Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Not to point fingers, but...

I just had to share this anecdote. I used to share an esthetician with another spa. It's another Saratoga spa, yes, but it will go unnamed in this blog. However, there aren't THAT many of us, so I am sure the astute will figure it out.

This particular esthetician told me that when she reported to work at the other spa, her colleagues would ask her how it was to work at Pavia. And this esthetician, let's name her something anonymous - how about Jane - would respond, "It's great! We actually get to use real products in the backbar/facial rooms." And her fellow estheticians would ask her, "You mean to say that the owner there lets you use Jan Marini on clients? During facials?" You see, the embarrassing truth is, that at this other spa, they don't actually use Jan Marini or branded products in their backbar.

They SAY they do, they tell the clients that they use it, so that when you come out of the facial, they can say, "Oh, this C-Esta Serum is what I used on you." When, in fact, it wasn't. I only feel I can make this public now because this spa no longer uses Jan Marini, and has gone all private-label, but it is another example of "take something that is worth $5 and pretend it is worth $50." I guess that is smart business, right? I just can't do it. I can't lie, or ask others to lie, about the products being used on a client's skin.

Imagine: a client is handing you money to perform a service. There is a trust involved there, and to me, that's almost sacred. You can't just slather on stuff that's cheap and tell them it's expensive. If that's how you're supposed to make money in this business, well, then....I guess I'm not supposed to be in this business.

It's one thing to say, "Well, we DIDN'T use Jan Marini, but Jan Marini is what I am recommending for you." It's another to just lie about it. Apparently that happened all the time at this particular venue. Caveat: I am going on hearsay, although my sources were plentiful and all internally consistent. Yes, I used to hire ex-employees of this spa, and they were only too thrilled to come work for me, contrasting it between Heaven and ...that other place.

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