Voices from the Spa

by Rona Berg

There is a lot of talk among spa owners about when and how to reopen the spa industry these days. With COVID19 top of mind, spas are working around the clock on plans to keep staff and clients safe. The International Spa Association (ISPA) recently collaborated with close to 100 volunteer spa leaders, medical professionals, resource partners and more to develop the “ISPA COVID-19 Spa Reopening Toolkit,” link below,  a consolidation of resources that are designed to help spas reopen safely and successfully, and establish the proper levels of sanitation and hygiene. 

Meanwhile, scores of individual spa guidelines are flooding my inbox, as everyone in the industry is trying to figure out best practices moving forward. Melissa Joy Olson, owner of Euphoria Spa and Salon, in Frenchtown, NJ, is not the only one asking herself, “What is the new normal? And how are we going to walk through this?” 

Some proposed changes that owners talk about include limiting appointments to fewer per day, shifting spa menus to feature less touching, renovating spa spaces to make it easier to enforce the flow of social-distancing. “We’re already governed by so many rules from the Board of Health,” says Olson. “The biggest challenge to reopening is what I call ‘staying in your lane,’ or staying true to your spa culture. Taking your knowledge, knowing what you already do, and weaving it through the regulations and guidelines, on a state-by-state basis.” 

Olson, who has been in the spa and salon industry for 25 years, and an owner for 22,  just launched a very smart podcast, “Salon and Spa Coffee Talk with Melissa Joy Olson,” and you can sign up and listen HERE. “I want to connect spa and salon owners to other spa and salon owners to let their voices be heard, share their stories, and help inspire others,” she says. “I’ll be able to reach more people and share my knowledge on the podcast. If I can take a point of pain away from someone so they don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made, that’s worthwhile.” 

She intends to chat with other spa owners and other industry leaders on the podcast, sharing her expertise and mentorship. “Salon and Spa Coffee Talk with Melissa Joy Olson,” is lively, chatty, engaging, smart--just like what we all want any good coffee date to be! Says Olson,  “I want to help owners level-up their skill set. It’s all about connection.” 

(The ISPA COVID 19 resources are available to all, whether members and non-members. To learn more or to download the toolkit, click here.)

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