Joint Spa Director at the Spa at Ye Olde Bell in Barnby Moor, Nottinghamshire, Lizzie Bath has nearly 20 year’s experience in beauty therapy. She launched LB Therapies and opened her own salon at Ye Olde Bell four years ago, and was integral in the design of the new spa, which opened in June 2017.
If I could sit down with my younger self, the best advice I could give would be get yourself organised; it will make your future so much easier! Never give up on your dreams, work hard and let every failure make you stronger.
Mistakes are a part of learning; errors are normal
Mistakes are a part of learning; errors are normal. If you own up they can normally be quite easily fixed. Apologise if your mistake has affected someone else, then get on with trying to find a solution that works for everyone.
If I was starting out in the industry again today, I would advise myself to focus more on the things I’m passionate about. Massage has always been my favourite, I’m fascinated by the human body and amazed by the way touch can take away someone’s pain. I would travel the world, explore the different origins of healing and then invest in the best foundation training possible. I trained at Park School of Beauty in Retford across two years. The level of detail on anatomy and physiology I learned has really helped me feel confident when providing treatments. Today’s industry offers multiple short courses, which are amazing if you’re adding to your skillset, but many require no foundation training, which doesn’t give up-and-coming therapists the in-depth knowledge needed to give a truly professional service.
I would do a crash course in the psychology of people
I would also do a crash course in the psychology of people as managing guests and team members is a constant eye opener!
Your toughest challenge will be setting up in business on your own; it will be like starting from scratch. I invested a lot but the first six months were so quiet I came close to giving up on more than one occasion. For anyone starting out I’d say be there and be visible. Don’t think “I have no bookings so I might as well go home”. Stay around and talk to people. There is always something to do. Your best advertising will come from genuine reviews. It’s far more emotive than advertising alone. You need to motivate your team to provide a service that brings the guests back again and again.
Look after your guests, the business will follow
Just as my salon started to get busy another opened offering similar treatments for half the price. My first instinct was to discount and I was given some advice that’s stayed with me. I was told to stick it out; people will pay for quality. It’s better to have 10 guests getting the experience they deserve than to have 20 at a discount where you have to cut corners. You end up working for next to nothing and being a busy fool. It’s advice that’s seen me right ever since. Look after your guests, the business will follow.
Building the Spa at Ye Olde Bell will offer you a whole different challenge. It was a dream come true to be part of a team, designing and building our ideal of what a spa should be. I have been so exceptionally lucky to have been involved from the very beginning. Sadie Ardron-Levack, my co-spa director, has brought out a side of me I never dreamed existed. She is my polar opposite – organised, meticulous and methodical. I’m the whirlwind dreamer with a thousand thoughts per minute. The place has our hearts and soul in every aspect.
For me, the future of spa lies in de-stressing the mind and body. We are so tightly wound up, bombarded with technology, struggling to sleep and to keep up with the stress of daily lives. We offer the solution.