As spa start-ups like Heyday, Glowbar, Skin Laundry, and Chillhouse continue to expand and offer spa treatments at an affordable price, luxury consumers are seeking similar experiences from the brands that they already pay top dollar for. A unique, customized brand experience allows consumers to test new products and develop a stronger and more meaningful relationship with their favorite brands, which helps build the cultlike following every brand is after.
Luxury brands like La Prairie, La Mer, and Guerlain have traditionally partnered with luxury hotels to offer spa treatments to their customers on vacation. However, a few high-end spa services per year aren’t enough to satiate the new luxury consumer. According to The International Spa Association’s (ISPA) 2023 US Spa Industry Study, the number of spa visits grew from 173 million in 2021 to 181 million in 2022. This increase in demand has led to a rise in stand-alone boutique spas from brands like Biologique Recherche, Augustinus Bader, 111Skin, Omorovicza, Joanna Czech, and Dr. Barbara Sturm.
Before “celebrity facialist” was even a title, there was Joanna Czech. Czech was the original go-to aesthetician for stars including Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, and Bella Hadid, among many others. With flagship studios in New York and Dallas, the facialist recently opened the first-ever Joanna Czech–certified spa, at Blackberry Mountain Resort in Tennessee. Czech’s namesake brand is rooted in her 37 years of hands-on experience as an aesthetician. Keeping and expanding her studios allows Czech to stay plugged into the latest science, studies, and technology for skin health, which she says is equally important to her as having a skincare line.
“Without my experience as an aesthetician, I wouldn't have had the knowledge to develop my products,” says Czech. “So to honor what brought me to this point and continue the practice of uniting treatments with specified skincare, my studios and products will stay closely entwined.”
According to Czech, today's spa consumer is much more inquisitive than in previous years. “If they are paying for a service or being sold a product, they want to know why, what it's specifically for, and how it works,” she says. “I like giving my clients morning and night prescriptions with several options depending on their skin on that specific day. Our clients want to learn and seem genuinely interested in the techniques and technologies used in their treatments.”
These spa experiences center education and experimentation in ways that go above and beyond what a customer can get from retail or luxury department stores. In a world where everyone is at least somewhat educated in the basic tenets of skincare, consumers today are seeking skincare advice and product recommendations from professionals.
At Joanna Czech’s studios, customers feel like they’re getting a celebrity facial because every client receives a customized facial and an aftercare plan to keep up the results at home. “I know people often go to their spas to unwind and relax, but when you get a Joanna Czech facial, you get a results-driven, customized facial based on your current skin condition. And you will leave empowered because you'll learn the best way to care for your skin moving forward.”
Consumers are seeking credibility, which is something Czech has in spades. She also understands the ins and outs of the professional channel, which is completely different from retail, according to Michael Lahm, Vice President and COO of TLEE Spas.