Thursday, February 03, 2011

Have Spa, Will Travel: An Interview with I Do Spas

A couple of months ago I heard about this unique business here in Maine. I Do Spas is Maine's first mobile day spa. Instead of going to a salon on your wedding day—or taking a group of gals to the spa for your bachelorette party or bridal shower—I Do Spas owner Jody Newman and her team of professionals will come to you! I thought this was such a brilliant idea that I couldn't wait to find out more about Jody and her business. I discovered that she is an inspiring example of ingenuity and persistence. Jody was kind enough to agree to share her story with me so I could share it with you!

What's your background and what led you to start I Do Spas?
I am a nail technician, and also have my art degree and design & marketing degree. This has helped me to create all of our advertising material and design of our web site. I was the lead nail technician at the Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta, Maine for a few years and while there we did some bachelorette parties and wedding hair. But everyone was in different rooms and they all seemed to want to have more of their family and friends with them, which we could not accommodate due to availability of staff and size of rooms.

So I did some research to see about traveling spas in Maine and there was no one doing it. I did a broader search in the United States and found a company out west that had been doing the traveling spa part but not wedding day services. So I put a staff, equipment, and products together, and did a mock spa party at a friend's house. The event was such a big success and hit that when I went back into work the next day I gave my notice. The start of I Do Spas was launched.

What are some of the benefits of a traveling spa?
There are a lot of benefits to a traveling spa, such as families that are traveling from out of state that get to all stay together at the vacation location and have their services come right to them. The bridal party does not have to spend the whole day at a salon not knowing if they are going to be on time for the wedding. We create a relaxing atmosphere and the brides and bridesmaids are relaxed and enjoy the services. We also provide on-site spa services for a lot of bachelorette parties, girl's nights in, birthday parties, employee incentive days, the list goes on. This is a much better choice than going out to the bars for bridal parties: they all get to have spa treatments, relax with our lush robes and slippers while having a few drinks, great food, and wonderful company.


How do you select your bridal hair and makeup professionals?
The stylists and makeup artists that I Do Spas hires must have a portfolio to be granted an interview. Once that has been established, an interview along with a trial hair and makeup is performed on a model. Once that is passed, they then go out on an event with supervision, and then they are booked for our future weddings.

I see that you offer lots of services—massages, facials, manicures, bridal up-dos, make-up, pedicures—what is your most popular service?
It is hard to say what our most popular service is. For wedding days it would be hair and makeup. For spa parties all services are very popular.

Do you have any plans for new services or expansion in the coming months?
We do not have any plans for new services in the near future. Because of the quality of services we offer we have something for everyone. That is not to say that we would not offer new services in the future if there is a demand. We are always looking to improve and grow.

What do you see as the current trends in your field?
I believe that brides are looking for ways to improve on their special day and to take away any undue stress. Also convenience is a current trend and I Do Spas addresses that trend and will continue to do so.

What's your favorite thing about working with brides-to-be?
One of my favorite things about working with brides-to-be is that offering these new on-site services for them takes all the worry away from them. It's a great feeling being able to make their special day go smoothly and seeing how happy they are. The brides are also relieved to see how happy their bridesmaids and family are. It's such a great feeling for them and creates wonderful memories.

Okay, time to brag! I noticed that you were a Best of Wedding Winner in 2011 at The Knot—the Top Maine Wedding Vendor for makeup artists and hair stylists! Congratulations!! Do you have any other recent accomplishments you'd like to share with us?
We were in January's Down East Magazine as one of their 24 reasons to get married in Maine. We were also chosen by Real Maine Weddings Magazine as top spa to partner with for Maine's Wedding Of The Year 2011. I Do Spas made the 2011 HOT LIST. The Hot List is made up of wedding professionals that received the top reviews on momentville.com

I Do Spas was also responsible for the new law in 2009 allowing in-home spa services.

Wait, what do you mean you were responsible for a law?
Initially we were only allowed to do on-site spa treatments in hotels, B&B's, motels, camps, and jails, but not in private homes. So I called my area rep and I wrote a new law which he introduced. We had hearings and then finally a vote was taken and passed. It took a little over a year for the whole process, but it was well worth it.

Wow! Way to overcome obstacles to achieve your goals! Very inspiring!


How can people get in touch with you to book your services?

There are many ways to book services with us. Call me at 207-441-0008, email at info@idospas.com, we have a form on our web site, and our Facebook page. All of these contacts are usually checked at least 3 times a day, so I always get back to the inquiries that day or the next morning.
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Thanks so much, Jody! If you'd like to see more of I Do Spas and keep up with Jody, you can see their videos online at Facebook and YouTube. I Do Spas is also on Twitter and they have a blog, too!

4 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful interview, and what a great business model. My friend, Cinnamon Bowser, owns Nail Taxi, a mobile nail spa. She started in the DC area and now has franchises in New York, Atlanta and other states where mobile nail services are allowed. It's very exciting. I wish Jody the best, and thank you for sharing this inspiring story!

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  2. Thanks, dM! It was great getting to know more about what Jody does. I found it really inspiring that she was able to work with "the system" to change it, helping to rewrite a law to open doors not just for herself but for other similar businesses. And of course it's always nice to see someone working a niche!

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  3. What an awesome small business that is doing beautiful work and created jobs for Maine people!

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  4. They're terrific, aren't they, Angela? Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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