Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

UK Spa Association

News and views from the UK Spa Association

Fun and Education at the UKSA Networking Events...

27th April saw the UK Spa Association networking event at Wyboston Lakes.

There were two educational talks, plus spa tours, lunch and networking. It was a fantastic day with a great turn out of approximately 150 spa professionals. 

We would like to thank our sponsors: Thalgo, Aromatherapy Associates, Groupon, Voya, Margaret Dabbs, Nannic, Beauty UK, and Bioeffect.

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If you'd like to join us at the next events. We will be at Beauty UK show at the Birmingham NEC 21st and 22nd May, then Lifehouse Spa in Essex on the 5th July.

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April 7th: World Health Day. Let's Talk.

The 7th April is World Health Day. Being in the spa, health and wellness industry, it's good time for us to talk.

A time for us to give advice on health and wellbeing. Could we use the knowledge of experts within our spa to share tips and information? Or perhaps we just want to share a quote or blog post on World Health Day.

Quite often, we can all get caught up in a busy world. Working, looking after others, being available to demanding technologies, and so on. Time passes and we may not notice that we've not been giving as much care and time for ourselves. It can be hard work trying to find time to switch off, take time out, time for exercise, to get out in the open, and prepare healthy foods. Plus, the pressure to do all this may feel strong. Being in the health and wellness industry, we probably have more knowledge and experience on ways to work on this. This is where we can share with our audience on World Health Day.

The theme for World Health Day this year is depression. 'A common mental disorder that is increasing worldwide. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from depression and/or anxiety increased by nearly 50%. Close to 10% of the world’s population is affected by one or both of these conditions. Depression increases the risk of other noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Yet, it is also something that can be prevented and treated.' (


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National Spa Week 2017 - We’re All In This Together!

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Following the monumental success of National Spa Week 2016, where over 300 spa’s and salons joined forces to provide introductory offers on treatments to support the week long consumer campaign, we are delighted to announce some exciting news for 2017. 

This year National Spa Week has the backing of two major sponsors. This means the campaign, that will run from the 30th October – 5th November, is set to be bigger than ever before. The target for 2017 is to get over 1000 UK spas and salons involved. 

Lisa Barden, UK Spa Association Board Member for National Spa Week said, “We are extremely proud and excited to confirm the two UKSA preferred suppliers as Aromatherapy Associates, and new comers to the UK Spa Association, Groupon, as sponsors of the week. It means our consumer campaign affords us boundless opportunities if all the UK salons & spas support our efforts” 

National Spa Week is the annual flagship PR and Communications event run by the UK Spa Association (UKSA), the official not for profit trade body for the UK spa industry. 

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Ayurvedic spas: Preventative wellness for a healthy lifestyle

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A course of Ayurveda - an ancient Indian therapy - at a western spa - could be a welcome antidote to a stress-filled life, but how can operators authentically integrate the traditional health system whilst still maintaining their bottom line? 

There was a time when you had to go to India or Sri Lanka for serious Ayurvedic treatment. These days it’s possible to experience it much closer to home.

This 5,000-year-old philosophy addresses the question of how to live in harmony with yourself and with nature, using massage, nutrition, yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and aroma to preserve health and treat illness naturally. At the heart of Ayurveda is panchakarma, the classical way to detox the body, carried out using a mix of hands-on therapies, plant medicines and the application of steam, oils and purgatives to cleanse the system of toxic “ama”. Ayurvedic followers widely believe clearing out this old matter can remove the cause of illness and will improve anyone’s general sense of wellbeing.

There are plenty of five-star hotels with a spa which have an Ayurvedic treatment or two on their menu; some even have an Ayurvedic doctor on the staff. But that is very different from carrying the Ayurvedic theme into every aspect of their operation, and so it is important the spa has a good idea of what level they want to offer their Ayurvedic concept at the out-set, Ayurveda at its heart also offers spiritual approach to balancing health. As modern life drives people to seek alternative well-being solutions, we are experiencing a new emphasis on meeting the spiritual needs of clients and Ayurveda offers procedures and protocols designed to ensure businesses capitalise on this, including time for reflection, listening, appreciation and creativity of the well-being programme. 

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Creating a Successful Spa Brand and the Importance of a USP

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Your brand is everything. It’s what the business is about and how it’s recognised, but not everyone thinks about or creates a brand within the business. Quite often people tend to open a business, get a nice logo and that’s it – they don’t consistently follow the brand through.

Why is brand so important?

When you think of companies like Apple and McDonalds you immediately have an idea of the colours they use, what their advertising is like and the sort of service you’ll receive. You have a preconception of what to expect – how powerful is that!

A customer should see your spa name and instantly have a feeling of what you’re about. This is created by many things: the customer journey, theme, the consistent message conveyed – i.e. how you speak on social media, your website, advertising – and more.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout 2016.

We've had a fantastic year within the UK Spa Association with record growth numbers for National Spa Week, growing numbers in memberships, fantastic events, and an increasing extended support in the industry. It's been a complete pleasure to meet and work with many new faces and see the response from work the UK Spa Association is achieving. We couldn't have done this without you, so thank you. 

We wish you a lovely Christmas, an enjoyable New Year, and happy and healthy 2017.


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Leading Spa Directors discuss industry issues

On Tuesday 6th December the final Spa Director Assembly of 2016 took place. 

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This quarterly forum, organised by the UK Spa Association, brings together leading Spa and Salon Operators from in and around London to share, discuss and support one another. Sally Pedder, Spa Director at the Dorchester Spa, Park Lane kindly hosted this event in her Spatisserie. This stunning venue made for a wonderful evening where 17 Operators from Spas such as the Four Seasons, Cafe Royal, Bhuti, Mandara Spa and Chuaun Spa discussed a range of topics.

It was discussed how the industry can better work with colleges, plus instil confidence in students and give insight in the spa world to boost passion for this area of the industry. Discussions continued on how we can support our teams further with training and treatment scheduling, also a process for new employees joining the team and rotas to boost morale.

The next Spa Director Assembly will take place on 1st March 2017, for more information please contact Helena Field, General Manager of the UK Spa Association at .

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Spa Life – The UK Spa Industry at its best!

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Spa Life 2016 was a wonderful, engaging, fun, insightful and educational event. The format of this year’s event was the most effective to date and drew the largest crowd of Spa professionals so far. It was great to see so many of our members in attendance throughout the two days.

On day one the large boardroom of the Telford International Centre was buzzing with lots of productive conversations during the networking meetings. The UK Spa Association had the pleasure of meeting with 15 Operators during this session including The Dorchester, The Spa at Cameron House, Hoar Cross Hall, Weavers House Spa, Spa Sirene and Dormy House Hotel & Spa to name a few.

After a quick change of clothes into our glad rags, we joined 500 industry peers for the drinks reception followed by the stunning Gala Dinner. The Good Spa Guide Awards took place throughout the dinner hosted by the charismatic Pete Cohen. Lots of deserving spas received awards as recognition for the quality of their product, their excellent staff, service and innovation. The food was absolutely delicious and a great night was had by all!

Day two of Spa Life was an opportunity to participate in the conference programme. Speakers and topics representing many sectors of the Spa Industry were available including, Tracey Stapleton from The Spa PR Company discussed how social spas are winning the day, Liz Holmes of Commercial Spa Strategies with Abi Wright founder of Spa Breaks discussed on-line marketing strategies for digital savvy spas. Yvonne Huxley of Derby University and Claire Rowland from Q Hotels discussed the ABC of KPIs. Twelve talks took place and were very well attended.

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National Spa Week a huge success!

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We would like to extend our thanks to you for taking part in National Spa Week.

It was a fantastic turnout with over 300 spas and salons nationwide registered and taking part to promote well-being and the benefits of spa and spa treatments. We were proud to be a part of this fast growing event that will support and grow our industry.

The event was also in partnership with Macmillan Cancer support and donations have started coming through. 

Did you know? If each registered spa/salon donated just £32, we will have managed to raise an incredible £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This would be a fantastic achievement for the industry and for a cause that I'm sure we'll agree means for much.

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History of Spa: National Spa Week 31st October-4th November

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National Spa Week UK runs between Monday 31st October until Friday 4th November. This annual event celebrates Spas and Salons by putting them in the media and public spotlights and gives them a wonderful opportunity to shout about all the incredible benefits of regular Spa visits and treatments.

The use of Spas date as far back as Classical times where bathing in hot and cold water was considered the remedy for a lot of ailments. People would travel far and wide to find the healing water of natural springs. The Ancient Greeks created public baths for their people to relax and cleanse. It was believed that the water used for bathing was blessed by the Gods and therefore pure and could cure health issues. Dedicated healing baths were created and minerals, salts and herbal infusions were used to draw toxins from the body, stimulate circulation and aid relaxation. The Romans followed suit and built bigger and more extravagant baths all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These Roman Baths offered the first form of healing ritual which would include bathing, sweating, massage and relaxation. Much the same structure as modern Spas enjoy today.

21st Century Spas still take inspiration from the Ancient Greeks and Romans often incorporating hot and cold experiences into the Spa. Guests can enjoy many wonderful and innovative facilities including thalassotherapy pools, steam rooms, saunas, plunge pools, ice caves and tepedariums to name a few. In addition treatments have expanded well beyond the traditional massage and includes facials, body scrubs, wraps, manicures, pedicures, waxing and many pampering, relaxing and indulging rituals.

Massage still features as one of the most popular treatments and the benefits are now scientifically proven to be effective. Studies continue to prove the emotional and physical impact that massage can have on the body and mind. These include improvements to the immune system, acceleration of the recovery process following an injury, reversal of respiratory and circulation issues and relaxation of tense muscles. These are just a few of the known benefits of massage and demonstrates why this ancient healing remedy is still very much valued today.

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Stock Control Tips with Emma Williams

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Always having the right levels of stock in your salon or spa is essential for you to deliver treatments and services and to be able to recommend the best homecare for your clients. 

But how do you know what products to carry and more importantly, how many? You don’t want to risk holding too many products that you rarely use or sell and equally, you don’t want to risk running out of a product you need for a treatment or service, or losing a sale because you have sold out. 

Creating a simple and effective stock counting system means you always have the right levels of stock at the right time and will deliver numerous benefits to your business. If you want to achieve maximum profits on your treatments, services and retail sales, increase your retail sales, minimise wastage, stop tying up your cash in an excessive stock holding and save time, read on! 

These easy steps will help you record and monitor your stock quickly and efficiently and provide accurate data for weekly, monthly or quarterly stock counts. But before you start, spend a little time planning your stock counting system to make the whole process easy to follow and quick to complete. 

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Management tips from UKSA GM Helena Field

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We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.

Whilst our teams work together daily and likely spend more time with one another than they do their families, it is often hard for bonds to form as the typical hectic day to day workload takes precedent. The pressure and stress of the busy daily routine actually put strain on relationships and often there isn’t time to chat and get to know one other. Subsequently team bonds can be weakened, small cliques can form and the overall team connection is lost.

As Spa Manager it is your responsibility to help with team bonding. You are in a position to facilitate team building opportunities and social strategies. Ideally different initiatives away from the day to day work environment where your staff can get to know each other and build trust and rapport.

There has been lots of research carried out proving that team building can help employees feel valued and increase their motivation, which subsequently results in a stronger work ethic. It helps team members to become more aligned and increases communication. Studies by Harvard Business School and the American Psychological Society, for example, have proved that that a connected team is a motivated team.

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Professional meditation instructors can provide spa guests with effective and inspirational guidance toward a more balanced lifestyle

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In today’s fast-paced world, engaging in a meaningful relationship with your own mind can yield a multitude of health benefits for the body and soul. People are increasingly focusing on their spiritual wellbeing – on a short break, they want to take a deeper journey that will provide them with something more than pretty photographs – this is where meditation can come in. From a spa perspective, meditation can offer guests an altogether more profound sense of escape with potentially life-changing benefits. Spas can help to cultivate mindfulness by offering nature walks; floating guided meditation sessions in treatment rooms and pools; moonlight breathing regimens; or a simple appreciation of stillness in a quiet yoga studio. According to the International Spa Association’s 2012 Spa Industry Study, 22% of American spas now provide body-mind-spirit offerings. This trend is also on the rise in Europe, where awareness of such practices as Transcendental Meditation has grown significantly since Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced it to the Western consciousness in the 1960s, courtesy of his association with The Beatles. 

Guiding guests to inner peace Meditation is a holistic, integrated and lifestyle-orientated wellness tool and to benefit from its results, spa guests should be open to new ways of thinking and keen to embrace a new way of life in order to sustain inner wellbeing and balance. If your venue has the right setting and brand philosophy to integrate such a concept, then ask some searching questions of your guests. Do they feel stressed, upset, angry or worried? Are they seeking more purpose and meaning in life? Do they lack confidence? Are they at a crossroads in their life or lacking in motivation? Once people have identified one or more of these traits in themselves your spa is in a position to offer them a way forward. An introduction to meditation can set people on the path to a new way of life that offers significantly increased contentment, confidence, positivity and purpose. What better impression could your spa hope to leave on its guests than to open the door to a whole new way of life?


Three levels of meditation for your spa menu

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UK Spa Association Hits Olympia!

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The UKSA team have just enjoyed two days at Olympia Beauty. The show was vibrant, entertaining and educational. There was lots to see and do and many of our members visited or were exhibitors including Elemis, Shared Beauty Secrets and 4 Leisure Recruitment.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many interesting people at the Spa and Salon Owners Club lounge and have the opportunity to spread the word about National Spa Week and all the work we’re doing at the UKSA.

The new Salon and Spa Owners’ Club Restaurant proved very popular and the food was delicious! 

We are looking forward to next year’s show already!

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Spa Staff Engagement starts in the Interview

I have always believed that the key to engaging your staff and ultimately retaining them begins at the interview.

Whilst every candidate needs to come prepared for the role they are interviewing for so should the interviewer. Study their CV and be prepared with questions. If you are interviewing for Therapists, you may get your Treatments Manager to conduct the initial interview and trade test. However, it’s essential that you as Spa Manager see them too. Meet every person for every role within your spa. Not only to check they are suitable for the role but to set your expectations of the role and what you will expect from them. This will enable them to make a clear decision on whether this is the job for them and they will have respect for you for taking the time to see them. Allow yourself a valuable 10/15 minutes to meet every potential employee.

When will I hear?

Set yourself a two-week timeframe for recruiting each role. After you have shortlisted your CV’s, choose up to six to interview. At the end of the interview give them an idea of when they will hear back from the company and stick to this. There is nothing worse than waiting to hear back from a company after a job interview. As Spa Manager, personally make the call of the offer to the successful candidate and in addition write to all the unsuccessful candidates in a timely manner.

How will my new role begin?

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UKSA and National Spa Week at Professional Beauty

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend at Professional Beauty North.

Once again, it was packed full of useful tips and information through the seminar program (including talks from some of the UKSA team members), there were fantastic new treatment launches, a chance to find out about leading industry brands, and the awards night which crowned the best regional salons and spas across the UK.

UKSA team members were greeting many industry professionals at the National Spa Week stand. Clare Cockell says 'It was fantastic to see the energy and interest in National Spa Week. Salons and Spas were learning how they can register and get their business involved to help promote the industry, well-being and wellness as a whole'.

Simply click here to register your business and find out more

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5 Ways to Grow Your Salon/Spa: How to Increase Your Profits by 28%

If you were to ask a typical business person or anyone who has ever studied economics the question “How do you grow your business?” you will more than likely get one of the following answers:-

  • Decrease Your Costs
  • Increase Your Turnover (or Sales)

and if you’re lucky you might get the odd response of . . .

  • Improve Productivity

Ask a salon/spa owner the same question (and I actually did this) and you will get similar answers only worded in a more specific way:-

  • Get more customers (which is a function of increasing turnover)
  • Sell more products (also a function of increasing turnover)
  • Sell more treatments [to existing clients] (a function of both increasing turnover AND improving productivity)
  • Reduce your costs (clearly the same as decrease costs)

The problem with these answers is that they are all very vague, don’t actually give you ideas of what to do and also are slightly conflicting.

For example . . . 

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Create an efficient marketing planner

We are often focused on the operational issues within our spa/salon and leave all the marketing to chance or last minute.

Although an important factor, a business nowadays does not just grow organically, one of the most important factor will be how proactive you are to gain new customers.

There are many elements that will affect your year on year growth:

  • Your Email campaign
  • Events in and outside of the business
  • Your Social Media
  • Your website
  • In spa/salon activities
  • Networking links

If you take the principle that “Too many messages kill the message”, it becomes very confusing as what to do, where to start and how to become consistent with both your message and the flow of your communication.

It therefore becomes crucial that you are completely organised with what you are going to generate.

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Wednesday saw the Summer networking event and launch of National Spa Week!

Wednesday 24th August saw the UK Spa Association's Summer, and first northern, networking event. 

An inspiring event held at the The Midland Hotel in Manchester, which saw over 100 attendees from the spa and wellness industry. Guests were free to connect with other spa professionals, learn more about selected brands and industry training, speak to various industry experts on chosen topics, plus tour the luxury spa at The Midland. It was a delight to see many familiar faces, and welcome new guests along too.

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We were excited to see National Spa Week launch at the event, by sponsor Gumnut Systems International. Many attendees immediately registered to show their involvement in such a fantastic event. Currently, only around 8% of the UK Population utilise spas and regularly have treatments or understand the genuine health benefits offered. National Spa Week aims to raise awareness of all the benefits spa treatments can offer. 

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Stock control plays an important part to your profit margins

An effective stock control system will ensure your treatment and retail margins are accurate and will give the profit you are aiming for.

If your margins are falling short, check that all the information you are using is accurate.

Below are the most common areas to check if you are not achieving your profit margins.

Stock prices

  • Stock prices are up to date
  • Prices are in line with the supplier purchase price
  • Should they include any discount?
  • Prices are correct for the size of product
  • Prices are correct for salon, tester and retail products

All stock items are listed

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