There are so many cool things out there…
Trends, changing markets, new products, cutting edge techniques and procedures — the spa industry is ever-changing. “Evolve” was the theme for this year’s International Spa Association (iSpa) conference and expo. And the industry is evolving, morphing into an open-arms state of mind where radically new treatments are being added, interior spaces reconfigured, and the atmosphere becoming even more embracing and welcoming than ever before.
Here are three things I came home with (in addition to bags of new products you’ll learn about in the coming weeks):
Spa People are Hospitality People
If you want something planned well, where guests — or attendees — feel welcomed, pampered, and relaxed, ask someone in the spa industry to help you plan your event. At ISPA, every detail was oriented toward making the attendee feel appreciated and comfortable. It was like being at a spa, and it was obvious that the show management team operated from a spa mentality.
Registration was quick and easy (with very friendly people making you feel welcome). The gift bag was nothing short of luxurious with full-size products from numerous high-end companies. There were places to sit with tables for sorting, texting, and writing, and couches for lounging and relaxing.
Water was available everywhere — not just tucked back into a corner. Plus, healthy sit-down lunches were provided (Lunch? Who provides lunch?) and every afternoon a trolley was pushed through the trade show floor laden with cookies and brownies, all for the taking. I have attended hundreds of conferences and trade shows, and have been to only one other where snacks were provided and that was put on by event planners, another group that knows the true meaning of hospitality!
Amethyst, Rose Quartz, and Other Gems
Gemstones, often found in spa gift stores, are making their way into the treatment rooms. There is a whole new meaning to the concept of hot-stone massage! Rose quartz and amethyst wands are being used in massages and can be found in facial rollers along with jade. You’ll be seeing more gemstone-infused skin care products. Plus, don’t be surprised if your next spa treatment includes an amethyst-lined, heated pad that you lie on, reaping the soothing benefits of the stones.
There were several booths with gemstone jewelry — all very dainty and feminine. Vitajuwel had a booth with its jewel pod water bottles, beverage dispensers, and beautiful gemstone vials. This company has been around for many years and keeps coming out with interesting new products (check out their gemstone vials). And one booth was just selling rocks — gemstones that could be used for chakra-balancing and as enhancements to other treatments.
And The Stories People Told…
Product. People normally talk about their products. What makes them different, how they are the answer to all of one’s problems, why they’re better than all other products out there. Not so this show. I was told stories.
I was told the backstories of many of the companies whose booths I visited. People talked about the history of company founders. I heard of companies’ commitment to the environment, ending sex trafficking, and providing shelters for abandoned horses and goats. For example, I was told at one of the booths, that their kombucha “likes to be cozy” and is therefore produced in small batches. I left feeling like I “knew” many of the companies and because of that, feel more inclined to use their products. Look for some of these company’s stories in the weeks to come.
Take a Peek at Three Products I Tested
Eye “Patches” Aren’t Just for Pirates
Some days we look and feel like our eyes are drooping down to our chin. Maybe it was a late night, a sad movie, allergies — no matter. It’s not nice to scare small children! Patchology to the rescue. Perhaps you’ve already tried some of the under eye strips that magically erase puffy skin. They’re great aren’t they? Now try Patchology’s sheet masks for the whole face and lips. Cheapest facelift you’ll ever have!
Tense no More
I have been working on a huge project that took my complete attention for almost two weeks. The success of a huge fundraiser was resting almost completely on my shoulders (my hunched up, tense, touching-my-ears shoulders). There, sitting on my table was a stress relief roller ball applicator by TARA Living Wellness. I picked it up, rolled it on my wrists and at the base of my throat, only to realize a few moments later that I wasn’t as tense. And the fragrance was soothing with a touch of pick-me-up. For the next two weeks, I continued to use the roller ball and definitely feel like it helped me make it through the crunch.
Tara Living Wellness has six “solutions” to common concerns from stress to balance. The solution lines contain a number of at-home treatment options infused with essential oils and botanicals, including bath salts, shower gels, and roller balls. It also has an Ayurvedic line addressing the different personalities of the doshas: pitta, vata and kapha.
I met the founder and president of TARA Spa Therapy, Inc., Tara Grodjesk in her booth at iSPA. Although a busy executive running a growing company, she continues to maintain her massage practice so she can, “stay in touch with that side of the industry.” She is committed to helping people understand and take responsibility for their own well being. Her website mirror this philosophy with an in-depth primer on Ayurvedic principles and detailed information on aromatherapy.
Bubbles in the Shower
I was given a wonderful soap-infused sponge at the Spongellé booth. It smelled like papaya and the suds were rich and, well, sudsy. I’m two weeks into using the sponge and it still has plenty of lather. Just think! This is the perfect thing to throw in your bag when traveling (no more tiny bars of soap). Plus, it’s great for a guest bathroom for overnight guests. It’s a fun present they’ll take home and continue to enjoy. The company’s website features sponges and other items with many fragrances, shapes and colors. Functional and fun!
Today’s moon is 32% full and the phase is waxing crescent. The full moon will be Sunday, October 13.
I know of a cure for everything: saltwater… sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.