrition, and lifestyle.

Word of mouth, community, and email list are the three [main initiatives], and the website is the vehicle for all of that. As well, definitely market on social media.

Form Pilates Union Square StudioQ: What kind of techniques do you use to keep your clientele motivated during a workout – and coming back to Form?

A: I think it’s the experience of the studio. Our studio has a high-end spa-like feel, like you’re doing something really nice for yourself, from the time you walk in to the door to the time you leave the session. We have fresh flowers, tea, a place to sit. It’s not just about their workout, it’s about relaxation and a treat for themselves.

We give a personalized approach to the method. We can only have four bodies working out at the same time. Every client has a plan…and I can attest to that—my clients have been with me for years. In general, I think it’s the relationship—it goes beyond the actual workout and the experience…[Also], trainers all have been trained really well and have different backgrounds to offer.

Q: What do you think sets your studio apart from others?

A: The fact that we deal with teachers and allow them to rent the space and focus on the entrepreneurial side of things. We’re boutique: It’s all one-on-one or duet sessions. We’re exclusively in that genre, in that niche—not larger classes.

Q: You devote your career to helping people feel their best. How do you take care of yourself?

A: Sleep is huge for me. I have to make sure I get enough sleep a night, and I’ve learned over the years, I do need eight hours. I do take at least one full day off [a week] when I don’t do anything business-related. I do my own workouts—Pilates, spinning…It’s really easy as an instructor to become discouraged if you’re not giving yourself the workout. I try to eat well, take baths, go to the spa. In general, I think the rest and taking a day off is huge for me.

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5 Last-Minute Ways to Elevate Sales this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for spas, and SpaFinder® Wellness online data shows that gift-givers tend to buy their presents or make their gift-giving decisions in the final days before the holiday. (Preliminary results from our 2013 Mother’s Day survey also report that moms are more stressed than ever before!) Here are some last-minute tips to maximize sales and make Mother’s Day not only a great day for moms, but for your business, too.

  1. Consider your clientele: When crafting up Mother’s Day specials, be sure to think about a range of customers and offer deals or promotions that are attractive to every budget.
  2. Make the most of your SpaFinder Wellness partnership: Don’t forget to post Mother’s Day deals on your listing. Head to to log in, set up, and manage promotions for your business.
  3. Brand your deal(s): Create offers with a special message attached such as “What does mom need this year?”; “How can I show mom my appreciation?”; “Mom could use a little ‘me time’”; etc. If you can, consider allowing the deals to be available throughout the entire month of May—and don’t just cater to moms; think sisters, aunts, daughters, all special women who deserve a little relaxation.
  4. Send your clientele a Mother’s Day shout out: Connect with your Facebook and Twitter audiences by sharing news of special Mother’s Day offers; keep them in the loop as well by establishing a mailing list of clients and sending out an email blast.
  5. Last-minute deals: And not to toot our own horn, don’t forget our last-minute deals initiative to fill not-yet-booked appointments!
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FREE Webinar: How to Use the Medical Evidence to Grow Your Spa’s Business

A Can’t Miss, FREE Webinar for SpaFinder Wellness Partners!

When: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2pm Eastern

Sign up here.

What You’ll Learn: is the world’s first website that makes it easy to research the thousands of medical studies that exist for 30-plus of the most common spa/wellness approaches.

Your customers today demand the facts: what’s proven to work, and for what health goals.

SpaEvidence was designed to empower spa businesses by putting the world of medical studies that exist for their core offerings – whether massage or meditation – right at their fingertips. Linking the positive clinical evidence to what YOUR SPA DOES is simply the most powerful marketing you can do. But first you need to know HOW to use the site!

Dr. Danny Friedland (President Elect of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine) will first provide a crash course in how to get the most out of You will learn how its four key databases work (the same ones that doctors use) – how to “weigh” evidence and pinpoint the best studies – and how to cut through confusing “medical-ese” and drill down to results you can really use.

Susie Ellis (President of SpaFinder Wellness) will then share best practices on the many, creative ways that spas can use and broadcast the medical evidence in their client interactions and spa marketing campaigns.

The fascinating (and incredibly VALIDATING FOR YOUR BUSINESS) world of medical evidence for spa will be opened up to you! You will not only learn how to get comfortable with this breakthrough industry resource…you will get practical advice on how the “science behind spa” can start growing your business today.

This webinar is hosted by the industry association, Leading Spas of Canada. They have graciously waived the $25 webinar fee for all SpaFinder Wellness partners.

Just use this link to sign up:

More About the Presenters:

Dr. Danny Friedland: An international thought leader, keynote speaker and consultant in Evidence-Based Medicine and health and wellness, Dr. Friedland has delivered over a thousand wellness programs to healthcare providers, patients, the US Army, Navy and Air Force, executives and employees in Fortune 500 companies and for clients in the spa industry.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is the author of Evidence-Based Medicine: A Framework for Clinical Practice, one of the earliest textbooks on this topic…and now all doctors are trained this way.

He serves as Medical Director for Barney & Barney, is President-Elect of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and is Founder and CEO of SuperSmartHealth, which provides seminars, consulting, health coaching, executive leadership and wellness programs. Dr. Friedland was one of the co-architects of

Susie Ellis: Susie is president of SpaFinder® Wellness, Inc., director of the company’s annual Spa and Wellness Trend Report and is a globally-respected spa industry analyst.

She is also chairman and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit; a member of the International Advisory Board of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne; on the board of the Center for Medical Tourism Research; a member of the Spa Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine, Spa and Hospitality Management Program; and on the Aspen Brain Forum Board of Advisors.

Susie began her spa career at the famous Golden Door in California. She holds a MBA from the University of Southern California and is the recipient of ISPA’s 2012 Visionary Award.

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