When Wild Ivy Day Spa owners Leslyn Zak and Wendy Moore decided their business needed a makeover, they opted to change venues altogether. Although they loved the historic hotel the spa was located in, they felt there was simply too many obstacles standing in their way. “Conflicting with the soothing spa atmosphere were the daily operations of the hotel,” says Leslyn. “Noise, foreign odors, flooding, and lack of autonomy were simply holding us back.” Simply put, the spa would not have been able to reach its full potential if it continued to operate out of the hotel.
In March 2000, Leslyn and Wendy found a new location – a space in a quaint Rockport, Mass., area that would be sure to draw business. “The space is close to a train station, shopping centers, and has plenty of free parking – an almost nonexistent commodity in Rockport,” says Leslyn.
The two built the spa from the ground up, which was no easy endeavor, but allowed them to create the spa of their dreams. They used unique architectural details including a vaulted ceiling, built-in floral shelves, an S-curved wall, a shoji screen reception desk, and unique Japanese and American artwork. A new lighting plan sets the ambiance, enhancing the spa atmosphere as well as allowing staff members to skillfully serve their clients.
Their service menu was even updated to reflect the Japanese look of the spa. A few months after beginning work on the spa, the staff moved the business from the basement into the upstairs area and began doing business. The first service performed that day was a pedicure. The spa was far from being ready, however. Leslyn still had no consult with a feng shui expert on placement of objects. And a year after first deciding on the space, Leslyn and a design builder were still hard at work building a staff lounge, laundry room, administrative office, and storage areas.
Leslyn admits that a larger and more prominent facility obviously enables the spa to generate higher revenues. However, the impact of the new location goes beyond mere dollars and cents. “Wild Ivy Day Spa makes an impression on each and every person with whom we do business,” Leslyn says. “The quality of the spa and its atmosphere has made it possible to attract the very best operators to serve our clients.” Despite the long hours and hard work it took to make the new Wild Ivy Day Spa, Leslyn wouldn’t have it any other way. “Ultimately, our prestige in the community has increased, our reputation precedes itself, and we get to make even more people happy,” she says.