Updated: Feb 16
In this month's Members Spotlight east meets west at the foot of Tonbridge Castle. We introduce you to the award winning Aquavie Boutique Spa, the first far eastern themed spa in Tonbridge High Street. Founded back in 2008 by one of the UK’s leading facialists and holistic therapists, our member, Elizabeth Caroline. Elizabeth and her team are passionate about helping their clients to find that place of complete peace and tranquillity, a way to escape from a busy lifestyle. Aquavie offers a truly holistic approach to health and wellbeing while specialising in facials, massage and intimate female waxing, with a team made up of skin care experts, healers, beauticians and highly qualified independent practitioners. All with the same goal: to help their clients to feel better both inside and out. When Elizabeth joined the Delforge Group, firstly we started working on structure and delegation, to ensure that not everything falls on Elizabeth's shoulders. For example, we made sure that her fantastic manager had clear guidelines and a set of responsibilities to support her efficiently.
The procedures at the salon were already robust and steady, which allowed us to go straight into how to drive the salon forward and grow. Having an established budget, stock control and clear vision of what to achieve and when, enabled Elizabeth to focus on growing not only Aquavie but also her lifestyle focused side-business, ensuring she has time for growth too. Next we worked with worked with team using tried and tested retail training to help create a strong retail culture within the spa. This allowed the revenue to become steadier and stronger, while reinforcing the customer journey.
Elizabeth had been running her business incredibly efficiently, she simply needed guidance and support to get to the next level. We achieved this by ensuring the profitability is not only growing month on month, but also by investing into the vision of the business Elizabeth wants to build.
We're delighted to share her Q&A with you:
The best piece of business advice you've ever received that you'd share with another salon owner
Know your figures for every aspect of your business. Your cash flow. Your costs. Your staff's individual performance figures. Make time to check in weekly, monthly and annually to ensure you understand just how well you, your staff and your business is performing. It gives you valuable insight into which aspects have potential for improvement.
If you could go back and change anything or give your younger self some guidance for your business journey, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self that investing in a business consultant is actually the best investment you can make for yourself and your business. Even if you feel the budget won't allow it, make the budget work.
Your favourite thing about being a business owner?
Providing secure jobs for young women starting out in the employment world. In some ways I feel as if I have a responsibility to provide a realistic, inspiring and professional environment in which younger generations can learn just what it takes to be successful in their careers.
And what you find most challenging - and how do you overcome it?
Navigating different work ethics and personalities within your team. You learn very quickly that not everyone you employ has the same drive and determination as you do when it comes to work. It's imperative you learn what motivates people, everyone is different. You also need to be open to being adaptive in your management style with each individual you employ. Being a good manager must always start with you being able to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses first.
Someone or another brand or business in the industry who inspires you and why?
I love any brand or business that can be transparent about the highs and the lows of what running a business is like. We don't always need to be shouting about how well we are doing. I relate most to those that can own their 'entire' business journey and in doing so inspire others to keep going and believe in themselves. Open honesty catches my attention every time.
What do you love about being a Delforge Member, would you recommend us to other salon owners and why?
I love the honest support that Valerie and the team provide. Valerie gets you thinking out of the box. She motivates you to look at everything you are doing with microscopic detail. She highlights where you are preventing growth within your business. But most of all it's her ethos and integrity I love, she genuinely has this deep rooted desire to help all of her clients be the best version of themselves.
Find out more about our Membership Services here.