APR 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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According to Mintel's 2016 North American Consumer Trends report, purchasers are showing greater interest in smaller, boutique brands that have unique backstories and support global charities. In order to give back to society, simultaneously stay on trend and increase retail profits, spa owners may want to explore partnerships with these types of brands. "'One-for-one' companies and programs are evolving and growing drastically," says Kim Collier, senior consultant, trainer and educator for Blue Spas Inc., a spa design and management firm based in Montana. To understand the one-for-one concept, think of a company like TOMS (, which donates a pair of shoes for each pair that's purchased. "It's 'money with momentum', and I believe these types of companies are truly going to change the way customers make retail purchases," adds Collier. To get started, Blue Spas Inc. principal Cary Collier suggests: "Run the cost comparisons and cost benefit analyses that would be involved in partnering with various brands at a range of price points." This, he explains, will help you determine what type of output you can afford. Although one-for-one brands tend to have higher price points, consumers are willing to pay more because of the charitable connection—as long as the item they're purchasing is of high quality. "Without a doubt, we've found that because of our mission, people are generally inclined to pay more for our bags," explains Oliver Shuttlesworth, founder and CEO of Esperos Bags (, which donates 10% of each sale to The Nobelity Project, a nonprofit that works with rural schools in Kenya to build classrooms, libraries, and science and computer labs. "At the same time, we have tried to place an emphasis on making a product that's high quality and long lasting," he says. Shuttlesworth believes that the most compelling reason for spa owners to partner with brands like his is the potential to create "walking billboards" in the form of brand fans. "Our growth comes from word of mouth, and that starts with our retail partners," he explains. "When people love a company, they're more likely to tell their friends and coworkers about it." Pursuing partnerships with charitable brands that produce unique offerings is key to this word- of-mouth marketing. Take WeWood (, an Italian company that creates watches with remnant wood that would otherwise have been turned into chips or discarded. For each watch purchased, the company plants a tree. "I bought my mom one of our watches, and she ends up in conversations with strangers everywhere she goes because it's so eye-catching!" laughs Shannon Hayward, the brand's vice president of sales in North America. There's also added value in wearing fashionable and distinctive products. Austin, Texas-based Purse & Clutch ( distributes high-quality, fair-trade goods sourced from artisans' groups around the world. "People want to own items that don't just enable them to feel connected to a story but that are unique in themselves too," explains proprietor and executive director Jen Lewis. "They don't want to think 'oh, shoot' when they walk into a room and see five other women with the same bag, which falls apart a few months later anyway." Interested in "greening" your spa but concerned that such an undertaking might be too taxing? Fear not: there are a myriad of small, easy changes you can make to ensure that your business slowly but surely becomes more environmentally friendly. With the help of Paul Schmidt, executive director of the Green Spa Network, we came up with the following list of tackle-able tasks. • Send your guests away from the treatment room with the clean, nearly dry towel that covered them during their service—they can re-use it when they shower or visit the Jacuzzi. • Install low-flow water filters and dual flush toilets. • Go paperless by having clients fill out intake forms on tablets and uploading them online. Or, print spa brochures and business cards on plantable paper. • Replace single-use plastic or paper cups with reusable drinking cups, and consider installing a small dishwasher. • Switch out your incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs, such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). • Provide a branded robe and sandals as gifts to regular or member guests. Distinguish them from your standard offerings so that they become conversation-starters. • Adjust treatment protocols to reduce the quantity of fresh linens used in each service. Simple changes, like using the floor mat that was stepped on once by your guest to initially wipe product from the tub or shower, can make a big difference. • Plant potted lavender, jasmine, rosemary or aloe vera around your spa. These varietals generate and improve oxygen quality, and can be used to infuse body treatments. For more tips, go to Feeling Green CHARITABLE CHOICE © GETTY IMAGES | APRIL 2016 65

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