Archives for the month of: September, 2018

I’m all about that fresh freshness. Whether it’s scent, feel, or taste. And as you may know, I’m all about interior design and spas. Welcome to my blog. So, because I am educated in the design of interior spaces… and consider myself an aficionado of spas (you bet I deemed myself) … I think it’s interesting to talk about an important topic I have yet to touch on: maintenance (and service) upkeep in a spa business.

I bring this up because 3 years ago I visited the most adorable spa in Amsterdam called The City Street Spa. It was a dream. Literally. From the city itself, to the experience of getting there by bicycle, to the atmosphere, ambiance, quality of treatment and visual aesthetics of the spa, it was amazing. My girlfriend Shaina and I have talked many times about how we would love to own something this very size. It was bright, sunny, airy, had its private spaces, a good range of services and the treatment(s) I had were incredibly carried out. Zen.

Flash forward 3 years and I’m back in Amsterdam, wanting to have a couple hours of spa relaxation with my fiancé while visiting the city so I suggested we check out this place…as he is also a spa aficionado 😉

Well, to my chagrin, the spa was not still operating as it once had. Allow me to list the problem areas, then I will speak of solutions, and lastly about why you need to maintain and advance a spa concept (if it’s not obvious).

PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS:

1. We were not greeted in a timely manner. I honestly don’t care if you’re in the middle of speaking to someone on the phone – you have to acknowledge your customers who walk in your door.

When you show people (even the one you’re on the phone with) that you can multi-task, and are busy, people begin to respect your time – and the person who entered your door feels like a priority. Which they are. They pay your bills.

2. The lockers still don’t have locks. It’s not even a locker. It’s an armoire. As an expat and world traveler, sorry, but I don’t trust people. I don’t care how safe the country is. At a spa I should be able to leave my worries, and possessions behind…not bring them with me to my treatment.

3. The lounge. Two key things happened here.

A. The fur throws on the lounge chairs were the same ones from 3 years ago. Now, they’re ragged, discolored, and just look old. Yikes. & dare I say, “ew”. Replacing the 30€ throws is a simple way to keep things looking fresh.

B. I am also a tea aficionado. And call me crazy but of all places, one that is about your health and well-being, a spa should have the absolute best selection of tea. Especially!, when you’re asked to sit and wait for 20 minutes before your service. Two things would have made, and started, this part of our experience off much better.

1. A menu to choose our tea – or better yet – a selection of beverages. Options. A snack maybe even? Who wants to be hungry and parched while trying to enjoy a relaxing treatment? Not me. We were served a Lipton variety. Lipton?! Of all places Amsterdam, a city known for its trade of goods, should be supporting a local tea business.

2. Knowledgeable staff. I asked the person serving us tea what options we had for tea and she did not know. She had to go check. Come to find out we had one. These types of things perplex you as to why this happened. A well run spa has these things under control.

4. My eyes were not covered during my body scrub. Any type of service that doesn’t include a facial, your eyes should be covered. Of course, that permits the service provider to ask what you prefer. Creating darkness allows you to relax…not pop an eye open to peak at the process…or have flickering eyes etc.

That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to bash the place. I would still recommend it because the prices are reasonable and the staff is overall polite. It be things I’ve mentioned are easy fixes.

WHY UPKEEP IS IMPORTANT:

I think it goes without saying, now that I’ve listed my grievances, why it is important to address the aforementioned things. No matter the space, keeping things fresh makes a space last, keeps things interesting and shows you care.

The take-away points are:

  • Never forget what good customer service entails.
  • Invest in privacy for your clients.
  • Train your staff.
  • Provide beverage/snack options for your clients.
  • Collaborate with local businesses for drink/food options. Maybe even skincare products etc.
  • Always strive to create a relaxed ambiance for your client. Put yourself in their position and think of how you would want the service to play out.
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A long time ago I read a book called “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty”. It was a fascinating book about the study of beauty, and why we are attracted to what we are attracted to. Written by Psychologist and Harvard Faculty Member Dr. Nancy Etcoff, she “argues that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism—it’s in our biology.” In parallel to the moment in my life when I read this book, I have always been highly interested in maintaining optimal health (re: minimal drinking, no drugs, organic food, regular exercise, good skin care etc.) and then, of course, the psychology behind attraction itself – be it the Law of Attraction (manifestation) or male to female physical attraction and then most importantly a persons wavelength, if you will, that attracts you. So with all that said, daily I feel grateful for my God-given physique and DNA. Even if I’m no Gisele Büdchen. Even if I’m only 5’1″ – You name it -I still make an effort mentally and physically to remain attractive to my own self as well as others immediately around me, and then people I can effect. We tend to hyper focus-in on our disliked traits. But that would be forgetting the bigger picture…the qualities that really matter, the attitude that really makes the difference in attraction and how little some of our “woes” matter.

The other day I stumbled upon a post via @streetartglobe who posted the story that National Geographic covered about a young female in middle America who “shot her face off” and is now the 40th person, documented, to have undergone a face transplant. Yes…another person’s face was surgically adhered to her face.

I don’t have much to say about this article besides the fact that it’s a fascinating advancement in biomedical procedures and it’s saddening that someone would try and take their own life…something that will forever baffle me. My heart goes out to her and her family.

If you are struggling with the ability to want to live and you are my friend – please, contact me. Let’s chat. Or you can call this hotline and talk to someone 1-800-273-8255 (USA). Or if you are somewhere else in the world refer to this list for suicide hotlines in your country.

Again, I am only here to voice how thankful I am for my life, and health, every single day and never ever taking it for granted, because God knows I have my own aging and hormonal, attitude ailments. From cystic acne, to blemishes, to melasma all out in the open on my face for all to see, I know how it can feel to be extremely self-conscious and defeated. Shout out to Clinique’s 7-day Blackhead Cleanser (morning & night) & the holy grail of beauty lines: Institute Esthederm’s Proplois Serum & Cream (I use at night). To have bad skin is one thing, but to have facial muscles that don’t work is another level of tragedy and hardship. People say it about me all the time – you can read my mood by my face…I’m just one of those people. And I quite like it that way 🙂

I share this because this is one girl’s journey through a troubled time, how she dealt with it, how she is having to deal with the consequences. I hope it helps someone understand how beautiful they really are in their God-given state, and how little some of the things we hyper focus-in on really matter…whether it’s physical or just a problem in our life, and how fragile – and beautiful – this ride of life we are on is…so we need to bask in it.  People love you, and maybe they haven’t shown it in some time, but they will the second you tell them, “I need loving because I don’t feel like carrying on.” (In one way or another…tell them in your own “need love and help” way.) And if one person doesn’t pick up or message back, try another. And then try the hotline if you have to. There are people who have felt like you. It’s not an uncommon feeling. What it is, is an ebb in a flow. & This too shall pass. & Don’t forget to check on your “strong”, social-butterfly friends too. 😉

Here’s the article link: How a Face Transplant Transformed a Young Women’s Life

Here’s the list of suicide hotlines around the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

Here’s a newer song about this very topic which means to say you aren’t alone, someone else feels lonely too, and we need to be better about connecting to one another: One Republic – Can I get a Connection

Here’s a song, that to me, is obviously about materialism & millennials but the irony of that also because love really is a currency (fact). I’m not talking a monetary currency, but a way to lift the spirit of another – a wavelength, a currency, a vibe! SO easy! Smile. Compliment. Point out something great about the day. Whatever! Choose your ‘tude! Ivy Adara – Currency

& this is my current mood (beat, not lyrics): Walker & Royce – Role Models

If there’s anything I’ve learned while being abroad, being friendly makes life easier. Spread the word. Talk to strangers. Choose your ‘tude. Oh, and…make shit happen.