DEC 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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Page 33 of 84 • december 2016 • [ 31 ] What are some important aspects to focus on when selecting spa linens and apparel? Boyd: Regarding apparel, we want staff to look professional and somewhat formal, yet still spa-like. The fi t and practicality of the uniform are also key. I ask staff members to try them on and describe the general feel of the style and fabric. I also consider things like whether skirts look better than pants, and whether a blazer is more functional than three-quarter sleeves. All pockets are sewn shut—we don't permit staff members to carry phones during their shifts, and we follow the same no-pocket rule with guests' robes. This dissuades them from bringing phones or expensive jewelry into wet areas or treatment rooms, so they have peace of mind knowing that their personal belongings are safe in their lockers. Folawn: The way sheets fi t and wash are major factors in selecting linens. Durability must be high—spa linens and robes are washed frequently and they have to last and maintain their quality. Stroehmann: Robes should protect clients' modesty and cover their bodies completely, plus they must feel soft on the skin. I prefer microfi ber—it wears well and cleans easily, and thread count doesn't really come into play. Linens are a major ongoing expense, so I insist on durability as well as an accessible price point. What's the added value in branding your linens? Is the expense worthwhile? Stroehmann: Branded linens serve as another form of signage that helps to build awareness and credibility for your business. For us, it's absolutely worth the cost—I would never have uniforms or robes without our spa's logo on them. Boyd: Although I love to see branded linens, it's important to consider your spa's volume, the linen quality and the additional cost of branding. We actually decided not to brand our linens due to the number of towels and robes we replace each year. What questions should spa owners ask vendors before placing an order? Folawn: I always ask for material samples in various colors. We look for the best value on quality linens and prefer to buy in bulk. When we fi nd the right vendor, we continue to reorder indefi nitely because, just as we value our loyal customers, we believe it's important to be loyal to our vendors. Boyd: I encourage people to inquire about the exact order turnaround period. We've been in situations where we needed additional robes or uniform sizes and the company wasn't able to produce them in time. Also, ask the supplier how long the product will be available. I once ordered uniforms for 25 staff members and, six months later when I attempted to order additional uniforms, that line had been discontinued. Stroehmann: I like to fi nd out which vendor items can be stocked in our boutique, as I believe everything used in service should be available to take home too. u CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY COMPHY; STYLE MONARCHY; NOEL ASMAR What role do linens play in the spa experience? Terry Folawn, owner of The Spa at Folawn's, San Antonio: Creating a fi ve-star spa experience is all about the details, and that includes added value such as luxurious linens. It's the difference, for instance, between staying at a motel versus a high-end hotel. Being able to snuggle up in quality linens defi nitely ups the ante in terms of experience and perceived value. Robert Boyd, director of guest experience at Canyon Ranch Spa Club, Las Vegas: Linens and apparel set the tone for a client's experience, and should complement your space and your staff. When ordering staff apparel, I like to envision our employees' demeanor in the uniforms and our guests' response to them. Spa uniforms should elicit a calm, relaxed feeling in clients but be professional enough to align with your brand. Sandy Stroehmann, owner of Elixir Mind Body Massage, Denver: Beautiful, crisp linens contribute to a guest's comfort. Soft sheets, a weighty blanket and comfortable eye pillows may seem like small details, but they're signifi cant to the experience. If a guest is distracted by stiff or itchy sheets, they can't relax. y un t hem and fabric g s the

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