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Ritual Spa

Ritual Spa

Name of Spa: (The Ultra Chic) Ritual Tanning Salon & Spa; Ritual2 Hair, Skin & Body; Blow & Go Bar, Toronto, Ontario
Opened Since: October 2002 and July 2006
Hours of Operation: Ritual: Mon-Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5. Ritual2: Tues-Fri 12-8, Sat 10-6
Type of Spa: Day Spa; Tanning Salon; Nail Bar and Waxing; Hair Salon & Blow Out Bar
Size of Spa: Each space is 1,300 square feet
Number of Employees: 17
Number of Treatment Rooms in Addition to Beauty Bars: 4
Types of Treatments Offered:Full spa services (men too!). Famous for the Brazilian wax.Business Stats:
Management Education: Spas2b Inc.
Spa Program used: Milano Spa and Salon
Staff Compensation Method: Hourly + Commission
Product Lines Used: Dermalogica; Kevin Murphy; L’Oreal Professional; I Love My Muff; OPI
Top 3 selling services: Brazilian Wax, Pedicure, Blow Out
Contact Information: maria@ritual.ca

Your valued advice to those opening/operating a spa:

Do your homework! Learn and understand all the financial aspects of running your business. Take management courses to teach you how to effectively lead your team. Research and become an expert on every service and product you offer. Be passionate about what you are getting involved in; if you’re anything short of eating, breathing and sleeping your business in the beginning, it will fail. If you are that passionate, it will show and you will infect everyone around you with that passion and cultivate a winning team!

“Rediscover the magic in everyday life”

This is the tag line on all print media and within the website, and is the philosophy by which Ritual lives. Everyday life can be magical if you take the time to appreciate the beauty in it.

Maria and Bruna decided to open their own business, because they wanted to create an environment in which they could enjoy their daily work lives. Because they were image conscious and passionate about anything related to beauty, fashion, music and design, the idea of owning their own funky spa was a perfect fit for them. They envisioned a place where busy urbanites could take a short pause and attend to the maintenance of their appearance. Foreseeing the transformation of the trendy King Street West neighborhood in Toronto, the girls found a space and created their beauty oasis—Ritual. Almost immediately Ritual became a hit. It’s a cool, fun place to get your services or a tan, and socialize with the hip King West crowd.

They insisted on providing a pleasurable experience, with an environment so welcoming,
that it would become a ritual.

They’re cool like that…

Their vision included offering the high caliber services they themselves demanded, but without charging a fortune for them – and they would do it in a space that was airy, clean and modern…with amazing design. Another key part of their vision came from their years of working as bartenders in the service industry. They wanted to provide guests with over the top attentive customer service, treating everyone like personal friends. They felt that there was an overwhelming lack of customer service in many of the salons and spas they went to, and knew they had to do things differently. This approach has worked for them and their salon and spa has become very successful, with their name synonymous with great services; great staff and a fun, relaxed and welcoming environment.

A surfacing business trend became their “Formula”

Ritual built their business model on a 3-sided approach: high quality services; reasonable prices; and short amounts of time. Carefully combined; developed; and executed, this trio of business strategies has produced outstanding results. In the traditional spa model, weekdays can prove to be difficult to fill, but with this very logical and well thought-out approach to spa-ing, Maria and Bruna hold the secret to clients knocking down their spa doors! Their number one service year after year, is their Brazilian wax; clearly successful in no small part due to the fact that it takes under 10 minutes to complete!

They also attribute a large part of their success over the past 7 years, to their staff. Believing they are nothing without their team, and not being service providers themselves, Bruna and Maria depend entirely on their team to deliver the absolute best services to their clients. “We have been extremely lucky, having amazing staff over the years, with many being the original to the business”. But, it has been no small feat. Being firm believers in the “team” they have worked tirelessly at managing everyone individually, but also as a team, for the greatest success of the spa and salon. Managing staff has been the biggest challenge for them, as they had no prior management experience whatsoever! The three biggest lessons they say they’ve learned in managing their staff have been:

a) Not to take things personally and to not manage emotionally;
b) Everyone is an individual and has to be managed according to their individual needs;
c) Stay focused on the vision and if that unfortunately means you have to let someone go, if you remain true to your vision, a better candidate will come along.

High profile exposure is the result of diligent marketing efforts

They have always prided themselves on staying on the cutting edge; offering the absolute latest in services and products. Ritual was one of the first “Nail Bars” in Toronto; one of the first Spas in their neighborhood to carry Dermalogica; and one of the first Blow Out Bars in Toronto. Their marketing is done in-house and they have been explosively successful in obtaining outstanding press coverage by various magazines such as Flare, Fashion, Elle and Toronto Life; and newspapers such as the Toronto Star, Eye Weekly, Now and the National Post. They’ve had write ups on various blogs and websites and their salon has also been featured on the program ETalk that airs on CTV and Global News.

The winds of change are blowing…

While currently occupying two spaces, two doors apart, and offering full Spa and Salon services, including Registered Massage Therapy for both women and men between the two locations; their plan for the next year is to amalgamate and offer all of their services under one roof.

Their goal is “To be the go-to salon for everything beauty, head to toe” – literally!

This year, they found that developing a clear, concise financial picture of their business in order to determine the next step in their growth, proved to be an incredible eye opener and of tremendous value in assessing their businesses strengths and challenges. “The Financial Planning Management Tools that we chose have given us a never before insight into our business, and have been and will continue to be invaluable to us”.

In being an entrepreneur, you are forced to wear many hats and learn new skills.

Lack of business knowledge will unfortunately cause mistakes along the way, and
in business you pay for your mistakes in cash!

But resiliency and a true entrepreneurial spirit has kept them passionate and excited to turn the page and keep growing! After 7 1/2 years, Maria and Bruna are very excited to be armed with the tools and the knowledge they’ve gained, to take them successfully into the next stage of their business.

About Leslie

Spas2b Inc. is a full service Spa Development company, specializing in Online Spa Management Distance Learning Courses, Spa Business Manual Instant Downloads & Resources, and Spa Consulting Services.
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