When I left the legal world in 2005 little did I know that in 2020 I would be creating an At Home Facial during Covid-19!
In 2010 I set up Chamomile Sanctuary, a beauty Spa in Alva St in the West End of Edinburgh. The idea was to create a personal, luxurious beauty spa in the centre of Edinburgh offering high-end spa and beauty treatments. However, instead of celebrating our 10 year anniversary this month the Spa has been closed and I have been inventing a new product.
When we had to close our doors on 20th March this year due to Covid-19, like many of us, it was a stressful and upsetting time. Initially the first few weeks were spent dealing with suppliers, invoicing, staffing, applying for grants, crunching numbers, and many other administrative matters. All my staff were furloughed except me.
However, after a number of weeks watching the number of deliveries arriving in my street I wondered if there was something that I could actually do to bring in revenue whilst the spa was closed. Although we have a shop online for product sales, it was not used particularly much by our clients as they normally purchase the products when they’re in the spa. I decided, therefore, to create a personal home delivery service of products to our clients in the EH1 to EH12 postcode. It worked a treat with many of my clients wanting to support our business throughout this time and it also continued the connection with our clients especially when there was the opportunity to have a socially distanced chat at their door and a catch up!
I still felt though that there must be something else I could be doing to bring in revenue. This is where WeDo came in. WeDo is a fantastic organisation for SMEs and Belinda Roberts who runs this has been supporting the members during the lockdown in many different ways including online events covering many topics such as employment issues, marketing your business during Covid-19, how not to hibernate, navigating Linkedin etc. There were also brainstorming sessions every week where members could bounce things off each other and find solutions.
In one of those brainstorming meetings it was evident that I was in the minority in that my revenue had been reduced to practically nil compared to many other businesses. From this Belinda arranged for me to have a one-to-one brainstorming session with Liz Hoskin and Pete Higgins and what a difference this made!
We thrashed around many ideas and from this came the idea of providing a facial at home for my clients. So off I went after the meeting to try and create a product, and many weeks later I now have Chamomile at Home Medik8 Facials.
Although there are some products out there at the moment offering some form of facial kits at home, Chamomile at Home is quite different. Effectively we deliver to our clients all of the professional products normally required in the Spa for a Medik8 Facial. This consists of about 9 professional products together with a mitt and sponge. Clients are then given a password with a link to a 1 hour video where our therapist talks them through the facial including how to apply the products as well as being given some skincare advice. All products are numbered so the client knows exactly what product to apply, when and for how long.
The new product has been received well by our clients and I’m delighted with the end results especially with our new branded Chamomile at Home boxes. It means that clients can continue having facials at home thus still looking after their skin as well as socially distance.
When we reopen the Spa the intention is to continue to offer this At Home Product as I believe there may well be some clients who simply don’t want to come into the spa for a facial given the current climate and the close proximity of having a facial with a therapist in person. It means that clients can continue to look after their skin from a distance.
As the product has been so popular I am in the process of adding some other facials to Chamomile at Home giving more of a variety of facials such as Aromatherapy Associates and Guinot. Thereafter, as an alternative, we will be offering all of these Facials with one-to-one Zoom appointments with a therapist so the clients can actually speak with a therapist, ask questions and also get bespoke advice on their skin as well as guidance on carrying out the facial at home.
We’ve already had orders for birthday and thank you presents and I do believe going forward that this product will still be in demand even once we get back to some form of normality, whatever that may be!
Who would’ve known that in this crisis, I have pivoted the business and created a new product. Thank you to everyone who has helped me on this journey 😊