UKs Most Trusted Adviser of Marketing Strategy to Premium Beauty, Digital and Luxury Lifestyle Brands
“For as long as I can remember I've had a passion for luxury lifestyle brands and the people behind the brand that make them what they are."
SpaSource is a highly acclaimed direct marketing business that specialises in delivering measurable sales growth through product launch, new business development, relationship marketing and CRM via integrated marketing campaigns. Unique in their skill and approach, they are the sales growth experts for the UK premium beauty, digital and luxury lifestyle brands.
Background & Early Career
Having a very strong work ethic meant working full-time since leaving school at 16 and paying my way. What I also grasped very early-on in life is that working hard is the sure fire way to get to where you want to go fast and help you stay there. Joining an apprenticeship scheme in 1984, I learned my craft for three years, working 5-days a week, and attending college one full day and two nights. It was a tough workload for any 16-year old, but having worked part-time since 13, I was already used to the responsibility of a professional working environment. Within a year I would be running my first business.
Studying the sciences of chemistry, physics, information technology, business law, communications and anatomy & physiology, along with art & design, practical skills and applied science for 3-years. I graduated with what is now known as a foundation degree in Communications, as well as a credentialed practitioner of hairdressing, beauty, nail technician, theatrical wigmaking, barbering and design, plus a Diploma in English. From night school I improved my school leaver grades to include 5 O-levels in biology, human biology, English language, English literature and IT.
My first three years of scientific study sparked an interest in science that would last a lifetime...
The first three-years of scientific study sparked an interest in science that would last a lifetime and fuelled a desire to deepen my knowledge. In the next academic year, I was accepted for a degree in International Health and Beauty Therapy, which I studied alongside exercise & nutrition, plus more A-levels at night school to improve my grades, as a condition of acceptance.
It was at this time I also left a paid job and set myself up in business, providing a freelance service covering my home area of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. Like all smart country kids, it was essential to gain independence and mobility through car ownership, so I made getting my driving licence a priority and took out a loan from the bank to buy my first car. I was 19, running my own business and making my way in life. Things were going great but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the relentless drive I have felt my whole life.
From where did this restlessness come from? Perhaps my experiences of childhood sparked a relentless desire to grow beyond my known boundaries and push further on and on beyond the visible horizon? The daughter of an accomplished time-trail cyclist, I’d grown up on the road, travelling the full-length and breadth of France before my 8th birthday, surrounded by sporting greats such as professional cyclist Joop Zoetemelk and others of his era. And so, as soon as I’d completed a further 2 years’ post-graduate diploma in advanced nutrition, physiology, physiatrics, epilation and reflexology, I was off. This time to Champneys Health Resort, Tring in the Summer of 1989.
From Champneys came the opportunity to deepen my knowledge in advanced body work, clinical aromatherapy, spa therapy, balneotherapy, hydrotherapy and yet more A-levels. I was extremely fortunate at the time to be taught clinical aromatherapy by Geraldine Howard, the late CEO of Aromatherapy Associates, who mentored me during my IFA Diploma at Champneys International CIDESCO College. Champneys was still an independent health spa at the time and popular amongst the great and the good of that era; I regularly worked on royalty, celebrity and the A-List.
Several years later I was invited to manage luxury health spas at sea by Coiffeur Transocean, and later by Steiner Leisure. Within 5-years of graduating my first foundation degree, I had gone from small-town girl to international Spa Director of on-board spa, health and leisure operations, generating over $1.2 million dollars a month, sailing the high seas and waking up each morning in a different port. What a charmed life! It would seem so from the outside looking in but maintaining this was a 24/7 operation, 12-hour days with few days off during a 9-month operational contract! It’s a young persons’ gig for sure.
Eventually transferring to land-based operations, I taught future generations of managers and therapists alike. Passing on the best of my knowledge and the skills learned from my ship operations days about how to deliver a five-star service, how to ensure a consistent standard of service and brand experience, how to manage the expectations of a client as to the outcome of their treatment plan. How to train, motivate and develop staff, how to manage a multi-million-dollar operation. As well as how to cope with the psychological pressures of daily confinement on a ship, being away from home for many months. It is really important to maintain a daily routine including exercise to help keep your mind balanced and your body clean and fit. For many staff, it would be there first time away from home and found it tough to keep the focus all the way through their contract and avoid the omnipresence temptations of the on-board party lifestyle.
At the end of the day, your only reason for being in the contract was to make money. In order to be successful you had to be able to welcome on board a new manifest of 1,500 passengers each week; assess them on first sight, conduct tours of the facility, deliver mini experiences and clear demonstrations of what could be achieved. Set your financial and service targets for that week, create your marketing plan and execute it, communicate with and follow-up all qualified prospects, close sales, get money in the till and generate paying traffic from a cold list. All within 7 hours of embarkation! Furthermore, you had to adjust your sales projections and employ fresh marketing tactics every 12-hours in order to meet your ever-higher corporate targets, and do this week in, week out, for 9 months at a time! No pressure then!
As any fitness, medical, spa, beauty, hairdresser or manager of on-board concessions will tell you, it is survival of the fitness. Pitted against each other as well as being up against other on-board departments to compete for category spend; failure to perform in your role meant immediate relegation or dismissal, often at your expense.
Everything hinged on your ability to market yourself and your business. The most successful became so by creating a specialised niche in which they positioned themselves and their services. Marketing themselves as a personal brand on-board to a captive audience of buyers, they quickly established a direct line of one-to-one communication via on-board mail, consultation and active demonstration of results. Once you’ve learned this skill, you can use it anywhere. And that is exactly why you should read this book because once you learn these skills, you too can apply them anywhere and to anything, to turn an idea in to a profitable business opportunity.
I became so effective at this type of marketing, that I was asked to immediately disembark the vessel in Spain, fly back to London, and train others how to do the same. Based at the Steiner Leisure headquarters in north-west London, I delivered management training and professional development programmes. These were the kind of professionals who were very focused, who meant business and for whom a 6-figure income was expected. Cruise ships were their domain because high-earning opportunities in the health and spa market were completely non-existent. Today you will find those same accomplished professionals running the best hotels, spas and resorts around the globe, such is the demand for high calibre Spa Director candidates, and every ex-Steiner manager who ever completed several years at sea is on that list.
Marketing was always my thing, and in particular sales, and so post-Steiner, I became highly-involved in luxury lifestyle startups and was one of the very first employees to launch new luxury skincare and spa management brand E’SPA, Specialising in marketing start-up luxury brands, I was the lead consultant for Kimia, O Spa London, Glossybox GB, Glossybox Canada, Glossybox USA and Conscious Water amongst many others.
Now a mentor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, as well as a business coach and leading industry consultant for the past 15 years, I have worked with Aveda, The Refinery, Starwood Resorts, Emaar, Jumeirah Group, Beauty Lab, Ritz Carlton Middle East, CACI, Strip, Aesthetic Business Transformations, My Lake Como Wedding and uFit Urban Gyms to develop their businesses, help them connect with their target audience and generate 6-figures and beyond.
Going on to study Doctorate of Chiropractic (Wales), Psychology (Wales), Masters in Pilates (London), Advanced Nutrition (taught by Patrick Holford at the Institute Optimum Nutrition, London. Patron of the ION was celebrated American chemist and biochemist Linus Pauling, who made significant contributions to science and antioxidant discoveries. It was here in 1992 that I first learned of the cell-devastation caused by oxidative stress the importance of anti-oxidants in maintained optimum health; I concept I had first learned about from Leslie Kenton’s Raw Health book in 1987.
Optimum Health was sneered at by the medical profession and just about everybody else at the time. Now, almost 30-years later, it is making news headlines on a daily basis and almost every skincare, vitamin, food and health product has jumped on the marketing bandwagon with a market offering that promises to make you younger, happier, thinner, sexier, more successful and attractive.
Consumer trends create demand and marketing drives that demand in to category spend; and health care is the largest and most important megatrend in the world today. Preservation of wellness, anti-ageing, optimum health – call it what you will, is present in every nation, every culture, every age group and every demographic in every single country in the world today. And this is why there are so many products available for you to satisfy your consumer spending power with extra feel-good factor. See it, observe it, learn from it and copy it as the easiest route to business success today.
Finishing up my education in Dubai, where I founded a strategic marketing and business advisory, I studied Master of Business at Liverpool and Master of Real Estate Development and Investment after work for 3 years. I also completed a Post-Graduate Cert Education & Training (Wales) and innumerable post-graduate diplomas and short courses in Marketing, Strategy, Digital Marketing and Competitive Advantage from 1990 – 2016.
A lifelong commitment to continuing professional development, formal education and a deep desire to see just how far I could go in this life; in addition to working 50+ hours a week as a business owner, consultant, coach and mentor, you could say I know a thing or two about success. My relentless hunger to live an extraordinary life, intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge has helped me to realise three multi-million-dollar businesses. My knowledge of the industry, expertise, authority on the subject and track record of success means I am more in demand than ever.
Despite having a consulting rate that is one of the highest in the industry, if not the highest, people seek out my advice from across the world. 100% of my clients from the past 10-years have come from referrals from happy, satisfied clients. I have most definitely walked the walk many, many times over. I have failed, many times, and learned from that. I have been stuck and many obstacles have been intentionally put in my path by those who would rather set their goals on destroying others success instead of focusing on moving on from their own failures. I have succeeded time and again, against the odds, with many doors slammed in my face and with few resources at my disposal. I have evolved in to a supremely resourceful and inspiring leader who can create success from anything, and who empowers others to do the same.
I know what works, what doesn’t, which is the best way to do something and what shortcuts are worth taking for short term results versus things you must do to ensure long-term results. It is a formula that has been well tried and tested within 6-years in Silicon Valley tech, 7 years in Dubai corporate business, several years in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Milan, London, California and Italy; and has ensured I have a phenomenal range of experience, a library full of case studies and unsurpassed expertise in business within the luxury lifestyle sector.
Now well established in the premium hair, beauty, skincare, spa, health, fitness and luxury lifestyle sector, with over 32 years of active senior management and marketing results, I am the preeminent expert and most trusted advisor of marketing and brand strategy in the UK to this niche market
If you want to capitalise on the world’s most prolific and important megatrend – wellness, and success in business I can help you. The approach I use is systematic, with each element in the ultimate success formula broken down in to bite size pieces, which makes it so simple to use that anyone can do it. If you want to achieve the lifestyle you desire through small business ownership and, if you are working in the luxury lifestyle or premium digital brand sectors, I am probably the best-placed person in the world to help you at this time. Learning from the best is your biggest chance of success in business within this industry.
I wish you great and continued success, in business and in life