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Oasis Day Spas in New York City have developed into a premiere beauty and wellness business. The original location opened in Union Square in 1998, and the following year was named ‘Best New Day Spa’ by New York Magazine. In 2008, Oasis opened in Westchester County, its first spa outside New York City, and has been named ‘Best Day Spa’ in Westchester as well as ‘Spa of the Decade’ for four straight years. In addition, Oasis does more charity work than any spa in the country with strong alliances with Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society and the MS Society.
MO: How has your background contributed to the development, vision and success of Oasis Day Spas?
Bruce: As my main area of expertise is in marketing, I have been able to fully understand the services and products we offer, and identify the target market that needs them. In addition, I have always possessed strong leadership qualities, and the ability to build a strong team around me to support my weaknesses. I have a very healthy respect for the intellect of the consumer, who cannot be fooled more than once. Being genuine and respecting your customer has always been my guiding principle.
MO: What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned about building a brand?
Bruce: You need to stand for something that is real, especially focusing on the needs of the customer. See what interests your consumer and be ready to evolve the brand to meet those needs.
MO: In a city that is inundated with spas, how do you manage to stay ahead of the competition?
Bruce: We concentrate on being the best we can be, and not focus on our competition — except to learn from their successes and failures. The biggest challenge now for any business is the economic health of your customer, and to focus on keeping costs in check. Being a non-essential service in the eyes of the mainstream consumer is challenging in a Groupon meets Lifebooker world.
MO: What are some trends in the spa industry that you’re currently excited about?
Bruce: That wellness is being emphasized a lot more and that means being able to offer services that help inspire living a better lifestyle and that focus primarily on health.
MO: What inspired the launch of your new hair salon, Maximus Clark? What kind of reviews and feedback have you been receiving so far?
Bruce: Sometimes the planets do decide to align themselves, and present a business with a great opportunity to add great people and exciting new services. Cody Hepworth is a superstar hair stylist who became a free agent so to speak at the very time Oasis was looking to re-brand our hair services. The reviews are off the chart, and in less than a month a buzz is already starting to happen.
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Bruce: Well I guess it would be the leap of faith (plenty of research went into it) in starting Oasis Day Spa, being married only a year and with a baby on the way. I am very blessed to be married to an extraordinary woman who had a vision, and inspired me to create Oasis with her. With all the challenges of the last few years I still wouldn’t change anything, and my positive attitude tells me Oasis will thrive for a long time to come.
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