Archive for Category: ISM News
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.

Employee engagement is essential to successful spa management

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

Employee engagement is essential to successful spa management

At ISM Spa, we believe that employee engagement is an essential component of our mission. Whether we are developing a plan for day spa management or hotel spa management, our spa consultants understand that employees who love coming to work and who care about the people who walk through their doors are one of a spa’s most valuable assets.

From a spa management perspective, engaged employees are particularly important. Unfortunately, engaged employees are the exception rather than the rule. According to Gallup, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work. The latest State of the American Workplace report from Gallup says that just 33% of employed residents in the United States are engaged at work.

How to spot an engaged employee

“Engaged workers stand apart from their not-engaged and actively disengaged counterparts because of the discretionary effort they consistently bring to their roles,” Gallup’s experts explain. “These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company. They are the people who will drive innovation and move your business forward.”

What Gallup refers to as actively disengaged employees, on the other hand, are poison. “Not only are they unhappy at work, but they are intent on acting out their unhappiness.”

Engaged employees can be counted on to:

  • Look for solutions to problems
  • Generate new ideas
  • Help build your customer base

 

Gallup identified another category of worker – not-engaged employees – and says they are “perhaps the greatest untapped opportunity for businesses to improve their performance and profitability.”  We couldn’t agree more. Having the right people in place is a key building block for success – in any venture.

Margaret Jacoby, a contributor to the Huffington Post, wrote a piece on the Traits of An Engaged Employee.  “Employee engagement is the magic ingredient and the special sauce that makes all the difference in business,” she says.

If you would like to talk to one of our spa consultants about the role employee engagement plays in either day spa management or hotel spa management, please call 828-544-8377.

Sleep on it Innovative Spa Management can deliver sweet dreams

May 10, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Yes, that really is a thing.  And it’s a very important thing.  Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep.  And when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your ability to dream – and to live your dreams – is limited.

The spa consultants at ISM SPA understand the importance of both sleep and dreams.  We all groaned a bit when we realized it was time to change our clocks again.  That’s when we found out that the fact that National Sleep Awareness Month coincides with the yearly ritual of switching over to daylight savings time is no accident.

“In general, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the fall.  An ‘earlier’ bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night,” Vanderbilt University reported. “If you have insomnia or are sleep-deprived already, you could experience more difficulties. In this situation, you could see decreased performance, concentration and memory during the workday, which is common to sleep-deprived individuals.  You also may experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness. All of these are more likely if you consume alcohol or caffeine late in the evening.”

Sleep support is just one of the innovative programming concepts introduced by ISM SPA consulting as part of a completely holistic spa environment. Our unique treatment helps people experience the benefits of sleep and the healing it can bring.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this refreshing concept, here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation that might help you get a good night’s rest:

  1. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  2. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day,but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
  3. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
  5. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. 

Research also shows that we sleep better in a cool room (the optimal sleeping temperature is apparently between 60 – 67 degrees). All the experts agree that we should turn off all our screens before bed, too.  The little from those screens – including your phone, your laptop or your TV – can trick your body into thinking it’s time to get up, not wind down.  Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will also help.

Your physical environment can have a big influence on your moods, your energy and your ability to relax – whether you’re in your bedroom or at the spa. Design Expert Douglas Stratton, a valued member of the Innovative Spa Management Executive Team has an inherent understanding of mood, ambiance and character that allows him to seamlessly transition any space into an elegant atmosphere of warmth, serenity and escapism.

If you would like to see your spa’s menu and its environment go from traditional to transformational, we would be happy to meet with you. Our spa consultants work with day spa management clients as well as hotel spa management clients to introduce a holistic spa environment that will enhance the wellness experience for your guests.

And – if you don’t manage to improve your sleep cycles during National Sleep Awareness Month, you’ll have another chance to find inspiration and encouragement when Sleep Better Month rolls around in May. https://naturalsleepmattress.com/whats-in-a-bed/

The men’s market continues to offer opportunities for growth

May 5, 2018 | no comments | ISM News | by: James mccauley

Savvy day spa management finding ways to capitalize on that growth

According to recent research, the number of men going to spas continues to increase – and the industry continues to adapt to this trend.

According to an article on Complex.com, Mashable reported that the number of men who are undergoing spa treatments has greatly increased within the past few years. Much of that can be attributed to the male grooming boom.

From 2007 to 2012, beauty and skincare products geared towards men increased about 70 percent, the article noted. The spike is yet another indication of how men are becoming more concerned with their personal appearance, and they’re consequently adopting grooming habits that were once solely associated with women. This is also reflected in the recent menswear surge, which actually surpassed the growth of the women’s market just a couple of years ago.

“I think that guys are becoming a little more comfortable with taking care of themselves and realizing that beauty and taking care of things such as aging in the future isn’t such a feminine thing,” Jose Girona, manager of Living Fresh Spa in New York, told Mashable.

On top of that, the skincare industry has begun to offer products formulated specifically for men.  Instead of using their girlfriend’s moisturizer, they can now find products formulated for their skin (Did you know that a man’s skin is 20% oilier than a woman’s?) and marketed to their masculinity.

There are those who see this trend as a real opportunity.  Because the skincare needs of men are different than those of women. OM4Men has introduced the first skin-type and condition-specific line that addresses the biological differences in male and female skin.

“At OM4, men are our core business – not an add-on to a shave line, not a repackaged set of SKUs from a women’s line. Made for men by men,” the company says.

Mike Bruggeman, founder and CEO of OM4, grew up on an organic dairy farm in Wisconsin and enjoyed a career in hospital administration before following his passion. In creating Organic Male OM4, he has made it his mission to help men understand the importance of skin health and nutrition and help them make the connection between looking good, feeling confident and achieving results at work and in life.

Mike doesn’t just talk the talk.  He walks the walk, making sure the standards at Organic Male OM4 are rigorous – from green chemistry formulas using only the purest, ethically sourced ingredients to the socially responsible and eco-coconscious corporate culture.

For some men, adopting good grooming habits in the privacy of their own homes is just the first step. The next step is to explore what spas have to offer.

Day spa management across the country has taken note of this trend and has begun to accommodate the guys with an assortment of treatments, like massages, hair removal, laser treatments for acne scars, and less extreme chemical peels. Some businesses have even revamped their interior to resemble a sleek man-cave, complete with low lighting, dark wooden accents, TVs that play sports games, and in-door plants in lieu of flowers, Complexreports. (The spa consultants and spa architects working on those projects must have had fun breaking new ground!)

According to the International Spa Association, the number of males who have visited spas over the past few years has gone from 31 percent to 47 percent. “There’s something about being attended to,” Topper Schroeder, owner of Gendarme Fragrances and the Gendarmerie Spa in Los Angeles, told Mashable. “I think men’s spas relate more to their mental health.”

Men still make up a small portion of salon customers in the United States, but their numbers are growing, especially in the 18-34 age group, a global market research group said.

In a report aimed at the salon industry, Mintel said that 52 percent of the men it surveyed had gone to salons, which it broadly defined as anything from a luxury spa to a corner barber shop. Fifty-eight percent said they’d gone for a mere haircut. But among males aged 18-34, 25 percent said they had gone for a manicure or pedicure, and 20 percent had treated themselves to a facial.  The report of this study appeared in the New York Daily News.

Developing products and services aimed at this younger male demographic
represents a real opportunity.

Has your hotel spa management taken steps to assure male guests wanting a mani/pedi will feel comfortable? Have you spoken with spa consultants about introducing a line of products geared just to the guys?

If you’d like to talk to the internationally recognized spa consultants at ISM SPA Management Company about ways that your spa can take advantage of this opportunity for growth or have questions about other industry trends call ISM SPA Founding Partners Christina Stratton & Ilana Alberico at 828-242-4415.