In part one Jenni told us about the history of her Grace Medi Spa salon, her approach to business, and recent proposals by the UK Government for the licensing of the beauty industry. This time around we get to peek inside the salon and introduce some of the practitioners.
This is part two of a two-part story.
Jenni Grace – Owner of Grace Medi Spa
How many different rooms or treatment areas are here at Medi Spa?
Downstairs is taken up by Summers & Co hair boutique in three rooms. Katherine Reeves has KR Hair loss solutions in a dedicated area, which is a wonderful service for men and women who may have lost hair naturally or due to health treatments such as chemotherapy. Upstairs we have four rooms for the Aesthetic Practitioners or Therapists.
Katherine Reeves: Hair Loss Solutions
Cinnamon Hair Treatment and Salon Room
Lavender Treatment Room
Lindsey Wood: Lindsey Victoria Beauty
Jasmine Treatment Room
Amanda Arshadi: Aura Skin Asthetics
Camomile Treatment Room
Rose Treatment Room
Katie Summers: Summers + Co Hair Boutique
Bergamot Hair Salon Rooms
Am I right in thinking that all the businesses are run by women?
Currently they are, but we’re very happy to have a man about the house! [Laughs]
You’re open seven days a week?
No, I keep it closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays to allow down time for any building maintenance, etc.
I assume that before any potential treatment, including hairdressing, that there will be some form of consultation?
Always, apart from explaining what a procedure entails, a large part of the consultation is managing expectations. Most of the time we will have had an initial chat over the telephone prior to any booking anyway, but face to face is extremely important. There may be the requirement to be referred to a medical professional first for relevant medical advice or we may have to do patch skin tests before carrying out certain treatments.
Can there be a delay with a referral?
It depends. It isn’t always easy now for a client to be able to make an appointment with their GP quickly. I can refer clients to Simon Payne the vascular surgeon relatively quickly as he offers private consultations locally at Horndean surgery.
Simon Payne: Vascular Surgeon
Are there some treatments that are more popular than others?
Hmmm, things are seasonal for me rather than popular, I work so much more in the winter. It makes sense to undergo treatments, such as sclerotherapy, at that time of year, because it requires avoiding the sun during the recovery period.
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for improving the appearance of varicose and spider veins on the legs..
What’s the most challenging part of what you do?
Creating price lists! As soon as I make changes, because we have new therapies or treatments, it’s out of date. It’s the bane of my life and I’m not sure the best way to deal with it. Maybe all digital is the way to go.
Grace Medi Spa Price List [changeable!]
I guess it depends on the demographics of your target audience. An older age group, generally speaking, still prefer a printed hand out whereas younger clients are quite happy with online information.
That’s exactly it, and it will cost me around £1000 for each print run, which as I say is almost out of date before the ink has dried.
On the opposite side, what do you most enjoy?
My big thing is removing blemishes and leg veins, no idea why, but that gives me the most pleasure. Back when I was a student, a lot of the girls felt faint when we did electrolysis for hair removal using needles, but I was always at the front of the queue to have a go. But then I’m like a lot of people, I’m very anxious about any procedure that involves needles on myself.
Maybe that’s why you’re good at what you do, because you have empathy with a client’s fears?
I think you’re right, it does make you a better practitioner if you can understand how they might be feeling.
Do you actively market the business?
Most of my work comes from referrals. I’ve been around long enough that I have a reasonable level of repeat clients. The website generates a handful of new enquiries a week and social media has worked well for me. The leads aren’t just for me though. They can be for any of the businesses, which is good. If they’re always busy it keeps everything ticking over, so it works both ways. We can all refer to each other as appropriate. Having a nice property in a pleasant location helps as well. We’ll get the occasional drive-by enquiry because of that.
Grace Medi Spa social media pages
What sort of area do you cater for?
I’ve had people travel down from London because the prices are horrendous in the city. We offer much the same services, for a fraction of the cost, so the savings make the travel worthwhile. I have clients from the New Forest, Poole, all over really. Obviously, the bulk of the clients are local and it depends on what the treatment is. As we said earlier, sometimes it’s more about trust. Especially if they’ve had a bad experience somewhere else. Once that trust has been established, there is a higher probability of return visits.
Are there any new treatments that are particularly popular at the moment?
There are always new things coming into the market. Lisa and Lindsey have just started offering hydrafacial which is currently very popular. Many of the treatments are not completely new, more of a different take on something existing.
HydraFacial is a facial treatment using a patented device to deliver exfoliation, cleansing, extraction, and hydration to the face. This system uses a vortex swirling action to deliver hydration and to remove dead skin, dirt, debris, and impurities while cleaning and soothing your skin
Hydrafacial Machine used by Grace Medi Spa practitioners
I suppose that new technologies come along which change the way you do the same thing?
Exactly. When I think back to my first IPL machine , it was like something out of the dark ages really and it was quite frightening to everybody, including myself [Laughs]! These machines have been improved and over the years and are a lot less intimidating now. Back then it used to be quite painful, but clients hardly feel it now, and the results are amazing. I can’t think of any totally new innovations.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a type of light treatment that uses strong pulses of light to stimulate or treat various issues within the skin. For hair removal, the machine is used to direct light at the pigment in the hair, causing a burst of heat that damages or kills the cells that cause that hair to grow.
And finally the Magic wand question. If money, time and resources were no object, what does the future hold for Grace Medi Spa?
My answer would be very different if you asked me thirty years ago. Back then I was still chomping at the bit, eager to rule the world, thinking about franchise opportunities. But now I have a different perspective on things of course. After all the highs and lows of running several businesses, my idea of ‘richness’ is no longer just about money. It’s spending time with loved ones, appreciating the small things, not constantly thinking about the bigger picture.