Tag Archives: events

7th Annual Washington Spa Alliance – Timeless Growth

It was the first day of Spring in Washington, DC. While some anxiously visit the city to await the full blooms of the Cherry Blossoms, others came to connect, engage, and deliver for another reason.  This year, regional, national, and international spa industry professionals gathered at the newly renovated Watergate Hotel for a meeting of the minds at the 7th Annual Washington Spa Alliance Symposium (WSPA).

Like a recently hatched caterpillar hungry for food, symposium attendees fed and nourished their minds during the presentations from speakers and panelist, allowing them to peel off their layers and grow, with expanded knowledge at their core.

Stories of transformation and growth were told throughout the symposium. A few to highlight:

“Reflections of a Wellness Pioneer”, an inspiring video from Deborah Szekely, transported us back to the creation of Rancho La Puerta, when outdoor tents were made from World War I airplane wings, warm-up suits weren’t yet the norm for exercise, wellness was an experiment, and a sacred mountain “convinced people of their ability to change their life”.

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Deborah Szekely

Ophelia Yeung, Senior Fellow Researcher at The Global Wellness Institute, started her presentation on the Spa & Global Wellness Economy with a definition of the word wellness.  Wellness, she indicated, is an English word without an equivalent translation in other languages.  Yet, despite the void of a one-for-one translation, statistics show the Global Wellness Economy growth at $3.7 trillion in 2015, with categories ranging from Workplace Wellness ($43b), Spa Industry ($99b), Wellness Tourism ($563b), and Beauty & Anti-Aging ($999b) to name a few.

The Global Wellness Institute defines “Wellness” as the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.

Co-founder of WSPA and Symposium Chair Emeritus, Mary F. Bemis, gave a brief history lesson on the Seven Timeless Truths of Spa, and then introduced Mia Kyricos, President/CEO, Kyricos & Associates, LLC.  Mia presented a “7 Timeless Truths” game plan by showing multiple trends (i.e., reading the tea leaves) for each timeless truth and offering a prediction for the future.  Some predictions made: “Spas will become true champions & prescribers of nature” with rooftop gardens in urban settings, and spa services delivered outside of your typical four walls.  “Spacernauts” will soon make their debut to include, spas with hourly fitness classes, cafes/juice bars, full-service spa boutiques, and hotel spas with existing local eateries.

Seven Timeless Truths of Spa: Community. Nature. Food. Fitness. Water. Quiet. Sleep.

Julia Sutton, Chief Operating Officer of Exhale Enterprises, served on the panel which discussed “Pushing the Boundary of Wellness”, her company is working on live streaming of fitness/wellness classes, while incorporating wearable technology, so that “you don’t cheat at home”.

Samer Hamadeh, CEO of Zeel, presented on “Technology: Disrupting the Status Quo”.  Technology advancements with Zeel provides solutions for both customers and therapists. Customer Experience: On demand, in-home convenience, therapists verified, vetted, and insured.   Provider Experience: Customers ID-checked for safety, more customers who book more often, better payout and flexible hours.  A few statistics showed 22% of massages are happening after 9pm and 55% of customers want a massage within 4 hours of requesting.  In some cases, a therapist can reach a customer in as little as 30min of a request.  Zeel’s “massage- on-demand” has expanded beyond just the at-home customer, but also serves as a resource to brick-n-mortar spas to fill temporary staffing needs.

Rona Berg, Editor-in-Chief, Organic Spa Media Ltd., provided a consumer perspective on how to “Connect, Engage, and Deliver Sustainable Wellness” through the interconnectedness of things – mind, body, spirit, health, and nature. One slide noted alarming data that shows by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, according to a World Economic Forum report.  Ways to help: Consume less, buy fair-trade organic, use cold water for laundry, eat grass-fed beef.  One statistic showed eating organic for one week has shown a 6% decrease in pesticides in our body.  The importance of bringing self-care rituals into your daily life was highlighted, and another definition of wellness was presented:

Well-Ness (noun): the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.

Each year, after the information shared has rested in chrysalis, these WSPA caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies, fluttering back to their respective domains to make their mark by connecting, engaging, and delivering, until the life cycle starts all over again.

 

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India K. Robinson, President & CEO
“Confessions of a Spa Bunny”, The H.I.S Agency, LLC
spabunny@hisincorporated.com

 Creator and Founder of “Confessions of a Spa Bunny”, India is an active member of the International Spa Association, Wellness Warrior, and the Washington Spa Alliance.  She is also a contributing author for Insider’s Guide to Spas.

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H.I.S Incorporated’s “Sex and the City: The Co-Ed Edition” Trades in the City for the Simple Life!

Once the holidays and football season is over, the remnants of a busy winter lingers, but….spring approaches, and so does H.I.S Incorporated’s highly anticipated “Sex and the City:  The Co-Ed Edition” retreat.

A concept made popular by H.I.S Incorporated’s exclusive Ladies Day Out series (Volumes I thru III), this time the guys are invited to come out and participate in the first “Co-Ed Edition” of this popular event!   The invitation-only list includes a mix of singles, couples, married folk, and all those in between.  This ultimate spring retreat will be filled with good times, great people, lavish surroundings, activities, pampering, & the infamous after-hours “crucial conversations” segment!

With previous host locations in Tysons Corner, VA, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD; this time around, I’m taking the Sex out the City and moving it to the country!

“I wanted to do something different, and slow down the pace as compared to previous events. We are enveloped in the hustle and bustle of city life on a daily basis. There is no time for stopping and smelling the roses, unless your buying them from Whole Foods!”

Don’t be mistaken though, in no way has this selection of country simplicity sacrificed the H.I.S Incorporated’s luxury Grade A+ standard!  In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as this may very well be the most luxurious of the “Sex and the City” retreats to date!

Entrance to Salamander Resort & Spa

With the historic 18th century village of Middleburg as our backdrop, horse and wine country at our backdoor, and Salamander Resort and Spa as our sanctuary, it doesn’t get much better than that in the Virginia countryside.   Salamander’s 380-acre estate boasts its own equestrian center, award-winning wine bar, and a breathtaking 23,000 sq. foot world-class spa.

“I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Salamander Resort twice last year, and have indulged in the pampering at the spa on several occasions.   The surroundings, the service level, and the special touches from both the staff, and sprinkled throughout the property itself, makes you feel like you are meant to be right where you are in that moment in time.  Speaking of time….each moment is timeless…your lobby is a library, the guestroom is a picturesque masterpiece, and your nearest neighbors are horses!”

SalamanderBedIKR

In addition to the carefully selected venue, activities, and hand-picked guest list that makes these retreats so memorable, I’m always searching for just the right “and much more” to synchronize perfectly with the overall theme envisioned. In this case, I was on the hunt for a natural, holistic product to include in my attendees’ swag bags.  Something new and refreshing that would embrace the earthiness and beauty of the country, but easily provide a balanced escape once we returned to the city.

Nothing seemed more ideal than finding a “simply simple” product sponsor to enhance the organic experience I was creating for my guests. And just like a leprechaun chasing a rainbow, I found my pot of gold with Little Barn Apothecary!  The name alone raised an eyebrow and planted a smirk on my lips.  But would they meet my Grade A+ standards? Let’s see:

  • New and refreshing:   Recently founded in 2014 by Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins.  Partners who turned their passion for natural things into an uncomplicated, organic, apothecary product. Not only sharing their passion with the world, but giving back 2% of each sale to help homeless animals find loving homes!
  • Embrace the earthiness and beauty of the country: With a philosophy inspired from the earth, each Little Barn Apothecary product is created by hand, using raw, pure, all natural ingredients, free of fillers and toxic chemicals, with a design that embraces the “simple beauty of life”.
  • Provide balance and escape once we returned to the city:  The simple collection product line brings simplicity to your self-care regime and includes a luxurious offering of soaks, scrubs, oils, balms, face products, and a home and lifestyle collection you can easily integrate into your daily pampering routine.

Little Barn Apothecary Website

Little Barn Apothecary seems to put the same care and intention into creating their products as I do when planning my events.  In addition, I love the fact that the product packaging has a unisex appeal to it, perfect for “The Co-Ed Edition” clientele.

Needless to say, with Salamander Resort & Spa (www.salamanderresort.com), along with Little Barn Apothecary (www.littlebarnapothecary.com) being two shining stars in my simple life constellation, it seems H.I.S Incorporated’s “The Co-Ed Edition” (www.hisincorporated.com) won’t be that simple after all.