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Interview with Hady Wenham

Written by Nadia McCracken on May 29th, 2014.      0 comments

1. With a background in the travel industry and marketing, what inspired you to enter the beauty industry and create your first Forme Spa in 2002?

Hady: Having a small daughter, I was looking for a business opportunity that would allow me some flexibility in work hours in an industry that I enjoyed.  Being a loyal client it was a natural fit, and there was also the potential to expand the business.

2. Did you find the transition into the beauty industry easy? What was your biggest challenge?

Hady: No, I wouldn’t say it was easy!  After working in the corporate world where there is a very different pace and drive and people were much more target/goal driven so  it took a little while to adjust to the beauty industry where the drivers were more about nurturing and caring for clients. 

Hady pic 2(copy)
3. What advice do you have for someone starting off and dreaming of owning their own spa?  

Hady: Think very hard about it.  Running a spa takes a completely different skill set to being a beauty therapist, and often great therapists want to take the next step but don’t realise their day will be filled with administrative issues and managing staff which is probably not what they went into the beauty industry to do.  I’ve seen plenty of accounts for businesses where the owner earns considerably less than they would managing a spa for someone else and they also have the burden of the stress of ownership to boot.  Often these business close down or are virtually given away when the owner realises it just isn’t worth it.  It is wonderful seeing clients walk out the door happy and the feeling that the spa you own created that, but there is a lot to consider rather than just what the décor and logo will look like.  If your eyes are open and you feel that your passion lies in business management – managing staff, driving sales and business logistics – then it could just be a great move for you! 
4. What are the qualities you look for in a Forme Spa team member?

Hady: Passion for the industry, drive to achieve, great people skills, and of course a nice touch.  We can train lots of things but you need these basics to succeed with us.  For management we look for quite a different additional skill set, and we use psychometric assessments to qualify candidates to meet the profiles we think best fit our culture.
5. How do you value and look after your team? 

Hady: We offer a huge number of employee perks!  Free treatments every month, a kitty for each spa to go out and party/relax with, incentives each month for great prizes, special events like our Christmas dinner at the Langham hotel were we brought up our Wellington and Hamilton staff to stay at the hotel and join our Auckland team for an exclusive dinner, and random acts like the $100 Westfield voucher to all staff who had been with us a year. 
6. What qualities helped Forme Spas to grow as successfully as it has, from one location in May 2002 to present 10 day spas in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington?

Hady: Lots of hard work!  Coming from a business background I had a good financial understanding and set up from the start robust accounting practices that enabled a clear picture of the business performance at any time.  We invested in our brand right from the start and then tried always to do the best we could for our clients and staff.
7. Where would you like to be in 2 years time?

Hady: We will continue to grow and push the envelope to trying to be the best day spa group possible.  Innovation is key and we have a number of projects in the pipeline.
8. What inspired you to start Spa Solutions - and what made you choose the product lines you represent?

Hady: Before we started Spa Solutions we were buying a very significant volume of product from a local distributor who felt that all client should buy at the same price regardless of volume.  Frustration with this policy lead me to look at alternatives offshore where I discovered Bioelements in the USA. On being appointed as the sole distributor for NZ (and their very first international distributor although now the product is distributed globally) we found having control of how the product is positioned in the market has been a huge bonus to us.  This lead us to seek a European luxury brand to complement and we were successful in obtaining the NZ distribution rights to the gorgeous Babor range from Germany.
9. Did you seek advice, and who was your biggest inspiration?

Hady: Not really, although I have met some great people along the way that have contributed to our growth, but the biggest driver was looking at other industries and other spas overseas and never being complacent.
10. You are a real success and testimony to our industry, if there is one thing that could sum up your success to date, what is it? 

Hady: Thank you!  Never stand still – always question whether what you are doing is the best option and look for new and improved ways to run the business. 

If you're passionate about the industry and keen to join the Forme Spa team, visit:
 Hady pic1




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