May 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Even though there are some (but not many) advantages of cold weather; for your skin it is torture. Harsh winter winds and dry, hot indoor climate often leaves your skin dehydrated, fed-up, pale and stressed out.
Now when spring has finally arrived to Stockholm and the humid springtime air calls for a change in your beauty regimen! It is time to boost, freshen up and prepare your skin for the summer season. What do we then need to think about? At winter time we normally use heavier moisturizers to compensate for the lack of humidity in the air but as spring arrives many of us can switch to a lighter cream, preferably one with sunscreen already included. The SPF protection should be high if you use a thin layer of your cream (as many of us do) since the thinner you put on the lower the SPF. Start to rejuvenate your flaky skin with a gentle exfoliator to get rid of the dead skin and give your dull face new life. A good eye cream that cools down and reduces puffiness around eyes is also a good investment in allergy-seasons like spring.
I would recommend you to book a facial to get help to remove the toxins that are embedded in the pores and allow fresh oxygen to circulate in the skin. If you seldom treat yourself with facial treatments, this is the perfect time of year to book one. An eyebrow and eyelash tint is also o great investment this season to cut down some makeup and enhance your natural beauty.
Make sure to get rid of old products that have past the expiration date, looks/ smells odd or products that appear dry and crusty. Clean all makeup tools thoroughly.
1. Patyka – Repair Face Cream
This light, fresh and fast absorbing face cream repairs skin and gives a fresh and soft result lasting the whole day. Love it.
2. Dr Burgener – Green Caviar Crème
This is just a fabulous, fabulous, perfect cream to use both day and night. Feels light once applying but is rich in its formula and gives me that perfect surface. Works all by itself and that is rare for a serum/boost/oil lover like me…
3. Subtle Energies – Facial blend
Charming scent, exclusive texture and glowing result is what you get from this tiny oil bottle!
4. Organic Pharmacy – Self Tan
I have mentioned this one before, but it is just the best self tan exsisting. And it is pure and organic.
5. Jurlique – Herbal Recovery Gel
This product is my true skin savior in all times. It is a pure moist gel that repairs, moisturizes and restores my skin, whatever products or climate that might have made damaged to the skin. Perfect for spring and for skin like mine who sometimes gets sensitive.
May 6, 2013 § 2 Comments
Raison d’Etre has looked into the spa business and the traditional healing traditions in Africa. We found that there is still much to explore and to develop on this continent.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Africa is still a small but emerging spa market and the industry is concentrated in a handful of wealthier countries and upscale tourism destinations (e.g., South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, and Seychelles). The number of recognized spas is estimated at 389, with $276 million in revenues and 7,273 employees.
Like in the Middle East, the African spa industry is dominated by high-end hotel/resort spas and a small number of destination spas and health resorts catering to wealthy foreign tourists – together, these accounts for over 78% of the region’s spa industry revenues. Besides for the North African countries, the only country with an appreciable local day/club/salon spa market is South Africa.
AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND TREATMENTS
African traditional medicine
Since the beginning of time, African people have looked for inspiration and healing from Mother Earth. Traditional African medicine is a holistic discipline involving indigenous herbalism and African spirituality, typically involving diviners, midwives, and herbalists. Practitioners of traditional African medicine claim to be able to cure various and diverse conditions such as cancers, psychiatric disorders, high blood pressure and many other conditions.
Diagnosis is often reached through spiritual means and a treatment is prescribed, usually consisting of an herbal remedy that has not only healing abilities, but symbolic and spiritual significance. Traditional African medicine, with its belief that illness is not derived from chance occurrences, but through spiritual or social imbalance, differs greatly from Western medicine, which is technically and analytically based. In the 21st century, modern pharmaceuticals and medical procedures remain inaccessible to large numbers of African people due to their relatively high cost and concentration of health centers in urban centers. In recent years, African medical practitioners have acknowledged that they have much to learn from traditional medical practice.
Many traditional medicinal practitioners are people without education, who have rather received knowledge of medicinal plants and their effects on the human body from their forebears. They have a deep and personal involvement in the healing process and protect the therapeutic knowledge by keeping it a secret.
African-inspired treatments beautifully combine African rituals, medicinal plants and age-old wisdom with modern-day health and wellness expertise. Herbs and plants such as fynbos, buchu, the marula plant, rooibos and many others are often used. These traditional treatments can be found at various spas throughout the country. Instead of looking to other continents for inspiration, their local spas have done some soul-searching and have come up with a range of unique treats and treatments inspired by the sacred knowledge found in their own backyard. Often on-site on spas are an African traditional healer (medicinal and spiritual) who spreads the wisdom and healing powers of Africa to the Spa guests.
April 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We are happy to announce that our next Spa Mangement Online Course starts already June 3rd, because of high interest this year and many that cannot wait until next one in September! Anna recently shared her spa management knowledge and thoughts about online education on spastaff.com, you can read her blog post below:
“A fundamental challenge facing Spa business is the lack of people with the right skills to fill management level positions.” Anna Bjurstam writes:
The driving force behind any spa’s success is the Spa Manager/Director; the captain of the ship – his or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. An expert knowledge of spa and wellness and strong people skills is not enough for a leading spa manager, who also needs to be on top of operations fundamentals, customer service and be an excellent manager, administrator, able to act on performance statistics, (KPIs), and ultimately, possess the wisdom and confidence to lead the team through the inevitable ups and downs. The key shortcomings of most aspiring Spa Managers – according to a recent survey – are hard business skills such as strategic planning, spa finance, revenue management and marketing. So in order to stand out in today’s tough, competitive job market, education is paramount…
Three typical sources of spa managers:
1. Hiring someone from outside the spa business
Since most spas believe that on-the-job learning and mentoring are still the most important ways for spa managers/directors to gain their skills, this is the challenge with hiring someone with the right education but yet outside the spa business.
2. Recruiting a spa management graduate from university or college
There are approximately 64 spa management-related degree programs available in universities, colleges, and schools around the world. Most of these programs are still new and have very little recognition among the spa industry and are as not as well-connected as they need to be. These courses are usually taken prior to entering the workforce.
Managers/directors who come into their jobs directly out of a university/college degree program or out of a non-spa job do not come equipped with a deep, first hand understanding of the spa world and its intricacies. So while these managers/directors may be strong on hard skills like management, finance and marketing, they are often weak on the soft skills (such as understanding of the detail of spa operations) and people skills needed to manage the therapists and clients in the spa.
3. Promoting existing spa employees into management positions
Providers of continuing education services are also new, fragmented, and constantly evolving, and there is no one “proven” model for effectively delivering training to employees already in the workforce to equip them for senior positions.
Promoting existing spa employees into management roles also has its pros and cons. There are at least 41 providers of spa management continuing education globally. Most are private companies (offering short courses, workshops), but some are schools/universities offering longer professional certificate programs. The challenge with these is that there is still not any well-defined educational or career pathway for entering spa management or worldwide spa management accreditation. Many spa industry executives believe promoting from within is a very successful and desirable model for sourcing managers because people who have already worked in the spa have a deep, first hand understanding of that spa’s culture and operational structure. They can bring that knowledge to their management role, and for this purpose shorter spa management courses are ideal. On the other hand, for a person without spa experience seeking a management position, a shorter course is unlikely to be adequate.
What about online education?
Online education is increasing fast and is clearly the future in education. While you lose personal contact and the discipline of someone else telling you exactly what to do, what you gain is time, flexibility, support whenever you need it and the chance to study the way that suits you.
Raison d’Etre has worked with more than 100 spas in 60 different countries, created eight of the world’s best known spa brands and educated over 150 spa managers in the past 8 years. Our bespoke spa training has strongly contributed to making each of our spas profitable and sustainable. One of the company’s core values is to “Grow People” and our commitment to this and to meeting the needs of the spa industry has led to the creation of an online and easily accessible spa management education programme. Our mission is to share our spa management knowledge and contribute skills that will make the spa management market stronger by helping to solve the problem of under-educated spa managers.
The center of the Raison d’Etre Spa Management Online Course is reality based training, built on the solid operational experience of the senior industry experts who have created this course. Market orientation is crucial and so the course is updated every year following global spa management research. We teach all the key steps to success in spa management and provide the best tools, ideas and strategies for the student’s future spa while developing their own confidence and leadership skills. The students leave with a customized and successful business plan for their own spa.
This is only one of the courses on the market and there will be many more in the future as the spa and wellness industry grows. Along the way, the Global Spa & Wellness Spa Management committee will continue their work in improving the spa management workforce system.
Board member, Global Spa & Wellness Summit
Committee member, Spa Management Education committee
Vice President, Six Senses Spas
Owner, Raison d’Etre
2012 Research Report: “Spa Management Workforce and education: Addressing Market Gaps
April 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I have just returned from Hotel Mazagan in El Jadida, Morocco after two days of intensive business meetings. I had 22 meetings of 25 minutes each. This Spa meeting was primarily for project holders and buyers to meet suppliers and product companies from Europe and Africa. The concept is one to one speed meetings lined up with 5 minutes breaks between each meeting. It is quite intense but very efficient. I would say that at least 90% of all the meetings were fruitful. All the connections I made were great for networking and exchanging ideas. Some that will be interesting for current projects and operations, others for the future.
I would like to mention a few very interesting suppliers / sellers that I met:
Nohem Ethic Creation represented by Noemie de Goys and Severine Guichon. Nohem proposes 13 body and face treatments gathered from all around the world (Africa, Asia and Far North). All their skin products are organic and fair-trade, and eco design is applied in all aspects of manufacturing. They are also involved in various NGO projects for women and children in South America. http://www.nohem.com
I had some interesting conversations with Patrick Saussay, International developer for Evian Spa. Patrick explained that the Evian spa concept tells the story of the miraculous journey into the heart of the mountain, to attain balance both in body and mind, after having enjoyed a relaxing environment wherein water is present at all times, in all its forms. Their architecture and design is inspired by the mountain’s curves, as if shaped by water, intended to reinforce the sense of letting go, of restful breathing, and alpine tranquility. In this space that exists in communion with nature, guests are invited to revel in a real sensory experience: A spa lighting that follows the rhythm of the sun cycle, sound interaction, special aroma signatures, are all part of this journey for the senses. http://www.evianspa.com
Sammy Gharieni showed me his collection of treatment tables and equipment from Gharieni. He spoke passionate and showed pictures of very sleek and stylish minimalist designs. Their prices are also competitive to other suppliers of spa equipment. I will definitely propose some of their equipment to my future projects. http://www.ghareini.com
I am looking forward to visit more spa meeting events in the future as I think this is a great format for efficient personal meetings.
Regional Director Africa & Middle East
April 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
New Jurlique Facials recently launched at Nordic Spa & Fitness Grand Hotel, Stockholm.
Earlier this year the beauty therapist team at the Nordic Spa & Fitness at Grand Hotel, Stockholm spent an inspiring week together with Claire Groves, Trainer for Jurlique. It was the start and preparation for the New Facials at the spa.
And now, finally the Jurlique Facials are launched and you can now experience complete Signature Jurlique Facials in Stockholm. We have chosen to work with Jurlique because of the quality of the products, the purity of the ingredients and the impressive results. Not only do we get great results from the products, but the ingredients are pure and biodynamic.
The brand has its own farm where they grow plants that are then found in the skin care products. The farm is certified biodynamic. The ingredients from the farm are free from synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. On the farm the plants live a pampered life. Jurlique’s founders searched the world for the richest, cleanest earth on which to establish the farm. They found it in the Adelaide Hills. Today, this pristine environment is home to a wide variety of plants, herbs and flowers that lend their natural power to Jurlique’s high performance blends. Jurlique is the only Australian beauty brand with an own certified biodynamic farm (certified by NASAA, National Association of Sustainable Agriculture, Australia). The farm follows strict organic and biodynamic farming principles in order to achieve the accreditation. To preserve the perfection of nature, plants and crops are picked and sorted by hand. By working with nature and never against it, the idea is to foster richer soil which means healthier plants, potent extracts and more efficacious products.
As Jurlique say; “You can’t manufacture pure skin care, that’s why we grow it instead”
At the Nordic Spa & Fitness you can experience a variety of Jurlique Facials, all of them boosted with the spa’s own signature steps. The therapists are there to ensure you get a truly tailor made facial according to your needs, no facial will be exactly the same…Isn’t that what really good facials are all about; true craftsmanship.
We had a lot of fun during the training!
April 2, 2013 § 2 Comments
Thank you! I am so pleased to be here. I started working in hotels in 1987 right before leaving Sweden for the US so my experience have been all around hospitality and travel related services. I became seriously involved with spa development in 2000 when I joined the Enchantment Group in Arizona to develop the Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment in Sedona Arizona. Mii amo went on to becoming a highly praised world renowned spa. Having always been personally interested in health and wellbeing this is the perfect fit.
What did you know about Raison d’Etre before you started to work for us?
Actually quite a bit since I first met Anna Bjurstam, our owner at the first annual Global Spa and Wellness Summit in NYC in 2007. I had noticed in the summit information that she was from Sweden and when I saw her list of accomplishments I knew I wanted to meet her. It also so happens that she lived and had the office then in the same town I was raised in right outside Stockholm and her husband went to the same schools I did growing up. We also now have children in the same ages and have kept in touch over the years. Then 2 years ago when I got to experience the spa at Grand Hotel in Stockholm I was even more impressed with the company.
After spending so many years in the US, can you see if there is a great difference between the spa culture in the US and in Europe?
Yes, most definitely. From a guest standpoint I see a difference in how people use spas. In Europe I think there is a mix between people who spa regularly as part of a healthy and preventative lifestyle, maybe more often than at fairly budget spas as well as the higher end user that may spa more when travelling or at special occasions, i.e. the price point for spa treatments I see as something that could be developed a little by educating the general public of benefits of highly effective and skilled services. In the US I think that spa is often associated with luxury and while massage chains such as Massage Envy have become extremely successful it is still a challenge at times to get the general American population to realize that spa and wellness goes hand in hand. Americans are also a little less comfortable than the Europeans to appear without clothing in groups such as bathing facilities and changing rooms. Coming from a Sauna culture growing up this was a funny observation for me for many years. Now after 25 years in the US I too feel more comfortable changing and bathing in private or clothed
What are your plans for Raison d’Etre for the coming years?
Well, the first quarter of 2013 have proved to be very exciting and we are in high demand which is fantastic! We have many new projects in different stages of development. We are making continuous updates and enhancements to our Spa Manager on line course which we only see an increasing demand for and that is exciting not only because we get to share our knowledge and experience to spa colleagues but also because our team gets to showcase all that they know – which is a lot! I am so honored to be working with such talented and caring individuals! One of the things that I first said to Anna after joining the company last fall was that every member of the team acts and cares as if it was their own company and that is very special. We will be drawing on that talent as we continue to develop tailor made spa brands and experiences for our clients as well as our own LivNordic Brand now available to select locations around the world. It’s a very exciting time in the spa industry and Raison d’Etre is perfectly positioned to be the best of the best.
March 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
- The rise of the fitness professional: Ranked number one in 2013, this trend has been included for the sixth consecutive year. Across the industry, trainers and operators alike are raising the bar in terms of professionalism, through an exponential growth in certification, training and accreditation. 2013 is also the tenth anniversary of the founding of Technogym’s Wellness institute, which has trained thousands of fitness and wellness professionals to date.
- Strength training: In second place for the second year in a row, strength training is a key focus for people of all backgrounds and ages. It’s widely undisputed to be a fundamental cornerstone of optimal fitness and wellness programmes for most professionals.
- Body weight training: This new trend refers to strength training exercises that tap into one’s own body weight without the need for free weights. Simpler and more affordable, it allows people to “get back to basics” on the training floor. ARKE, a return to the origins of movement.
- Concern over child obesity: The widespread epidemic of overweight and obese children continues to be a serious public health problem. In recent years, schools have focused on academic performance and limited time spent on physical education and nutrition classes. The responsibility for growing physical activity among children may fall into the hands of fitness and wellness professionals through, for example, physical activity programmes for staff families within a corporation. Find out more about Technogym’s solutions for Corporate Wellness.
- Exercise for weight loss: This has always been a key motivation for exercise and of late, the integration between diet and exercise to grow energy expenditure and decrease caloric intake, has been of growing interest to fitness professionals. It is particularly important to design the right fitness programme for each person and build more touch-points between trainer and client to grow compliance.Mywellness key, combined with the mywellness cloud Coach App, is an ideal tool to help operators begin personal coaching services.
- Fitness for older people: The aging baby boomer generation enjoys a longer life expectancy, but with that comes a higher likelihood of serious health issues. Doctors recommend that these group engage in more physical activity in an ‘Exercise is Medicine’ approach. This is a great opportunity for fitness professionals as this age group tends to have high discretionary income and leisure time. More programmes for both active and less active older adults need to be developed, with particular focus on functional activities.
Safe, secure and easy to use, Easy Line is ideal for bringing movement to both young and older generations.
- Personal training: PTs are now being employed in community-based programmes, corporate wellness programmes, hotels, medical fitness facilities and commercial settings – making them more accessible and affordable for more people. PTs are also growing in expertise, with more attention being paid to training and certification.
- Functional training: Functional fitness is designed to improve the client’s ability to perform daily activities without stress or problems. Particularly well suited to older people it improves balance, coordination and strength and works on specific motor patterns that the client goes through every day.
Provide the best range of products for functional training with Technogym.
- Core Training: Core training focuses on the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, chest and back, including exercises for the hips, lower back and abdomen, which all provide support for the spine. Exercise the muscles of the core improves posture and overall trunk stability, allowing the individual to meet the demands of daily life and their sport of choice.
- Group personal training: This trend allows the personal trainer to evolve their service by adapting their programmes to small groups of up to four people. Offering small group training can help operators to differentiate themselves, generate additional revenue and provide alternatives for personalised training at lower costs. Kinesis Stations allows you to approach small-group functional training in a fun and progressive way.
The survey was conducted by interviewing more than three thousand certified fitness professionals all over the world to discover the top ten industry trends expected for 2013.
The Gym @Nordic Spa & Fitness at Grand Hotel, Stockholm