Thursday 11th July 2019
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - What shaped your decision to become a Therapist?
I have always been interested in the industry and thought it would be something I might enjoy but I was torn between this and another completely different career choice. I tried the other industry for a week’s work experience and it just wasn’t for me. So that was my mind made up and I have never looked back. I honestly think I will always be in the spa and wellness industry.
Q2 - What is the best thing about being a Therapist?
For me it’s I think as Beauty Therapists we are so lucky to have an impact on so many people’s lives, whether it is being able to take the stress away for 40 minutes, a 20 minute ‘therapy’ session during a wax, or being able to be part of someone’s special day in such a small but meaningful way. For some clients, the only time they get to de-stress from their busy lives is when they come to see us for a treat, so I think that is really special and definitely why I continue to love what I do.
Q3 - What do you believe are the most critical character traits of a successful Therapist?
Client care without a doubt! I believe the interest and care you put into your client is just as important as a great treatment! Being able to personalise your treatment to your clients specific needs is one of the best ways to build a loyal client base in my experience.
Q4 - Who has influenced you most throughout your career?
Every day I am surrounded by a group of amazingly talented girls, literally the best therapists I have ever worked with and they continue to inspire me everyday to be the best I can be.
Q5 - What is your favourite treatment to give and why?
Facials. I love the way clients just relax so much into them. You can see the stress leave them, plus you get a chance to help educate them on their skin and help solve issues which I think is so important! But also waxing! I love giving a treatment where the results are instant and gives the client so much more confidence….plus you get to have a good chat which is my favourite part!
Q6 - Do you have any pre or post treatment rituals for protection and self care?
I was always taught to shake my hands off after a massage or facial treatment as a way of shaking off the energy you might have picked up from that client, and I guess that has always been something I have done without even thinking about it. I do believe energy can be passed by touch, particularly during a massage or facial treatment as the client is relaxed and can sometimes get emotional so it is important to protect yourself to prevent taking on any of these energies or emotions.
Q7 - What is your top beauty tip?
Bin the face wipes and avoid sun beds if possible! I’m always telling my friends off for both these things! Care for yourself now and you will reap the benefits later!
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. What do you do to look after yourself?
I think it is really important to know when you need to take some time to yourself and not feel guilty about it! I am definitely someone who likes to always have a to do list and to be productive, I don’t even like staying in bed past a certain time in the morning in fear of wasting the day ( even when I have nothing planned) , so I think sometimes its good to stop and take some time out. I like to take the dog on a long walk or go swimming, anything that just allows your thoughts to flow. Learning when your mind and body is telling you to rest is really important!
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
The awful stigma attached to it that says choosing to be in the industry is the easy option! It is such an old fashion belief and I have spoken to lots of therapists who said they did not get full support from friends and family when choosing to become a Beauty/Spa therapist, and I think this is really sad. This industry is all about passion, hard work and we are always learning! Plus those anatomy and physiology exams were no holiday either!
Q10 - What is the best quote / best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Better a whoopsie than a what if’. I can’t remember who said this to me, but I love it and use it all the time. Years ago I used to walk past the spa I work in now and think I would never be good enough to work there, but one day I saw a job advertisement and just took the plunge and thought what is the worst that could happen? Now 6 years later I am the manager of that same spa and have never looked back!
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book
Harry Potter - all of them. I am a HUGE Harry Potter nerd!
2. What’s your favourite film of all time
Bridget Jones Diary. Always cheers me up! But also, Harry Potter!
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
Oprah! I think her story is so inspiring. There would be loads to talk about plus I feel she would be great at motivating you!
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
The beach! I was born to be by the sea.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
A BBQ! I love eating outside in the garden with friends!
6. Your go to drink is?
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
Chocolate or Jammy Dodgers. We always have a sneaky pack in the office!
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
Ylang Ylang. I think it’s really fresh and uplifting.
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Scalp massage every time! I find it so relaxing and instantly de-stresses me.
10. What’s your favourite flower?
Peonies. They are just so pretty!
11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Close my eyes ha-ha. I am one of those really annoying people who can fall asleep anywhere.
12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Go for a swim!
13. The theme tune to your life is?
Live Forever by Oasis. My all-time favourite song.
14. What makes you laugh to your belly?
Dad jokes! I am a sucker for them.
15. What’s your favourite season?
Summer! I love the sunshine; it instantly puts me in a good mood.
16. What’s your favourite colour?
Pink and Yellow
17. Your favourite time of day is?
That early evening time when you are just settling down after the day and start to relax.
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
A paramedic or nurse! I love the idea of being able to help people like that. But unfortunately, I am so squeamish so would not last long at all.
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
Love Island! I know it’s bad but it’s just so addictive!
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
To be able to sing like Jennifer Hudson. Although I pretend I already can when I’m alone in my car.
Alex Hodges- Spa Manager and Spa Therapist at The Reef Spa, Maidstone, Kent.
Alex has been a Beauty Therapist for a total of 10 years. She has been with the Reef Spa in Kent for 6 years and as well as carrying out treatments Alex also supports the owner in the role as Spa Manager.