Name: Agnieszka Lachuev-Spa/Salon Director of SPA Intercontinental Los Angeles
Years in the Wellness/Beauty Industry: 8 years
How did you choose a career in the Wellness industry? “I started my path in the spa industry in San Francisco as a spa receptionist. I stayed to grow in our industry because of the people. The great environment and the impact I saw our therapists having on our guests inspired me to grow into my role today.”
Greatest reward of doing the work?“Trust from my staff. They trust me and are willing to follow my lead. Consequently, I have very low employee turnover.”
Top two things you wish or would like to change in the industry? First. I think more professional training needs to be involved in the education process. Not only more technical knowledge but the soft skills of the role of therapists. The main challenge is that Massage Therapist often see themselves as healers and neglect the other elements of their job. For example, making home care recommendations and work together towards the overall financial success of the spa/salon business. At times the Massage Therapist can give the impression they think they are the “special ones” on the spa team. I think everyone is special on the team and equally important. Next, I think the attitude or approach towards gratuity could use a reform. At times the entitled attitude or expectations around gratuities can be very challenging to handle since we cannot control the outcome.”
Most Memorable Tip: “I got $20 while working at a Spa/Salon Attendant for making the guests feel really welcomed and comfortable, they said they would give me $100 if they had it. “
Who is your Mentor and why? Catherine Gray, my previous Spa Director in San Francisco, is my mentor. Under her leadership I learned to keep my integrity intact while leading with a soul and caring for my staff. She has strong beliefs while being nurturing and grounded. She was easy to relate to and gave clear directions. I thrived under her leadership and was promoted within 6 months of joining the spa team.