Last week, as we were celebrating the opening of the new business venture with family, my dad made the remark that being the owner of a Spa business was about the last thing he ever would have imagined for me in my life. And he’s got a point. I was quite the tomboy growing up. I loved sport, climbing trees and running around barefoot without a single thought about ballet or dressing up in mum’s high heels.
Fast forward to last week, two weeks into opening the doors to our new Spa Business, I had my first ever facial. I had honestly never, ever had a facial in my life. It had never even occurred to me. I didn’t even really know what it was! (This is why I stick to what I know: remedial massage).
I was reflecting on why it was that I had never had a facial in my nearly 40 years of life and I realised that it is probably because I have always had an uneasy relationship with the concept of “beauty”. I used to see salons all full of glamour and looks that just didn’t resonate with me. I felt like I would stand out if I walked into one. That it simply wasn’t a place for me.
I have also hated the impact I have seen on people (me included) where, particularly women, are being sold the idea that they aren’t OK how they are. They need to hand over thousands of dollars to enhance themselves or change how they look. This can cause more damage than good to the self-esteem of consumers.
I also struggle with animal testing practices used by many companies.
You may be wondering why on earth I am doing what I am doing then?
While there are things I have struggled with in relation to beauty, I don’t see it as all bad. Beautiful things also include poetry and music and nature and art. We focus on beauty in all that we do in our clinic. We want our clients to feel beautiful. We try to create beautiful spaces with beautiful products from our beautiful country and home state of Tasmania.
What is life for, if not to embrace all that is beautiful? And that is why I am doing what I am doing.
I do love luxury. Who doesn’t?
I love experiences much more than I love things.
I love natural products that smell and feel amazing. The warm glow of scented candles or the divine hand balm with natural essential oil ingredients. Little moments of self care that you can squeeze in amongst an otherwise busy life.
I do like to feel confident in myself. For me, this means the odd brow tidy-up and bikini wax, and a little concealment of the greys (not quite ready to embrace those just yet). For others, this means a lot more and that’s Ok too.
What’s important in what we are creating at Spa House Tasmania is that it is intended to be a space for everyone. We want it to be a clinic for men, as much as for women. For all genders. For tom-boys like myself. For all races. For all levels of ability. For people of all religion or spiritualities. For all ages. We want all people to feel like they have a place with us and that they are valued and respected as human beings.
Not only this, but we are supporting causes we care about. Tasmanian small businesses. Employing locals. Ethically made products. Natural and environmentally friendly as we can. And it feels great to be doing these things.
So let’s just go back to that facial. My first ever facial. I can tell you now, that it will not be my last.
Our Spa Manager, Laura, wanted to demo a new routine on me with the new products and equipment. I agreed, though more out of curiosity and duty, than a sense that I was going to be in for a real treat.
Just in case there is anyone else out there who hasn’t had a facial, allow me to walk you through it.
I arrived at the clinic and was shown into the room. It was warm and dimly lit, with a gentle aroma of all things nice (essential oils and our delicious spa products).
Laura has set the rooms up to perfection. One thing we never could have planned for when we interviewed Laura was just how in sync our taste is for decoration and style. There is a little bit of my design and a little bit of Laura’s in every room, yet it all works together beautifully. We enjoy fresh, professional, clean spaces. Neither of us enjoys clutter and we both love to bring natural fibres through our work spaces. The result: a relaxing and soothing space for our clients to be pampered in.
I took the necessary items of clothing off and climbed onto the soft table. The feel of the fresh towels, the warmth of the room and the soothing music made me feel like I could pass on the facial and just have a decent 6 hour nap.
Laura shortly arrived back into the room and what happened next was the most beautiful and soothing sequence of events that I have possibly ever experienced.
I made the comment to Laura that Andrew is always trying to get me to stop talking when he is giving me massages. He wants me to relax and unwind, and honestly, I give it my best shot, but mindfulness has never been my strong suit. No sooner do I begin to relax and clear my mind before another stream of thoughts starts to flow through my mind. I told Laura that I probably wouldn’t be able to fully relax, given how frantically busy we have been lately. Perhaps she took it as a personal challenge.
Like I said, I had no idea what to expect. And I really don’t recall the order of events. But I do know that it involved beautiful sensations of varying temperatures, soft hands applying luxurious and delicious smelling natural products and just the right amount of pressure with every stroke of massage.
I truly did drift into the world of the here and now, where all I could do was to be and to focus on the wonderful experience I was being gifted.
After it finished, I really felt I needed that nap more than ever. I felt like weeks and months of tension had eased and that my whole body felt lighter. My face felt softer than ever, even to the point that my dad noticed the difference (and that’s saying something. He rarely notices even the more radical changes in hairs styles undertaken by his dear wife). I can’t wait to book dad in for his first facial too!
The whole experience felt like a mini retreat. As I drove home to get back to more administration work, I felt that something really special had happened. Not only in the sense that it was a beautiful way to spend half an hour of my life, but I was also filled with the excitement of a dream coming true. That the luxurious, urban and uniquely Tasmanian retreat that we have set out to create has really happened, and this is just the beginning.
I couldn’t be more excited to welcome clients through our doors to share in the simple, joyful pleasures of spa treatments performed with care.