ISPA: highlights from the exhibit floor

ISPA day 2 is nearing the end, and I feel energized, inspired, and so glad to have seen so many of my spa friends. Wise Voices, the general sessions, and the professional development sessions have been amazing. And the show floor has impressed me… Here are some of my favorite booths. If you have not yet had the chance to walk the exhibit floor front to back and back to front, here are brands and people you will not want to miss.

COOLA Suncare (booth 613)

When my brother-in-law could not find a sunscreen that did not irritate his skin, I turned to COOLA upon the recommendation of a friend. And the brand lived up to its promise: “healthy sunscreen people want to wear.” I chatted with Michelle and learned more about the brand – and had my burning question answered: this is not organic sunscreen. Why? Because that is impossible, it is an oxymoron. The active ingredients (both in the physical and chemical blocks) are not organic. But the inactive ingredients are 70% certified organic. We had a great conversation on ingredients, marketing, and labeling, and agreed that “the best sunscreen is one that is worn.”

Dog Fashion Spa (booth 251)

If you know me, you know I am not a dog person. So seeing this booth was just so intriguing to me I had to stop by. Elena was wonderful, she explained the brand to me – which answers the needs of “how do you cater to a dog parent?” Apparently, 60% of our spagoers are dog parents. They take care of themselves, and of their pets. So expanding beyond the pet market made sense for this luxury pet brand – selling products and accessories for pets that have the best parents!

Hydrafacial (booth 1005)

I had a birthday during ISPA and so was looking for anything that would make me look fresher, younger, more glowing. Come in Greg and Mechele from Hydrafacial, with the best gift – a 20-minute treatment to accomplish all of the above. Mechele, one of the Hydrafacial therapists who has been with the brand for 12 years (and you won’t believe her age!) is technically perfect and a wealth of information on the device. It’s a facial with extra “oomph.” My skin confirms it. Stop by and get your treatment.

Magaschoni (booth 106)

I know this brand from my favorite clothing boutique in DC, Betsy Fisher, and did not realize it was so present in the spa world (this is their second ISPA). Known for its quality cashmere clothing, which comes in a rainbow of colors, Magaschoni is represented in the leading spas of the world, including Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. If nothing else, stop by to feel the merchandise… so soft and luxurious.

SalonBiz (booth 154)

I am biased as I think this company (you might know it as SpaBiz) has the best-looking CEO in the history of CEOs. But seriously, stop by and drop your business card to have a chance to win an Apple watch. While there, speak with Bradley about hotel integration, the mobile checkout system (for iPad), and learn more about the SalonBiz app, which therapists have embraced wholeheartedly. You might even meet your loved one at that booth…

Universal Companies (booth 1010)

There are many reasons to stop by this booth. The Universal catalogue is, and has been for 30 years, the “Spa Bible.” And Universal is always re-inventing themselves and growing. Case in point: their September acquisition of A La Mode Partners. In a sign that the Universe goes full circle, Tracie Wertz, who used to work for Universal Companies, left to launch her own retail company (A La Mode Partners), is now back with Universal. She will be expanding and managing the retail division at Universal. Stop by the booth to speak with her about the experience of selling her company – and to discover two new brands: Vita Jewel (water bottles with gemstones to purify and alkalize water) and Sparkle (ingestible collagen).

Enjoy the rest of ISPA, and explore the exhibit floor. And when you’re done with that, head over to the Relaxation area for more amazing brands including SpaRitual.

BeautyView: Lynne McNees, President, International Spa Association

The first thing I did way back when I decided that I was going to launch Alchimie Forever in the US to spas, of course, was to become a member of ISPA. Since 2005, I have benefitted so from the International Spa Association. I have learned from spa professionals. I have met numerous spa owners and managers. I have learned from peers throughout my Task Force involvement. I have made BFFs. And, perhaps most significantly, I met my husband. Since 2005, throughout these experiences, both personal and professional, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Lynne McNees, President of ISPA. I know not to discuss politics with her; I know she gets up earlier than I do most mornings; I know she loves Wyoming. Yet I did not know much of the below…  and I now have a new must-read book on my list!

AP: What city were you born in? LM: Okinawa, Japan.  My dad was in the US Army.  I really “grew up” in Dallas, TX but moved to Washington, DC my senior year in high school… ouch!

AP: What city do you live in? LM: Georgetown, Kentucky, about 30 minutes outside of Lexington.

AP: What is your middle name?  LM: Jeanice, but I use my maiden name Walker now.

AP: What is your astrological sign? LM: Capricorn.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry?  LM: The entrepreneurial spirit and inventiveness.

AP: Least favorite thing? LM: The unnecessary and excessive packaging.

AP: What is your most prized possession? LM: Can I say my cute husband?  If not, our two longhaired miniature dachshunds Jackson Hole and Teton Spirit would be my final answer!

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know?  LM: I’ve landed on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean. I’ve stood on the DMZ.  I flew a fighter jet during mid-air refueling.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? LM: Sometimes. The model varies depending on my mood.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? LM: Diamonds – definitely diamonds.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? LM: Paul McNees, my husband’s father who passed away when Barry was in college.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? LM: I will never be balanced! Balance is a daily practice I work at with a lot of great friends, hard exercise and a great bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? LM: 1. Water. 2. Hiking. 3. Humor.

AP: What is your favorite book? LM: China Calls by Anne Collins Walker (my mom). It’s about my Dad advancing President Nixon’s historic trip to China.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? LM: Other than Oregon Pinot Noir, Bourbon and Ginger.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? LM: Experimenting with all the fun ISPA member products and LOTS of water!

AP: What fragrance do you wear? LM: Aromatherapy Associates – Revive!  I am addicted.

AP: Botox or not? LM: Why not?

AP: Hair color: natural or not? LM: Luckily – my natural color but now I have to cover the gray!

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. LM: “Its 5 o’clock in the morning” by Lily Allen. “The Walk” by Mayer Hawthorne. Everything Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson.

AP: Quote to live by. LM: Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.

AP: Who is your mentor? LM: I’m lucky, every ISPA Chairman and their unique style has been a valuable mentor to me.  Additionally, both my parents with their unique (and distinct) approach to business.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. LM: Hard work prevails (and, never underestimate the impact of a handwritten thank you note!).