Lindsay Goertzen has always loved being pampered. When visiting family in Kelowna, back in the days when she was a paramedic living in Manitoba, a spa visit was usually on the agenda.
Occasionally, however, there were challenges. Like booking a party of friends or relatives for a treatment all at the same time. Lindsay commented on this, about a year ago, off-handedly suggesting that it would be nice if the spa could come to her.
The comment tweaked something in her brother, Jeffrey Bunn, who had just graduated with a business degree from Okanagan College. He went home and started researching only to find that, while novel, it certainly wasn’t an original idea. Spas that come to you are actually quite popular in Australia and England.
A plan was hatched and, just this spring, Aura Beauty was born.
“We’re not trying to be the spa,” Lindsay explained. “The spa is great for getting out and relaxing. Aura Beauty offers a comfortable atmosphere with friends.”
The service has already proved popular for bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, small corporate events and employee incentive programs, or just a girls’ night out.
“Girls don’t always need an excuse to get together and pamper themselves,” Lindsay pointed out. “Women often get together for parties like Tupperware. But with this kind of spa party you don’t have to buy anything.”
While the professional products the aestheticians use are available to purchase, it is not a sales party.
Spa packages are available for up to eight people, and each person pays for a block of time – 45, 60 or 75 minutes – and not by the service. That might mean filling a 60-minute block with one head to toe massage, or breaking it up into a 15-minute eye brow shaping followed by a 15-minute hand and arm massage and a 30-minute express manicure. And everyone can do something different.
Other options include facials, make-up application and a hot stone foot treatment.
Because there’s no overhead, since they come to you, their prices are more inexpensive than most traditional spas.
While neither Lindsay nor Jeffrey have a background in aesthetics – aside from being regular spa patrons – the aestheticians they retain are all fully qualified. That leaves Lindsay to take care of the operations and Jeffrey the strategy side of the business.
Still, it’s a big leap from what Lindsay originally assumed was her life career – treating people medically. But three years ago, when she was visiting her Kelowna family with her new baby girl, Lindsay got sick and was hospitalized for a gallbladder attack that came with serious complications. She was in the hospital for four months, prompting her husband to quit his job, sell their home and move to the Okanagan to join her.
“We’ve had a huge lifestyle change,” Lindsay shared.
“At first I was depressed, but now I think everything happens for a reason. If there was any place I had to move, I’m glad it was here. I’m glad it turned out the way it did. It’s awesome how you think you can control your life but there are other plans.”
One of the mandates Aura Beauty espouses is healthy beauty.
“The vision of the whole company is beauty on the inside and outside. We want to make women feel good about themselves – a healthy beauty,” Jeffrey said.
With that influence in mind, Lindsay chooses professional products that are as local and as natural as possible, and preferably organic (they plan to introduce their own line of products in the next six months). And the girls they hire need to have other interests besides aesthetics.
“We want them to have a balanced life, with volunteer work. We like to give back to the community,” Lindsay said.
Every month Aura Beauty chooses a different charity to give back to. And not always financially – they also do hands-on volunteer work, and encourage community involvement.
All about mixing pleasure with business, Lindsay has also had fun coming up with promotions for the foundling business, as well. During the month of May, Aura Beauty offered a Sex in the City package, with feather boas and wigs for the girls, and two tickets to the movie for the hostess.
We have a feeling that Carrie and her friends would approve – and maybe even book a party of their own. And just think of the things they would gossip about.
“We want to encourage social interaction. We want everyone to be in the same room, laughing and having a good time,” Lindsay said.
The Pear Tree recently crashed a spa party held by a small group of staff from Manteo Resort*, in one of the resort condos. And that’s exactly what we saw.
“It was amazing,” said Dana Crichton, Manteo’s director of sales and organizer of the pampering fete. “For us, a group of eight, we couldn’t do something like this anywhere else. And we could bring our own snacks, some wine, and relax and enjoy ourselves, at ease to talk as we want.”
For many of us, that’s an essential part of being pampered.
Aura Beauty has generously offered to give away a pampering basket to one of our readers. In it is:
A $25 gift certificate towards a spa party
SpaBinge Organics Body Scrub in rare white grapefruit scent
SpaBinge Organics Lotion in rare white grapefruit scent
Glass nail file
To enter this draw, leave a comment below.
For extra entries (up to a maximum of 4), you can also Tweet, Facebook or blog about the giveaway before Tuesday (June 15) morning. (But don’t forget you must comment here with your blog, Twitter or Facebook details so that we know). A winner will be randomly chosen Tuesday (June 15) morning, 9 a.m., and announced here.
Thank you so much for your comments everyone! Our randomly drawn winner for the Aura Beauty gift basket is Nicole! We will be in touch shortly to work out details of getting your prize to you. Keep reading, everyone, and watching for more fun giveaways to come!
– Story and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier
*A big thank-you to the beautiful ladies at Manteo Resort, who let us crash their party with our camera!