Pulse November/December 2021 | Page 35

“ I cannot imagine how difficult this time has been on vendors with so many spas closed and so many sources of revenue just falling off .”

evolve as staffing shortages and sky-high demand put added strain on teams that are already stretched thin .
Adapt and Evolve
Like a large number of her industry colleagues , Megan Jasper — director of marketing and operations at Gadabout Salon Spas — is quick to sing the praises of her resource partners ’ efforts during the pandemic . “ Our resource partners have been so awesome with us . They haven ’ t held us to the fire about making purchases or anything like that ,” Jasper says . “ They ’ ve just [ said ], ‘ Whatever you need . Do you need us to do education and it ’ s all going to be virtual ? What can we do ?’ Our resource partners have just truly been partners through all of this . For that I ’ m so grateful .”
At Red Mountain Resort , home of Sagestone Spa in Ivins , Utah , Director of Spa and Wellness Marci Howard- May expresses a similar sentiment , citing several specific adjustments resource partners have made to assist the spa in one area or another , including changes to the traditional retail sales arrangements they had with Sagestone . “ I ’ ve been really impressed with those [ vendors ] that have been able to offer retail online where they didn ’ t before because they wanted to keep [ products ] exclusive to the spa ,” Howard-May says . She adds that because various vendors were able to offer her spa a percentage of guests ’ online product purchases similar to what she was receiving on in-spa purchases , she ’ s been able to reduce inventory significantly , which is a welcome simplification for her on the operational side of things .
In addition , Howard-May ’ s resource partners came through by offering readily available virtual training and providing the spa with pre-made marketing materials for their products . Given the demands often placed on timestarved spa leaders at the moment , they are sure to appreciate the hours saved by those types of actions .“ Most spa directors , I ’ m finding we have all got more on our plates than ever before . Unfortunately , I just don ’ t have as much time to sit and be creative because I ’ m dealing with the day-in , day-out so heavily ,” she says .
Though spa leaders have obviously faced all manner of strain on their time throughout the pandemic , the past handful of months have likely seen that strain increase in some ways , as the elimination of occupancy restrictions , high levels of demand for spa services and staffing challenges leave leaders , service providers and other staff with precious little opportunity to set aside time for wholeteam training or the development of enticing product displays . Those resource partners able to remain flexible and meet the changing needs of their spa partners are providing aid that Marci Howard-May describes as “ lifesaving .”
Challenges On Both Sides
Not all resource partners , of course , have been able to provide the kind of support that Megan Jasper and Marci Howard-May describe . After all , the same disruptions that have affected spas so profoundly have also had an enormous impact on resource partner businesses . “ I cannot imagine how difficult this time has been on vendors with so many spas closed and so many sources of revenue just falling off . That has been a challenge , obviously , for both sides ,” says Howard-May . Still , when resource partners face challenges related to staffing or manufacturing and the supply chain , the spas with whom they may have had longstanding relationships are forced into awkward situations .