Roadmap to Spa Success
by Steve Capellini

So, you want to be in the spa business? True, there are ropes to climb, dues to pay, sacrifices to be made, but none of these mean a thing if you have the will, the drive, and the dream to create a new vision for yourself in your practice and in your life. One obstacle exists, however, that can crush your hopes and thwart your best efforts as you begin putting together your own spa business or adding spa modalities to your massage or esthetics menu.

That obstacle is lack of knowledge.

If you set out on a journey without a roadmap or knowledge of the terrain ahead, you may eventually make it to your destination, but along the way you will run the risk of running out of gas or getting lost. You may not make it at all. Instead, you could end up somewhere else entirely, wondering how you got there.

If you’re serious about exploring the potential rewards of the spa industry, I will suggest a few resources here that you can use as signposts along the way. The people you meet, the literature you read, the spas you visit, the vendors you work with will all guide you in the right direction. There are a lot of great people in this industry who can help you. I know this from twenty years of personal experience.

For information on the spa industry in general, there’s no place better to start than the International Spa Association (ISPA). The Web site is Phone number: (888)651-4772. If you would like to create a spa yourself one day, you would benefit greatly by attending at least one of the annual ISPA conferences.

If you want the latest spa news and gossip, check out Bernie Burt, who has a newsletter called The SpaGoer at He’s also written two great books, 100 Best Spas of the World, and Fodor’s Healthy Escapes. Highly recommended.

If you want to go on a virtual journey in which you imagine yourself creating or working in one of those fantastic spa facilities, visit Spa-Finder at or call (800) 255-7727. They’re a specialized travel agency that deals only in spas.

Spa Management Journal ( is a professional magazine covering the spa industry worldwide.

Virtual Spa is a resource for enhancing your business and career in the spa industry. Lots of info on consulting and setup. Contact:, (978) 463-7911.

And, of course, my personal favorite—me. I am a great resource for you, especially if you are just starting out. I’m teaching a Spa Certification Workshop at Downeast in October, and if you come you will learn more than you can quite imagine right now regarding spa setup, marketing, treatments, room layout, and more. The weekend is very hands-on, so you’ll leave with muscle-memories of how to recreate spa experiences for your guests and with the knowledge to make your new business work. The workshop is also great for people looking to work in some capacity in the spa industry but who don’t know quite know how they’ll fit in yet. Find out more at

Taking the Royal Treatment Spa Certification Workshop is like being handed a map at the beginning of a very long journey. You’ll be glad you have it. See you there!

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