Archive for Category: ISM News
What do spa consultants do on their day off?

August 22, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

What do spa consultants do on their day off?

As much as the spa consultants at ISM Spa management company like escaping the summer heat and relaxing with a good movie, we are dedicated first and foremost to developing branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

Of course, Hollywood has produced any number of movies over the years that have been filmed, at least in part, in a spa setting.  One could say that, if you’re in the business of spa management, watching a movie that features a scene-stealing spa could be considered research. Very entertaining research, to be sure, but research, nonetheless. 

Spas on the Silver Screen 

You may be surprised at how many times movie cameras and crews have captured the beauty and amenities of international hotel and resort spas on film for all of us to enjoy – from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Liam Neeson in Unknown. Here are a few of our favorites:

Some Like it Hot 

Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon starred in this classic comedy from 1959. Curtis and Lemmon play two Chicago musicians, who had the misfortune to witness a mob massacre. In an attempt to escape from the bad guys, they join an all-girl band heading to Florida. Although San Diego isn’t exactly on the way from Chicago to Florida, the Spa at The Del in the Hotel del Coronado appears in the film. 

The Way We Were 

With stars like Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, perhaps it’s only fitting that the spa scenes in this 1973 romance were filmed at The Plaza Hotel in New York. Spa scenes from several other movies – including Funny Girl, which also starred Streisand – were also filmed at The Plaza.

Never Say Never Again

It’s not surprising that James Bond, as played by the always debonair Sean Connery, might find himself in the vicinity of a spa. And it’s not surprising that, when he does in this 1983 movie, the spa happens to be in Monte Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris.

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, our innovative approach to spa programming finds its inspiration, not on the silver screen, but in the indigenous characteristics surrounding each individual property’s location.  For more information, please contact us. One of our hotel spa management experts would be happy to speak with you.

NEW Privai Rituals & The Bliss of Beauty Sleep

August 15, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

NEW Privai Rituals & The Bliss of Beauty Sleep

It’s the heart of the season of sunshine. What better time to announce that we are releasing three brand-new Privai Rituals aimed at creating personalized wellbeing! 

Christina and I began sensing a need to create a special massage therapy series of body rituals that hold space for deep restoration and disconnection from the demands of your every day. One that also used products that were made from high-quality holistic materials rich with jojoba oil, lavender, and other botanicals that promoted wellbeing. I started feeling that even with massage memberships and frequency on the rise, people were still yearning for something more special, deeper, more complete. 

Over the course of twelve months, I reconnected with my massage therapist self. I pulled out my old journals, formulas, and meticulous notes I had kept from my old massage therapy practice. One that I built alongside a vibrant career in a resort spa working on dozens of people a week. My favorite services to provide, and the ones that produced the most powerful results, were in my private practice. I only booked 90- and 120-minute massages and incorporated a rich array of modalities, tools, and techniques enhanced with natural essential oils. I would use holistic blends rich with skin loving Jojoba oil and lavender essential oil. I wondered ‘why aren’t I creating this restorative and holistic space in our spas today?’ Out of this, the Privai Rituals were born. 

Christina and I developed Privai as a wellness company. Our skin and body care line is made up of products that are specially formulated blends which promote wellbeing. Together with our team of formulators at Privai, and our village of massage trainers at ISM SPA, I knew that we could develop industry leading treatments that feature both our powerful products and our professionally creative massage therapists to create transformational experiences for our guests. 

The Privai Rituals are thoughtfully tailored to deepen self-awareness and facilitate healing on all levels through a complete and transformative wellness experience.  We used historical and originative approaches to wellness along with specially-formulated handcrafted botanically rich products that are uniquely crafted to heighten the experience of these rituals. 

I invited our Corporate Trainer, Daniel McCurry to my home in Atlanta and together with my husband Vincent Alberico, we worked in my loft (now known as the ‘spa loft’) for a week to fine tune the elements and features of each Ritual. Christina took the lead on the ingredient and specialty-sourcing to ensure that we were able to bring about what we all envisioned. Then, Daniel fine-tuned the experiences even more and went on a training tour to bring them to life. 

Our Privai Rituals include Sacred Beauty, Restorative Sleep, and Essential Balance and will be available at the following luxury spa establishments: 

Ama Spa

The Spa at Callaway Gardens

Cypress Spa

Island Spa

Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Asheville

Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook

Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Orlando

Poseidon Spa at Casa Monica Resort & Spa

Poseidon Spa at the Mansion at Forsyth Park

Spa Space

Below, I’ll share with you the Restorative Sleep menu description to provide a better understanding of the meticulous details we undertook in developing each special experience. 

RESTORATIVE SLEEP

Slip into a deep and peaceful sleep tonight with Privai. Sleep is essential for recharging your mind and body. This luxurious 130-minute ritual was designed to help enhance your sleep quality by establishing profound relaxation and relief from stress that builds throughout the day. Certified organic pillows and linens envelop the body, while parasympathetic massage techniques paired with divine essential oils are used to calm and soothe the nervous system. Weighted blankets offer restorative pressure and a warm comfort similar to being held. The art of reflexology completes the ritual—implementing rose quartz, the stone of love, and a heavenly Ultra Rich Body Butter foot massage that will send you into a blissful sleep in no time.

As a business owner and a mother, restful and restorative sleep is an essential ingredient to my success. By consciously dedicating the time and space to ensure a healthy night’s sleep, I can show up as the best version of myself, whether my role is “MOM” or “CEO.” It is absolutely imperative to well-being. There’s no separation between the two.

Can you even imagine the level of intelligence our body requires to function each and every moment?

In this often hectic and endless world of to-dos, many of us will compromise sleep to plow through our day. Over time, these choices can wreak havoc on our bodies. Therefore, it’s not simply an option, but a sheer necessity, to get ample sleep.

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. We are asleep for 1/3 of our life. This is the time that our bodies recover, recharge, and reenergize. Make that environment as pure as possible. Many times, people do not realize that their mattress may be the most toxic piece of furniture in their home, filled with chemicals that we lay down and dream on every single night. Finding an organic or natural mattress is not hard and doesn’t have to be expensive. This is why we partnered with Natural Sleep Mattress & Organic Bedding in Atlanta to create a custom massage table topper for us to create the feel of a luxury organic mattress in each treatment room for the Privai Rituals to create a restorative and luxurious feel to each massage table. The toppers along with the use of holistic essential jojoba and lavender essential oils magnify the total experience of the ritual. We desire each aspect of the Privai wellness experience to be highly curated for your wellbeing. 

Sleep retreats are the new frontier of wellness. They are increasing in popularity across the world. What a wonderful investment—an escape to a tranquil setting with no distractions, to focus on healing sleep deprivation and hopefully, also gain tips and techniques to bring home. It’s not only attaining knowledge about the act of sleeping— it’s also learning how to create the right sleep environment that feels perfect for your unique body type. 

Sleep keeps our heart healthy, reduces stress, makes us more active and alert, boosts memory, restores and repairs cellular functioning, helps to regulate hormones/appetite/mood and much more. There are so many levels and layers of coordination and communication that are performed within the body. All we need to do is learn to listen so that we can heal.

May you all have peaceful, profound, unaltered sleep tonight and every night. Sweet dreams!

 

Sincerely,

 

Ilana Craig Alberico

Founding Partner of Privai and ISM Spa

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

July 20, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Spa Consultants know a thing or two about stress

When most people talk about how stressed out everyone is, it’s usually seen as something negative. In the world of spa management, however, the ever-increasing levels of stress in our world could be seen as promising. 

The hectic pace of today’s world is undoubtedly one of the many factors driving growth in the international spa industry. And according to recent research, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.  

At ISM Spa Management Company, we don’t take pleasure in the stress of others. In fact, we go out of our way to alleviate stress and promote wellness in any number of innovative ways. 

Are we really more stressed than previous generations?

Yes, we are. And Gen Z – those who are currently in the 15 to 21 year age range – is perhaps the most stressed of all. 

Every year, the American Psychological Association commissions a nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. The most recent survey revealed that more than nine in 10 Gen Z adults (91 percent) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad (58 percent) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55 percent). 

According to the APA, the survey also shows that, “Only half of all Gen Zs feel like they do enough to manage their stress.”

“Current events are clearly stressful for everyone in the country, but young people are really feeling the impact of issues in the news, particularly those issues that may feel beyond their control,” Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer, commented when the findings were released. 

Is it just us?

The short answer is NO! Live Science recently ran a story titled, “People Across the Globe Feeling More Sad, Stressed and in Pain Than Ever.”

“A new survey of people’s daily emotions found that, worldwide, reports of negative emotions — including sadness, worry and stress — have increased over the last decade,” they report.

To understand what global and domestic trends like this could mean for the growth of the spa industry, you can rely on the expertise of the spa consultants at ISM SPA, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

July 8, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

As one of the leading spa management companies on the international scene, ISM SPA management company offers sophisticated spa consulting, spa design management and spa management services specifically geared toward the unique needs of hotel spa management. 

ISM SPA consultants understand that successful hotel spa management goes above and beyond the requirements of day spa management. It is essential not only to operate a spa that maximizes revenues and profits but one that also: 

  • Adds to the value of its client hotel or resort property 
  • Helps to establish the property as a service-centered destination 
  • Inspires repeat visits
  • Contributes to increased occupancy 
  • Enhances the overall brand image

 

Featured Hotel Spa Management Projects

At ISM SPA, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, NC, our mission is to provide operational excellence and optimal experiences, promoted by our commitment to curated connections, guest gratification and employee engagement. 

Our featured hotel spa management projects will give you an idea of how we pursue that mission:

  • Privai Wellness + Spa

We would like to wish the Privai Wellness + Spa Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Orlando, Fl, one of our featured properties, a very happy anniversary! It was approximately one year ago that this amazing property first opened its doors. ISM Spa design consultants were intimately involved in the development of this engaging concept and are proud to provide ongoing hotel spa management services. 

ISM Spa consulting and management services provided for the Privai Wellness + Spa at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld include: 

  • Feasibility
  • Brand Concept
  • Renovation Design
  • Spa and Hotel Integration training and IT
  • Pre-Opening Operations
  • Ongoing Management

 

  • The Ama Spa

Before long another of our featured properties will also be celebrating its first anniversary. The concept for The Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel, in Chattanooga, TN was developed around the Cherokee word for water – Ama – which is a sacred element, intricately flowing in and out of the Appalachian way of life. The Cherokee Indians have a daily ritual called “going to water,” submerging themselves in the river to wash away physical and spiritual ailments. Our spa consultants created a unique concept that incorporates the healing power of water in a philosophy of wellness that is rooted in the local environment and culture. 

ISM Spa consulting and management services provided for the Ama Spa at The Edwin Hotel include: 

  • Feasibility
  • Brand Concept
  • Design Development
  • Spa and Hotel Integration training and IT
  • Pre-Opening Operations
  • Ongoing Management

 

For more information on hotel spa management services from ISM SPA management firm, please contact us.

The EmpowHER Conference: How To Fight Stress

July 2, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

The EmpowHER Conference: How To Fight Stress

I’m thrilled to announce that I was selected by Modern Luxury as one of three speakers for Best Motivational Success Story at the EmpowHER Conference on June 28th. This two-day conference brought together female entrepreneurs, business experts and community leaders to support and celebrate women thriving in business. I’m incredibly honored to have participated as a panelist alongside Elizabeth Morrison, owner of The Fit Atlanta, and wanted to share with you key points from our discussion on how to fight stress.

I believe that stress is a choice. Every single day, we have the choice to set up our lives for success. Ask yourself a bigger question: who am I? Why do I make these decisions? Define your ultimate path and then say no to anything that doesn’t align with your journey. Organize your tasks for the day, but do not dwell on your to-do lists, or you will live in stress. Your stress management is a personalized process. When stress enters our brains, we can make the choice to interpret this stress and stay in the present moment. Take control of your internal landscape. Compartmentalize your life in a new way to avoid this feeling again. When we are pulled in too many directions, we lose sight of what brings us joy. 

The five aspects of well-being are emotional, physical, spiritual, financial and social well-being. Instead of trying to live up to the unrealistic expectation of remaining perfectly balanced in each department, give 100% to whatever area you’re actively working within. For example, when I’m in the office, I try to give my professional duties 100% of my attention. When I’m at home with my children, I give them 100% of my love and attention, and so forth. We now know from research that we can control stress in our brains. The steps for success based off of my experience is to:

a.) Recognize stress when it forms

b.) Understand the power that our minds hold over our reality

c.) Control our external environment by creating a calm space, lighting candles and diffusing essential oils, investing in a high-quality mattress for better sleep, etc. Our environment is conducive to how we physically feel, so let’s make it relaxing as a harbinger for our success!

We underestimate the power of visualization in our lives. Create a vision board. Whenever you have a spare moment, write down in a journal your goals and intentions. This will grant your dreams an exponentially greater chance of being achieved. When you’re in a stressful moment, return to this journal and reflect on your personal pathway again. This will keep you focused and able to say no to the elements in your life that distract you or dim your inner light. 

Give yourself permission to restore when you need to restore. Set yourself up to be the most beautiful, successful version of yourself every single day. You got this! 

Happy Independence Day to you and your family! As we celebrate the freedom of our nation this week, let’s also take active steps to free our minds from the daily burdens of stress.

Sincerely,
Ilana Craig Alberico
Founding Partner, Chief Executive Officer of ISM Spa

Branding is essential in modern spa management

May 28, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Branding is essential in modern spa management

Branding can be an incredibly powerful tool – when done right. 

At ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, TN, we understand that effective branding can provide a competitive edge. Our expertise in both brand promotion and brand development has enabled our clients to enjoy that edge. 

History of Branding 

The background information available on the development branding reveals interesting aspects of successful branding.  

According to a scholarly paper by Karl Moore, at the time an Associate Professor at McGill University, and Susan Reid, an Assistant Professor at the Williams School of Business and Economics, “Brands are as old as civilization.” Indeed, they found evidence of branding, in various forms, dating back to 2250 BCE in the Indus Valley. 

For centuries, branding was used to keep track of the ownership of livestock, a practice that carries on to this day. The modern concept of branding, on the other hand, can only be traced back to the 1970s.  

In How Brands Were Born: A Brief History of Modern Marketing, which appeared in The Atlantic, Marc De Swaan Arons noted that, “The shift from simple products to brands has not been sudden or inevitable. You could argue that it grew out of the standardization of quality products for consumers in the middle of the 20th century, which required companies to find a new way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

From there, he says, “’Winning’ was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and the[n] getting the total “brand mix” right. The brand mix is more than the logo, or the price of a product. It’s also the packaging, the promotions, and the advertising, all of which is guided by precisely worded positioning statements.”

In the 21st century, “The market looks very different to just 20 years ago,” Arons wrote. “The average western consumer is exposed to some 3,000 brand messages a day.” 

Cutting through the Clutter

Our spa consultants work closely with you to develop a concept that will infuse your brand with value. We look at market research to gain insight that will allow us to strengthen your spa’s position. We craft an authentic brand concept based on your spa’s culture that will pave the way for success. We can then weave your spa brand into every aspect of the guest experience – from product and service creation to subliminal design enhancements.

The bottom line: ISM Spa Management Company cultivates successful spa branding. For more information about Concept Development and Branding – or any of our other professional day spa management services – please contact us.

Global Wellness Day at ISM Spa

May 20, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Global Wellness Day at ISM Spa

Our personal wellness is of utmost importance every single day. Regardless, it often exists on the backburner of our daily to-do lists. Even with our hectic schedules, there are endless small things we can regularly do for ourselves to nurture our well-being and live a healthier, happier life. Global Wellness Day is June 8th this year and I’m filled with joy to learn of the many countries around the world participating in a holiday that promotes wellness as an essential human life force. My life’s work has been formed around this very shared belief.

The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the universal question, “How can I live a healthier and better life?” This helps to recognize the value of our lives and increase motivation to live well, not just on this single date, but for the remaining year. This not-for-profit social project began in Turkey in 2012 and is now celebrated in 100 countries. A main objective of Global Wellness Day is to raise awareness that wellness is not a luxury, but a necessity—the right of every individual. The 7-step manifesto is simple and attainable for all:

  1. Walk for an hour
  2. Drink more water
  3. Don’t use plastic bottles
  4. Eat healthy food
  5. Do a good deed
  6. Have a family dinner with your loved ones
  7. Go to sleep by 10 pm

 

These steps are life-changing. Treat your body well, treat the planet well and treat your community well. Through this we can truly be well.

The well-being of our talented team is essential to the health of ISM Spa as a whole. This is why we partnered with Grokker, an on-demand total wellness program that engages employees with better health through video, experts and community. We care about building a culture that provides resources to foster a healthy, happy and productive environment. Hopefully, this will contribute to our high employee retention rate. We’re excited to see our employees thrive within their personal wellness journeys.

I wish you all a beautiful and healthy start to the summer season. There’s nothing quite like the warmth of the sun. I also hope you join me in the celebration of wellness on June 8th and beyond.

 

Sincerely,

Ilana Craig Alberico
Founding Partner, Chief Executive Officer of ISM Spa

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

April 14, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Is your spa’s management ready for Mother’s Day?

You don’t need a professional spa consultant to tell you that Mother’s Day is a big day in the spa industry.  always a tremendous opportunity for spas. As DAYSPA Magazine notes, “Every spa professional knows that Mother’s Day is second only to December’s festivities when it comes to gift card sales, and followed, of course, by Valentine’s Day.”

According to MuchNeeded.com, Americans are expected to spend more than $20 billion sending cards, taking Mom out to dinner or brunch and/or buying her a gift.  And it’s not just that we love our mothers. “Shoppers buy for their mothers and stepmothers, but a full 35% are buying for grandmothers, sisters, friends and even daughters — effectively expanding the reach of the holiday,” the website reports.

With that much on the line, you can be sure that spas all across the country are offering special Mother’s Day packages and discounts. You could let your clients know that you offer gift cards as the holiday approaches, but the spa consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company specializing in innovative programming that is redefining the spa experience, believe that Mom deserves something more, something that will make her feel as special as she is.  

According to MuchNeeded.com, 86% of Americans will be celebrating the holiday – which falls on Sunday, May 12 this year. On average, they say, we will each spend an average of $186. Other sales projections from the website include:

  • Spending on flowers is estimated to be $2.6 billion.
  • We’ll be buying $4.6 billion worth of jewelry
  • We will spend $813 million on cards alone.
  • And, when it comes to personal services – like a spa package or pedicure – it is estimated that we will spend $1.8 billion.

 

Another statistic from MuchNeeded.com worth noting: 31% of all that money – which works out to approximately $6.9 billion – will be spent online.  

We hope you will be among the 86% of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day with the special people in your life this year. And we hope that the holiday will be a very special occasion at your spa.  If it’s not, remember that our day spa management company is driving industry-leading profits for our clients.

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

March 6, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Our spa management company is keeping an eye on 2019 wellness trends

As leaders in the field of spa consulting, the team here at ISM Spa makes a point of keeping up with the latest trends – not only in spa management but also in wellness and other related areas.

If you’re interested in spa management – whether day spa management or hotel spa management – you should, of course, already be aware of the ever-increasing importance of wellness. The majority of clients are as interested in strategies for wellness in their day-to-day lives as they are in wellness treatments at the spa.

At ISM Spa, our unique understanding of the spa industry and its clientele has allowed us to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to developments in wellness – both inside and outside of the spa.

A little earlier this year, we saw a report from a Forbes contributor on Wellness Trends You Have To Try In 2019, which was geared to consumers..

Our top picks from their list include:

  • Unplugging. Dr. Alka Gupta, co-director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing program at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, told the reporter, “We are seeing a variety of apps and tools that help us monitor our use of social media. Sometimes consuming social media is important and can be helpful, but we often access this information mindlessly. I think we will continue to become more aware of the way we consume content, allowing us to unplug and avoid digital distractions that are not helpful.”
  • Finding big meaning in small rituals. “This year, we’ll all be shifting into a practice of curating moments that make us pause, appreciate and realize we deserve beautiful moments whenever and wherever we can get them,” Ashli Stockton, founder and chief executive of Sunday Forever, said.
  • Getting back to simple. “People are longing for permission to simplify, unplug and connect in meaningful ways,”  Dr. Lisa B. Nelson, director of medical education at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, says.

 

ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, has designed advanced wellness experiences that are redefining the spa industry. If you want to be ahead of the next trend, one of our spa consultants would be happy to speak with you.

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

February 16, 2019 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Join our spa consultants in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8

ISM Spa is a women-owned boutique spa management company. That’s just one of the reasons why our innovative spa consultants are looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8. International Women’s Day means different things to different people, but the global focus on equality and celebration is clear. At our spa management firm, we see it as an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions women make to the social, economic, cultural and political life around the world.

According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the number of businesses owned by women has grown considerably in recent years.

  • As of 2018, there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Compare that to 1972, when there were only 402,000 women-owned businesses, representing 4.6 percent of all firms.
  • Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S.

 

That is definitely worth celebrating!

Throughout history women have made valuable contributions to the wellbeing of their families, their communities and the world. The history books tell us of amazing women who accomplished great things, but there are countless more whose efforts to bring about a better future for their communities, their children and for themselves never made headlines.

International Women’s Day was established in 1911 by the Suffragettes who were striving for the right to vote. To this day, it continues to be a powerful platform that drives action for gender parity, while celebrating the achievements of women.

Some of the greatest International Women’s Day videos from around the world

There are 10 values that guide International Women’s Day:

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

 

International Women’s Day 2019

Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved. The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

​IWD photos: In every part of the world, groups are calling for a #BalanceforBetter

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

You can be sure that here at ISM Spa Management, we will take a few minutes away from our day spa consulting duties to put our hands out and STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE on March 8 and throughout the year as we continue to do what we can to make a positive difference for women.