Professional Beauty caught up with Bridget Eaton, salon owner of Lara Day Spa & Wellness Centre in Victoria, to discuss why she offers massage in her business, and why you should too.
Bridget Eaton (but everyone calls her Bridie) has been in the beauty industry since 1999 and started her current business, Lara Day Spa and Wellness Centre in Lara, Victoria three years ago. Massage has been a significant part of her offering since the beginning, and the business continues to grow around this.
What massage treatments do you offer?
Our most popular massage is the Swedish style massage; while it’s an extremely relaxing treatment it also has remedial benefits. We also use thermal stone therapy, which allows for an even deeper massage.
We have a doubles room for couples or friends wishing to have treatments together, and our prenatal massage is customised to suit the client’s stage of pregnancy.
Why did you decide to include massage in your salon?
We saw massages as one of the treatments that everyone can receive via a gift voucher – family and friends love the thought of treating someone to a massage, especially if they have not had one before. It is also a great entry treatment for someone who has not had any type of spa treatment.
Do clients usually come just for a massage or is it seen as an add-on to other treatments?
We do have many return clients book in only for massage, however other combinations where facials, far infrared sauna, Swiss shower, exfoliation and massage are packaged together are very popular.
Being a day spa customers get the benefit of waiting in a massage chair in a relaxing atmosphere with a herbal tea of their choice, so our clients love to arrive early and relax pre-treatment.
Do you employ specific massage therapists?
All our therapists are fully trained to provide massage and we strive to ensure all our therapists provide the same level of quality massage so no matter who you book with you can rely on them to provide a high level of service.
Different clients do tend to stick with a therapist they connect and feel comfortable with, and some may prefer one therapist for their massage and another for a facial or other therapy.
How has offering massage benefited your business?
Offering massage services has been a big part of our business and has benefited the business from start up. Once people have had a good result from a massage they are then curious as to the other services we provide. Body scrubs, masks and facials are lovely complementary treatments
How do you market your massage services?
Who doesn’t love a massage? We run some winter warming specials that give clients the benefits of a far sauna and Swiss shower, which is a lovely and very therapeutic combination.
We also find most people that buy a gift voucher like to give someone the gift of a massage, so a large part of our marketing for massage is gift vouchers.
What specific things do salons need?
Training and equipment is vital for providing quality massage treatments. Cert IV and diploma level beauty therapists are trained in Swedish massage and thermal stone therapy.
We have a variety of massage beds to suit different clients and therapists. They are all comfortable, warm, quiet and private rooms. The ambiance of the room is critical and similar treatments if you want your clients to escape the troubles of their day in your salon.
What advice would you give to salon owners that want to introduce massage into their business?
Ensure your staff members hold a massage qualification. There are plenty of courses that provide training and you only get one opportunity to get it right with a client. If your technique is good, you provide the right atmosphere and the client feels safe, I believe they will be back time and again.