The Value of Branding Your Day Spa

Early on in my Day Spa career I learned that branding my Spa was the single most important element to achieve value as a business. Beginning with the end in mind, you have very little to show for your years of hard work when it is time to retire and sell your business if you have a strong brand in the service business. The service business is by and large, the relationship business. When I started Bellanina, I was a service provider and my connection was with my clients. As you grow and develop your business you bring in service providers to take care of your clients and you find that your relationships shift away from your clients and moves towards the business people who help keep your business thriving such as press agents, graphic designers, vendors, CPA’s, and consultants.

How do you go about branding your spa? It starts at the front door and is a single thread that carries through everything you do from signage and graphics, brochures, print media, web design, products, scents, and style. At Bellanina, we even have our napkins wrapped with a band with our signature brand. Attention to detail is what reminds your clients over and over again that they are connected to your company – your brand. The best part of branding is when the clients take your skin care or bath and body products home with them. Perched on their bathroom counter is an array of your brand, to remind them of the wonderful Spa experience and to keep them coming back again and again. That is when you know your brand is working and gaining value!

There are many private label companies in the skin care and bath and body industry. I would be happy to guide you to some great companies. Just post your questions.

Nina Howard,
Bellanina Day Spa & Gift Boutique

Day Spa Association – Membership Committee Board Member


Feng Shui Your Spa

When I designed Bellanina, I met with a Feng Shui Consultant to ensure that I had considered all of the “energetic” influences that would remind one, “it is time to relax and unwind,” as they walked into the Spa. Before you enter Bellanina, you walk past flower beds up a stone walkway and open a red door with a soft ‘tinkling’ chime. Greeted by a large sculpture of water flowing softly down a wall of river rocks, a flickering candle and a variety of plants, the ambiance reminds clients and employees that they have entered an environment that supports them in a way that is comforting and helps them to feel better. People are affected by their immediate surroundings. These “energetic” touches have a calming affect on their body, mind and spirit.

“Feng” literally means “wind” and “shui” means “water.” Modern usage of the words implies balance. The goal of Feng Shui is to achieve harmony, comfort, and balance, first in one’s environment and then in one’s life.
Feng Shui (pronounced fung schway) is the Chinese philosophy, practice of, and spiritual approach to architecture and interior design and the placement of objects to help to harmonize these spaces. Feng Shui can be used to enhance your environment and has an impact on your physical and spiritual well-being. What better place to apply this ancient wisdom than a Spa?

When designing your Day Spa, always consider the flow of the building as one moves throughout the space. You want your clients to have places where they pause, reflect and gain personal insights. A day spa isn’t just about the service, but the experience as well. You want your clients to feel delight in the space first, and then feel so comfortable with their surroundings that they start to relax and unwind and begin to experience themselves at a deeper level. Going inward is what I want the clients to achieve at Bellanina.

My Feng Shui consultant and I designed a beautiful yet simple Zen garden, just outside the Quiet Zone (a waiting room) complete with bamboo, river rocks, a 700 pound black obsidian rock anchored in a sand garden, a water fountain and a Kwan Yin statute. These elements are very grounding and remind the clients, amidst their busy day, that it is time to pause and reflect and go inward. Their body is supported by a soothing, hands-on treatment; their mind takes pause and their spirit is replenished.

Nina Howard, ASID

Interior Designer & Spa Owner

Committee Member, Day Spa Association

Bellanina Day Spa

“Give your Spa a Facelift”

Recently as I began my ritual spring cleaning at the Spa, I started to take note of issues such as scuff marks on the floor and oils spills on the walls of the massage rooms, and worn down area rugs. I reminded myself that clients come in to the spa expecting a perfect world. Once stepping in to the Spa, they are in the “pink bubble” where everything is in place, it is fresh and new and nothing is left to distract or remind the Guest of work to do. They left that behind before entering into the “pink bubble”

Not only do we need to clean, upgrade and repair worn and tattered furniture, equipment and the actual building from time to time, we should look at our uniforms, the way we groom ourselves and the image we are projecting. Our business needs a facelift from time to time, and so do we!

Going to a Spa is an escape from reality as well as an opportunity to receive services to enhance feeling and looking better. In our Spa we designate areas and tasks as “on-stage” and “back-stage”. On-stage areas, such as the front desk, entry, retail areas, quiet rooms, must look perfect – – think of the beautiful hotel room when you first enter!

With the slowdown in the economy, now is the time to freshen your Spa and bring new energy and life back into it. Your clients will fall in love with coming there, once again, as the newness and sparkle will WOW them. Even your Spa needs a Facelift as it ages!

Nina Howard
Bellanina Day Spa & Gift Boutique, Inc.

Running Your Spa from Checklists

Have you wondered how you will get consistency in all the myriad tasks that must be completed in running a busy Day Spa? You must read, The E Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber. Gerber states that if you get your company on checklists, you could go away for a year and come back to a smooth running company. Wait a minute, Michael. The Day Spa industry has a lot of drama in it and who manages that? Well, what he meant is that if you can spell out each and every task in minute detail, get it on a checklist and assign it to each employee, things could run smoothly. You know, he is right. I have spent hours upon hours developing checklists. The checklist for the front desk staff begins outside before they open the front door in the morning. It reads, “pick up any trash or litter outside before entering”. Simple thing, huh! For the opening manager, it reads, “turn off the porch light and turn on the outside music”. The checklists are completed throughout the day and turned in to the Spa Manager at the end of the night to spot check and make sure that everyone is doing their job.

You should have seen my Spa before checklists! It was a constant stream of errors and omissions. If you have any ideas about getting the highest level of consistency, please share. I am always trying to improve my systems.

Nina Howard,

Bellanina Day Spa & Gift Boutique