DAYSPA Founder Deborah Carver Speaks at Repêchage's Annual Champagne Power Lunch

From left to right: Lydia Sarfati, Deborah Carver and Dori Soukup

Industry leaders gathered to hear beauty business veterans discuss current and future spa and salon trends.

On Monday, December 7, beauty professionals from across the globe came together for Repêchage’s annual networking Champagne Power Lunch at the company's headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. Attendees were treated to bubbly and brunch while they listened to industry pros dish on trends and ways to boost businesses and think outside of the box in the coming months and years. Guests included president of Intercoiffure America/Canada, Lois Christie; Dr. Joel Gerson, author of Milady's publications; and beauty pros from as far afield as Poland, Romania and India.

The morning kicked off with DAYSPA’s own Deborah Carver, CEO and founder of Creative Age Publications, whose Consumer Trends in Beauty and Spa presentation encouraged guests to think about how to cater to the millennial generation. “There are enormous changes taking place,” explained Carver. “The way we’re servicing people today is not the way we’re going to service people tomorrow and in the future.” Carver emphasized the importance of getting on the same page as the millennials by: staying current and reading trade and consumer magazines; learning celebrity trends; focusing on wellness and organic arenas, including cruelty-free products and environmentally responsible practices; and keeping up with technology and social media. “You have to talk to millennials in their language and capture them that way,” she stressed. “Millennials respond to visual cues. Get out your iPads and show them what you do, set up an Instagram account, and make sure appointments and deals are tech-friendly.”

Carver suggested further business-building strategies for spas and salons, including partnering with dermatologists, and yoga and Pilates studios; guiding millennials with their at-home regimens; offering quick “in-and-out” mini-treatments; and striving for decor that appeals to both men and women. Although Carver’s discussion focused mainly on the millennial generation, she also encouraged audience members not to forget about the baby boomer and Gen X clientele. “The millennials are your future, but remember where your bread-and-butter is coming from right now,” she says.

InSPAration Management president and CEO Dori Soukup offered up innovative and cost-effective marketing tips in her lecture, entitled Economical Marketing Strategies. “Marketing is No. 1 in my eyes,” she said. “If you don’t do marketing, no one is going to know you exist.” Soukup spoke of the importance of segmenting a business’s database by age group so that marketing can be tailored to each individual. She pointed out the power of leveraging social media such as Facebook, giving the example of contents and giveaways, which can drive traffic to spas’ and salons’ websites (and, if users have to input their contact information, generate marketing leads). Other tools she cited: team cross-marketing, and creating YouTube video tutorials and testimonials. “Dare to be different,” she urged. “There are so many economical marketing strategies that don’t have to cost a lot of money. If you implement these simple yet effective methods, you’ll be able to generate leads and turn them into clients without breaking the bank.”

To conclude the seminar, Repêchage founder and president Lydia Sarfati presented Beauty Trends and Creating the Ultimate Service Experience, which covered trends and fads, and how to connect with clients. She encouraged the audience to stay in the know about fads such as the so-called “vampire facial”, “fermented beauty” and gluten-free skin care, and trends that are here to stay, such as masks, pore cleansing and customization.

With the latter, she touched on the importance of tailoring each service to the specific area of the body and increasing revenue by multi-tasking and offering several treatments simultaneously. She explained that beauty pros must put a tray out in front of their clients with all product recommendations and let them know the essential three they must take home based on their skin conditions. “A healthy business has to be 50% retail and 50% service,” explained the industry veteran.

Sarfati finished the day by chatting about building a connection with clients, emphasizing that they should never be told “no” and that first impressions—and your staff—can make or break a business. “You must have a great team behind you—without it, it’s difficult to grow,” she says. “It’s like dancing the cha-cha, you take 10 steps forward and 10 steps back—you’re not going anywhere!”

Sarfati also spoke about the event's importance, saying, ”To educate, motivate and celebrate is what the Repêchage Power Lunch is all about. Each year, we look forward to providing our distinguished guests a chance to network with fellow spa and salon industry leaders and to learn from industry experts about the most forward-thinking trends and business strategies to explore and implement in the coming year.”—Molly Church