We caught up with Melanie Gleeson, founder and CEO of Endota Spa to talk about what makes them market leaders in wellness.
Melanie can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your background?
When I was working at a day spa in Melbourne in my early 20s, I saw the benefits of visiting a spa first hand. People would arrive stressed, with their shoulders raised. Then about an hour later, after their treatment, they would leave an entirely different person. You could see the physical and emotional change. That was so powerful. From there I thought, I really want to provide this feeling to more people. I wanted to be able to make people feel better, and I wanted to be able to do it my way.
Tell us about your first spa which you opened at 26 years of age at Mornington Peninsula, how did the idea come about?
The endota spa story began in 2000 when a school friend and I were brave enough to take a risk and follow a dream. Leaving behind the security of full-time jobs and brainstorming in the kitchen, endota was born. Fuelled by a belief in the power of service to others and creating a space for individuals to connect with stillness is where I believe healing begins, the first endota day spa was opened.
For you, what makes a good spa from both a treatment and customer service perspective?
We need a place to go that offers us a haven of escape, reflection and support a place where they can focus on themselves on being still, on healing and even out the balance in their otherwise hectic lives. Our spas offer the opportunity for women to enter a space where just for a few moments in time it is all about them. The haven of an endota spa allows women to get back in touch with what they need personally, forgetting for a short while about what everybody else around them needs.
Has the customer demand changed over the years? What are your most popular treatments?
The Wellness market is substantial and growing. We are very grateful to be market leaders in wellness. I think over the 18 years endota has existed we have seen a shift in our pace of life and the demands that we put on ourselves, especially as women. Because we are caregivers by nature, we often put the needs of others before ourselves. Digital technology has also changed people’s expectations of when and how long we are able to work, meaning we are spending a lot more time in front of a screen. Part of your wellness experience at endota spa is to disconnect from the outside world and to reconnect with yourself. For some people, just that time spent away from technology is incredibly beneficial. Our relaxation treatments in particular, have been in the top 5 of treatments.
You have grown to 102 spas around Australia, how do you ensure that the quality is consistent?
We have an amazing network of business owners and therapists. They are our ambassadors and they care deeply about our clients. They are invested in the endota spa brand. To ensure that every spa is an accurate reflection of our brand, we support our business owners and therapists with training, workshops, events and an open-door approach to communication.
What are the spa trends for 2019? Are there any particular treatments we will see a lot of?
In 2019 we have seen the evolution of endota spa as we continue to offer a haven of escape for women in spa, but also gain recognition as a reputable force within the anti-ageing product category, with the launch and expansion of our New Age products. Our new retail design concepts will emphasise product experimentation and offer a sensory retail experience to our customers. We want our clients to stay and play in our retail spaces taking advantage of new features like our express LED treatments and product dabble bars. We want our beautiful products to be enjoyed beyond the treatment rooms in spa and encourage our customers to ‘bring endota spa home’ by creating their own havens and rituals for self-care. There’s also been a huge interest around express treatments, the more time poor people are becoming. We’ve recently opened two Light & Hydration studios, Raine Square, Western Australia and Sydney International Airport which both offer 30-minute power treatments.
Are there any tips on how to maximise a spa experience?
I think you really need to leave the outside world and your stress at the door, let the therapist care for you, in order to feel rejuvenated when you leave.
Lastly, what is your favourite spa treatment personally?
It’s so hard to choose, but I really enjoy our results treatments like Intense New Age, it offers the relaxation of a traditional facial but also gives you transformative results. It’s perfect for hydrating and plumping the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance, who doesn’t want that!
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