The salon’s smooth wooden floor, white walls, wicker chairs, and canopies-not to mention the wall murals depicting beach scenes-all helped take me away from an otherwise typical rainy Seattle day.
The moment I entered inSpa, I immediately felt as if I was in a sunny beach cabana. The salon’s smooth wooden floor, white walls, wicker chairs, and canopies-not to mention the wall murals depicting beach scenes-all helped take me away from an otherwise typical rainy Seattle day.
Maybe that’s what makes in Spa, a Washington-based, three salon chain, so successful. Clients can get away from their rainy weather woes-for a while at least. And a variety of services, including manicures and pedicures, facials, waxing, and massage, adds to in Spa’s allure. But there are other factors that contribute to its popularity.
For one, inSpa enforces strictly enforces a no-tipping policy. “The whole premise of our business is to make spas more inviting and less intimidating,” says Diana Ahern, vice president of inSpa. “People get intimidated when it comes to tipping, especially if they get more than one service. They don’t know how many people they should be tipping.”
Then there’s the extensive retail area, which is the first thing clients see when they walk into the salon. The salon even has its own line of products, including skin care, candles, and soaps.
The location I visited - located in University Village, a shopping center near the University of Washington - attracts more than just college students. Contrary to popular belief, Seattle is not just comprised of flannel-clad coffee drinkers. Sure, the city may get more than its fair share of damp, gloomy days, but that doesn’t mean its people don’t love beautifying themselves and showing off the results. Diana says a mixture of clients ranging from working women and men to stay-at-home moms and teenagers visit the salon.
The three salons are doing so well that a fourth salon will soon open in Washington. Diana says they’ve considered expanding outside of the state - with the San Francisco Bay area a top candidate.
Since my nails looked less than stellar, I opted for a manicure. My nail technician, Elizabeth Williams, gave me a dry manicure (which basically involves no water or soaking but does include a nice massage). A coating of wine red polish completed my service. Needless to say, that sunny, warm feeling stayed with me long after I left.