The Power Behind the Spa - An esthetician’s transitional journey to the entrepreneurs’ worldJun 22, 2015 09:11AM ● By Cory Batelaan
By Klaudia Balogh
Going to work day after day and loving every aspect of it isn’t a common mindset for a lot of people. However, it certainly is for Georgie Pailes, owner of The Spa at ’Tween Waters, part of the ’Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa on Captiva Island.
“What I love the most are the people,” Pailes says without hesitation. “It’s like a family here at the spa. We know most of our clients, what they like and how they like services done.”
Although she started as an esthetician working at the old, smaller spa at ’Tween Waters Inn, Pailes has become a businesswoman by following her aspirations and working hard to make the spa special—much more than a place for manis and pedis. About a year after she started, Jeff Shuff, CFO of ’Tween Waters Inn, approached her about helping to expand the spa. He was looking for someone to really take charge of it. Pailes knew she was the woman for the job, so she put together a business plan and set out to convince Shuff of that.
“I bothered the management on a regular basis,” she admits. “I wrote a business plan and kept bothering them until they accepted it.”
You know that you are doing great work when your clientele follows you wherever you go for more than 14 years, Pailes says of her faithful customers.For six years, Pailes has worked, with the talented staff she trained, in the new facility, which was built specifically to house the spa. The Spa at ’Tween Waters is the only one on Captiva and Sanibel islands that has an entire building designed for pampering guests. When spa-goers step into the lobby, they can’t help but instantly feel relaxed and transported to another world. The soft lighting, relaxing music, fresh flowers and calming natural colors create a getaway atmosphere.
Working at a spa where you are surrounded by soothing scents and colors, the temptation to get pampered can be inevitable, and Pailes gives in every now and then and treats herself. “I get my hair done or get manicures and pedicures when my time allows me to,” Pailes admits.
Being in the beauty industry as an esthetician for almost two decades has given her invaluable experience, which her clients recognize. Although she is the owner of the spa, she is not the kind of boss who sits back and gives out tasks and yells for coffee. On the contrary, she still does hands-on work, such as facials and massages, as part of the team. You know that you are doing great work when your clientele follows you wherever you go for more than 14 years, Pailes says of her faithful customers.
She says the spa didn’t always have a regular clientele. She worked hard to attract locals and vacationers by giving out free services and donating gift cards around the islands. “I think it’s the positive, happy environment that keeps our clients coming back season after season,” Pailes says. “No matter what service they might choose, it is a recipe for a stress-free hour or so.”
Klaudia Balogh is an editorial assistant for TOTI Media.