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Dispelling the stigma of a home spa experience

Is there a stigma out there with visiting a home spa business? I am pretty sure most people are wary of home spas as one can really never know what they are going to get. But what if someone told you they had a really great experience at a home spa? Would you give it a try?

I am not really sure how home spa based businesses are perceived in the marketplace or if if they are even considered competition to trendy, state of the art spas. They may not be able to meet the complexity or variety of treatments high end spas offer, but are they worth a go for traditional treatments? I wanted to find out.

I have been fortunate to take in a good amount of spa treatments in a variety of spas, bur recently I came upon a great Groupon deal that took me from temptation to purchase. It was for a facial and pedicure combo. The only catch? It was at a spa located in someone’s home. I thought what the heck, the worst that could happen was that it would be a sub-par experience. It really was a steal so I felt cool with facing the assumed probability of a mediocre-at-best treatment. My expectations were in check. Translation – not very high.

The day came for my appointment and it was one of those days where I was so tense and anxious with a zillion things on my mind that I nearly cancelled. I really didn’t think there was any way I could relax and enjoy the treatment. I am so glad to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I arrived at the door of the business of Yesterday’s You Esthetics, which is also the home of Amanda Butz, esthetician. She greeted me wearing spa scrubs and quickly invited into her well groomed home. I was then led upstairs to the treatment room and was pleasantly surprised. Now it wasn’t like I had walked into a room transformed into something completely unrecognizable from its original form but it was certainly professional, inviting and spa like. Soft music played as she left me to soak my feet and decompress from my hectic morning.

The treatment began. She asked me to lay down on her table and, as she started on my pedicure I felt instantly at ease. I really think this is due to the fact that pedicures are much more relaxing laying down while cuddled up under a warm blanket. I find when I am sitting up during a treatment it is impossible to relax as I am tempted to watch what’s going on, check my phone, drink some tea or chit-chat. Laying down forces you to let it all go for a while.

Since I almost always have trouble relaxing, this was a welcomed surprise. For some reason though I kept trying to justify it. It could have been the timing. Maybe I was so wound up that exhaustion had set in and it was the perfect time to unwind and take in some r & r. That could have been part of it. The only thing though that I am usually pretty picky when it comes to spa environments. I believe that environment is an important factor after all. But it is only one element.

After a very relaxing pedicure complete with wonderful massage and paraffin wax application, it was time for my facial. The treatment only got better.

I only realized after how truly relaxed I must have been. I didn’t once think to myself ‘is it going to end soon?’, ‘please slow down’ or any of those thoughts that often run through my mind. Simply because I wasn’t worried about it. I actually lived in the moment for once and was able to soak it all in.

Although I may sound like I am taking credit here for this advancement in my mental spa state, it really was because the treatment was so good and I never felt rushed. I find that to be a rarity as more often than not I feel rushed at spas. I am sure that it is never on purpose but isn’t it glorious when one can simple melt away and not feel like they are worried about the experience ending?

Going in, I was sure she would rush.

After all she explained to me that the Groupon sale was too successful. To her surprise she sold something like 400 of these treatments. Good for business of course, but it was too much according to Amanda. As a result this working mom of four is in constant overtime mode trying to see all the treatments through while having to repeatedly apologize to her returning clients who cannot get in quickly enough. After hearing her story I understood the challenge she is facing and my respect for her commitment and great level of service grew. Additionally after the treatment I understand her existing clientele’s resentment!

Yesterday’s You Esthetics may not be on par with the environment you would find in glam city spas, or perhaps it doesn’t feature the absolute top of the line product but what it does have is a gifted esthetician who provides a great level of service.

She has the gift of touch and to me is one of the talents that many estheticians’ lack. I did wish the intense but sensual scalp, facial and upper body massage would have gone on all day long.

And it did go on for what felt like a very long time. The facial products used were refreshing and not overpowering. Hot towels were used between every step in which seemed like a ten step process. Seriously I lost count. When the treatment was finished I was in a daze. A wonderful and completely unexpected blissful daze.

I left feeling elated and confused at what had just occurred but not before I told Amanda how great of a job I thought she was doing. I asked her about the home spa stigma and she assured me it does exist. Enter Groupon. A good way for budding entrepreneurial estheticians to build their clientele list is to offer a discount to draw people in. Otherwise they may never think to book at a home spa. Seems to have worked out in her favour even if she did bite off more that she can chew.

Two things are for certain, practice makes perfect. The reason this home spa works and is successful because of the entrepreneur and talent behind it. And secondly, she has a new client to add to the list. For those of you wanting to give this home spa a try, it may be a bit of a wait but in my opinion it’s worth it.

* Disclaimer: Now I want to be clear that I cannot vouch for all home spa treatments but I definitely recommend this one. What I hope you can gain from this experience is that a good spa treatment can come from somewhere other than traditional spas.

I want to hear from you spa goers:

1. Has anyone else have ever had such a good experience at a home spa?
2. If so, did you purchase treatments through a discounted method such as Groupon?
3. And just out of curiosity who is with me in the laying versus sitting during pedis or is that even a legit question? What do you side with?

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