Boom­ing Busi­ness

Spa and beauty in­dus­try cam­paign hopes to fill 30,000 jobs

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By BETH J. HARPAZ

The spa and beauty in­dus­try is grow­ing so fast that 30,000 jobs are go­ing un­filled. A “Get Your Dream Job” cam­paign is aiming to change that.

Lyn­nelle Lynch is pres­i­dent of Beauty Changes Lives, a foun­da­tion com­mit­ted to “el­e­vat­ing the per­cep­tion of ca­reers in beauty and well­ness and make it a first choice,” she said. The foun­da­tion pro­vides schol­ar­ships from $1,000 to $15,000, and spas and sa­lons across the coun­try are help­ing to get out the mes­sage.

The cam­paign was a fo­cus of the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion show held Tues­day in New York to show­case trends, treat­ments and new spas.

Spas are now a $17.5 bil­lion in­dus­try in the United States, up 4 per­cent in a year, ac­cord­ing to iSPA sta­tis­tics, with 187 mil­lion vis­its to spas in nearly 22,000 lo­ca­tions, and more than 370,000 em­ploy­ees, about half of them full-time.

“We’re open­ing our fifth Kohler Wa­ter Spa in Chicago next year as a re­sult of how hot the in­dus­try is right now,” said Gar­rett Mers­berger, di­rec­tor of well­ness and Kohler Wa­ter Spas at Kohler, a Wis­con­sin-based com­pany.

Mers­berger is also chair­man of the iSPA board, and noted that the in­dus­try’s record-break­ing boom in­cludes “spa vis­its at an all­time high,” along with record av­er­age rev­enue of nearly $94 per cus­tomer visit.

Lynch em­pha­sized that the in­dus­try wel­comes work­ers in ev­ery stage of life, from stu­dents just out of high school to older work­ers look­ing for new op­por­tu­ni­ties, to those re­turn­ing to the work­force af­ter rais­ing kids — along with mil­i­tary spouses look­ing for skills they can take with them if they move.

But Lynch feels the in­dus­try does not al­ways get the re­spect it de­serves. She even en­cour­ages par­ents to get kids con­sid­er­ing ca­reers in the in­dus­try if col­lege isn’t the right fit.

“If they’re cre­ative, if they love well­ness, if they love beauty, why not al­low them to take an al­ter­na­tive path?” she said. “The skills are por­ta­ble. And it’s short term — five months to a year — to get this train­ing.” Jobs in­clude aes­theti­cians who pro­vide fa­cial skin care and body treat­ments, and cos­me­tol­o­gists who do hair styling, makeup and nails. Lynch pointed out that celebri­ties of­ten owe their looks to “peo­ple be­hind the scenes,” and that beauty school is a good step­ping stone for en­trepreneurial-minded pro­fes­sion­als to launch prod­ucts or open sa­lons.

As an ex­am­ple of a be­hindthe-scenes pro­fes­sion that’s boom­ing, an eye­lash artist from Bor­bo­leta, the largest ed­u­ca­tor of lash artists in the world, was at the spa show to demon­strate the ap­pli­ca­tion of lash ex­ten­sions. Bor­bo­leta trains nearly 3,000 lash artists an­nu­ally in beauty schools across North Amer­ica and Brazil.

“Con­sumers will pay $200 to $500 for a lash ser­vice, with $75 to $200 for a fill (lash main­te­nance) ev­ery two to three weeks,” said Kainoa Clark, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Bor­bo­leta. “We’re one of the fastest-grow­ing seg­ments within the beauty in­dus­try and it’s still in its in­fancy.”

Other spa show par­tic­i­pants in­cluded:

—Hip­pocrates Health In­sti­tute, West Palm Beach, Florida, demon­strat­ing “vi­bra­tional sound ther­apy” with the res­onat­ing sounds of a didgeri­doo, the long wooden Aus­tralian abo­rig­i­nal wind in­stru­ment, blown on the skin.

—Yo1 Lux­ury Na­ture Cure, a new $300 mil­lion prop­erty with 131 guest rooms that opened in June on the grounds of the de­funct Kut­sher’s Re­sort in Mon­ti­cello, New York, in the Catskills. Pro­grams and ser­vices in­clude yoga and aryuvedic mas­sage.

—Hil­ton Ho­tels, launch­ing a “5 feet to fit­ness” pro­gram with fit­ness equip­ment in­stalled in stan­dard king rooms. So far the pro­gram is in 12 ho­tels in San Fran­cisco, Dal­las, At­lanta and Chicago, among other cities, with more in the pipe­line.

—El­e­ments Mas­sage, with 250 fran­chise lo­ca­tions, of­fer­ing a new aroma rit­ual treat­ment that com­bines aro­mather­apy, essen­tial oils and a light-touch mas­sage.

—Aspira the Spa in Elkhart Lake, Wis­con­sin, show­cas­ing or­ganic food from its gar­dens. Aspira cham­pi­ons healthy eat­ing as a foun­da­tion of well­ness and grows 5 to 6 tons of food an­nu­ally. A tast­ing menu at the spa show in­cluded chia seed pud­ding, laven­der cook­ies, heir­loom tomato salad and beet quinoa.

—Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Corona, Cal­i­for­nia, demon­strat­ing a “tran­quil­ity pro sleep rit­ual” to “re­bal­ance the senses.” For sound, par­tic­i­pants lis­ten to mu­sic through head­phones with bass notes that mir­ror the rest­ing heart­beat. For scent, there’s an oil and spray that smells like sweet or­ange and damask rose. And for a re­lax­ing touch, a spe­cial brush is ap­plied to the skin.

But spas are “not just a place to re­lax,” Mers­berger said. “Peo­ple are see­ing spas as a place to go for heal­ing.”


Becky Del­santo, from Bor­bolta, ap­plies eye lash ex­ten­sions in the Beauty Changes Lives ex­hibit, at the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion event, in New York, Tues­day, Aug. 7, 2018.


Emma Nowakowski, right, from Chuan Spa at The Lang­ham, in Chicago, demon­strates a Jade Stone Eye Res­cue Treat­ment, dur­ing the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion event, in New York, Tues­day, Aug. 7, 2018.


Kelly Hawe, left, Spa Lead-Es­thet­ics at the Kohler Wa­ters Spa, in Kohler, Wisc., ap­plies a mas­sage at the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Spa As­so­ci­a­tion event, in New York, Tues­day, Aug. 7, 2018.

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