This month Nancy interviews Ilana Alberico, Co-founder of ISM, and Spa Space, a revolutionary new smart staffing solution.
Nancy: Tell us about Spa Space
Ilana: Spa Space Technology is an easy-to-use application that gives guests, therapists, and spas the freedom to design personalized spa experiences based on unique needs and preferences. It’s a better way to spa with more flexibility and choice for all. Spa Space frees the spa experience from the constraint of a generic menu and therapists are now able to use their expertise and training in specialized modalities. A smart algorithm matches guest preferences and needs with skilled therapists while filling unused treatment rooms at our spa partners.
Nancy: How did you come up with the idea?
Ilana: As spa operators for the past two decades we saw the need for a technology solution within spa that will improve both the overall experience and operations. I was having dinner with my now partner, Nathalie Malkoff, and we were talking about her issues in finding a good massage therapist who specializes in TMJ work. Plus, she hated having to find a new therapist when her favorite left her spa. We realized that there was a gap in our industry that we could fill. We could develop a better matching system that started with understanding the guest’s needs and preferences, pairing them with the perfect therapist to meet their needs, and unlocking access to qualified spas for a truly customized experience.
Together with our other partner, Christina Stratton, we started developing Spa Space before Covid-19 changed the world and rocked businesses including our spa industry. We saw spas temporarily close and layoff their employees. But we knew that the spa industry could and would rise from this experience smarter and stronger with the help of technology.
Now more than ever, the world is seeking the healing power of touch, but the demand is for a safe, personalized experience. With spas now reopening, word has gotten out that we at Spa Space have a smarter business model that solves for all the challenges of operating a spa in this new world.
Nancy: How does the Spa Space App work?
Ilana: The App is populated by a ready pool of expert therapists—screened and quality controlled by ISM/Spa Space. ISM managed properties as well as outside spa partners make their unused treatment rooms available. Guests choose their facility and therapist of choice based on their needs, preferences, and geographic location. The booking can be 100% contactless through a mobile device or computer or access the Spa Space Experience Team and Regional Directors for more of a human touch.
Nancy: You also own Spa Space Chicago, how is the App related?
Ilana: Spa Space App was in fact inspired by Spa Space Chicago. I credit the spa’s long-term success to the deeply personal relationship the guests have with their therapists and to the spa itself. Treatment rooms are a place for guests to share their needs, preferences, and goals. Wellbeing has become a partnership there. This dynamic allows the people behind Spa Space Chicago to offer personalized levels of wellness for their guests while creating long-term, caring partnerships. The intent with the Spa Space application is to create this same, mutually beneficial partnership between client and therapists wherever and whenever needed.
Nancy: How are you rolling out?
Ilana: We began our launch in our Beta Locations this past fall and will continue into Q1 2021. Those locations including Spa Space Chicago, , The Biltmore Hotel, Cypress Harbour Spa Orlando, Island Spa Orlando, Privai Wellness & Spa Orlando, , Autograph Collection Hotels, and Poseidon Spas. After which, we’ll continue to expand both geographically and to other spa locations throughout the rest of 2021. The spas implementing Spa Space are seeing a whopping 60% reduction in fixed expenses! We are currently recruiting for additional resort and therapist partners in Florida and the Southeast. Spas have a choice to become a fully ISM-managed spas, or leverage the Spa Space App to fill empty treatment rooms during slow times.
Every decision we make connects to our values of listening, evolving, acting with integrity, delivering our promises, and service. The potential of this platform is limited only by our ability to expand fast enough to meet the demand.
Nancy: Thank you Ilana sounds amazing!
Nancy Griffin, Principal