Salon view: Stephanies

Stephanies is celebrating a milestone: 25 years in operation.

Professional Beauty catches up with owner and founder, Stephanie Shepherd, to chat about growing her successful business from a two-room salon to five luxury day spas and a head office.

How did Stephanies start?
“Stephanies Natural Beauty was established in 1994 in Camp Hill Brisbane. Back then I was a sole operator with pure love, determination and passion for my industry and a yearning desire to work for myself after working nine years for other people. Today, we have five luxury day spas and a head office facility.”

How many staff?
“Across our group we have over 60 employees. I can proudly say we have a large number of people that have been with me over 10 years.”

Design features in the spas?
“Stephanies Luxury Spas is a luxury collection of day spas within south east Queensland, comprising three hotel spas and two standalone spas. Every one of my spas has a unique feel and feature that is totally unique to each destination. Our interiors vary greatly between our spa locations, which I absolutely love. French elegance at Spa Retreat, Sofitel; luxe coastal at Ocean Spa in Noosa; Hamptons-inspired at Vintage Spa Bayside and Urban Spa Bulimba; Swiss chalet escape at Clear Mountain. Ocean Spa has a private suite which contains a mineral floatation pool. The Sofitel showcases our Opal Rasul Steam Temple, an experience of steam therapy, cleansing muds and gentle rain showers. Clear Mountain has a stunning luxury couple’s suite and lounge with a stone bath taking in breathtaking views over the mountain. And Vintage Spa has original interiors of chandeliers, fireplaces and a gorgeous gift shop. Last but not least Spa Bulimba houses a number of individual relaxation zones containing luxe pedicure spaces, tranquil lounges and retail zones.”

How do you keep your staff motivated?
“Lots of training and professional development, as well as social gatherings within each location. There are lots of opportunities for staff to win prizes, product incentives and luxe getaways by offering competitions or rewards.”

What are some of the challenges faced by the spas?
“All businesses face daily challenges. Human resource development and management keeps us on our toes. Not to mention being on top of spa operations, cash flow and marketing. I am blessed to have an awesome group of professionals that assist me in keeping our wheels turning.”

How to you focus on retail in the spas?
“Retail is a crucial area within our spa locations. We have larges spaces that showcase all our retail partners plus an online shop.”

Tell us about education and training?
“Development and continued education is a crucial area for all Stephanies employees. We dedicate a large amount of revenue in delivering a quality training development program. Plus our product partners also invest their time in providing advanced training opportunities, as an example, Lycon Cosmetics Australia have been providing personalised training to our beauty therapist in the art of waxing for many years. Having this type of support from our suppliers is absolutely integral to Stephanies.”

How has technology influenced the spas?
“At Stephanies we are do not jump onto the latest and greatest skin devices on the market, this is not our focus or ethos. We love and embrace technologies but there needs to be large amounts of evidence-based results and wonderful support from the suppliers and manufactures providing this tech. There is definitely room for all types of beauty, spas and medispa businesses. To me personally, it’s important to stay in your own lane and provide exceptional results and quality treatments.”

Awards you’ve won?
“Over our spa journey, we have won many business awards locally and internationally. Our latest award win was from 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards, picking up six amazing awards.”

Machines stocked:
Varied micro dermabrasion machines
LED Lightstim
iBeauty by Thalgo
Plabeau by Synergie Skin
Galvanic

Retail brands stocked:
Payot
Synergie Skin
Thalgo
Intraceuticals
Our own brand La Vie Elixir

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