Florida Spa Association
The Scoop
March 2016

Spring is the time of rebirth and inspiration. As a native New Yorker I have a real appreciation for the beginning of Spring after a long, cold winter. I love the sweet smell in the air, the sounds of the birds, and the hints of warm summer to come. It's all sweeter because of winter.

Winter, or adversity, expands our human experience and understanding. It increases our gratitude for the good things we see happening around us. Growth, warmth, and longer days are more welcome after the lengthy cold.

This is true in life, not just in seasons. Whenever we're going through a tough time, it's important to remember that Spring always follows winter. And, warmth and inspiration will come to us too. So while Spring gives me a real "fever" and zest, I am still grateful to winter for its lessons. Winter just makes Spring so much better!

"Spring is nature's way of saying, Let's party!" - Robin Williams


Wedding Bells Are Ringing


Congratulations to Michelle Iannaccone, now Michelle Harris, Senior National Sales Director at COOLA Suncare on her recent marriage to Wayne Harris. We wish them both many years of happiness and good fortune


A Memoriam

Our industry was deeply saddened by the loss of Lori Webber Hutchinson. Loved by all, her passing reached the hearts of many in the spa industry, both professionally and personally. A memorial was held in Sonoma, CA, on February 13th, and the beautiful messages coming from Lori's memorial and posted on Facebook touched our soul! Hundreds gathered to honor her "fragile beauty and extreme power of an authentic, well-lived life". Lori, you are dearly missed.

A Tribute to Lori Hutchinson


From Our Friends in Washington

6TH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM takes place on TUESDAY MARCH 22, 2016

"The New Language of Spa".

The interactive day-long event, whose audience will include local, regional, national and international leaders in spa and allied disciplines, will explore the 'cutting-edge' of both ancient and new practices. Our own Ilana Moses will be speaking on behalf of the Florida Spa Association about the benefits of a local spa association. The FSA is invested in providing education for the spas in Florida about state-wide rules and regulations, and sharing best practices and high-quality networking opportunities for spas and vendors. The FSA is the leading platform for uniting vendors and spas in the state of Florida. The goal is to make Florida the best destination for a spa experience.

Keynote Speaker: Phillippe Bourguinon, Vice Chairman, Revolution Places and Executive Co-Chairman, Exclusive Resorts. Luncheon by David Haick, Executive Chef, Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Susan Delbert, Executive Chef, National Press Club.

March 21 - A very special evening at Caudalie in City Center, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Complimentary for Annual Symposium Registrants. A gathering of Symposium sponsors, registrants, and media will be hosted for a reception at Caudalie's City Center location, featuring Bordeaux wine of Chateau Smith Haut-Laffite.

Synopsium Speakers

Ryan Crabbe, Senior Director Global Spa Brands, Hilton Spa Operations, Americas
Michael Tompkins, Chairman, International Spa Association, Co-CEO Personalized Advanced Lifestyle Medicine (PALM)
Mia Mackman, Founder, Arizona Spa & Wellness Association
Michael Scholes, President, The Laboratory of Flowers

The Global Spa Exchange was an exceptional event. Thank you to Joyce Jamison for organizing an excellent platform to meet with great suppliers and spa leaders. It also afforded the opportunity to spend time with old friends and make new friendships, in a magnificent part of our country at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach California. The majority of the FSA board members attended and had the opportunity to spend quality time putting their heads together for the upcoming year, as well as connect and engage with the other spa attendees. All in all, not only was this event productive, but it was LOADS of FUN!

An Inspirational Moment

Feeling inspired... the FSA team enjoyed a photo op on the beach in celebration of excitement ahead in 2016!


What's the Word?

Hi Spa Friends! This month's word is niche.

I hope you all had fun discovering your strengths last month. Remember strengths are things you are good at that also make you feel good. Character strengths count too. Are you warm and friendly? Do you put people at ease faster than others? Are you easy to work with? Do you generate trust?

Once you have that down, it's time to think about your niche.

A niche is a group of people that all speak the same business or social jargon. A qualified niche means the people that speak your language also use some of the products and services you offer, and have the money to hire you.

Why Do I Need to Choose a Niche?
A light bulb illuminates a room, but focusing that same light into a laser gives it the power to cut through steel.

In addition, choosing a niche gives you focus. It helps people understand who you are, why you're unique, and what you offer. People will never buy when they are confused, and they will not buy from confused people.

Choosing a niche helps you streamline your marketing materials. It makes you more effective in your communication and gives you many advantages of being perceived as a professional expert.

List as many attributes or potential attributes as you can about your business or product. We're all in the SPA niche, so move from there. Think about your customer demographics and psychographics. Your location. The products and services you offer. Are you focused on anti-aging? Or more about the whole spa experience? Wellness? Organic? Luxury? Affordable? Once you start, it's like rolling a snowball down a hill.

If you have any questions about defining your niche, feel free to contact me through the FSA or Next month we will talk about how to take your strengths and niche and develop your Core Offer.


Marfelia Fernandez
Spa Manager, Marriott Orlando World Center

Marfelia Fernandez has some great qualities.

It's her passion and compassion for people that are at the top of the list. While she has a passion for spa, she doesn't feel like she's a spa expert.

She's an expert at people and results.

Pretty wise words from someone who has won the coveted J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence. Like the "Oscars" of Marriott, it's given to only a few people a year. A camera crew followed her around to put together a video for the occasion, then she was flown to Washington DC to accept the award.

Marfelia laughs saying "It can be glamorous. But, it all comes down to helping and educating."

Her operational background in Food and Beverage, and Fitness and Recreation, helped her understand the hospitality end of Spa.

But it's her connection and caring for people that sparkles. She knows her staff well. They've been with her from 2-15 years. She develops loyalty when she hires people with compassion and creates a sense of family. They celebrate birthdays, holidays, and life events together.

Then, she involves her 30 therapists in things like improving their treatments. She makes sure they take care of themselves too by encouraging them to treat each other.

And she knows her customers, who are mainly convention-goers. They're only there for a couple of days with limited time. So she creates treatments geared to them like a "Session Escape". A 30 minute sea salt scrub and a 50 minute massage, it can fit into an open session in their agenda.

Marfelia's best advice? Invest in yourself, involve your therapists, and be open to others opinions and information. "You have to be a leader every day. No matter what's going on in your life, you come with a smile."

With 26 years at Marriott, Marfelia has devoted her time. But mostly, she devotes her heart and soul.

PCA Skin

In our industry we know that healthy skin is beautiful skin. And for 25 years PCA Skin has dedicated itself to the science of healthy skin.

Their key to success? 3 areas of focus: product excellence, superb education, and customer support.

Their unique approach to product development delivers excellent results. They formulate with ingredients found in the skin and body for greatest compatibility. "This ensures optimal results without unnecessary side effects."

They create their products to work together. So it's easy for you to design your own treatments and take home kits for each patient. And, they use clinical research and science for the highest level of safety and efficacy.

Estheticians love the customization they can achieve with PCA'S products. You can layer the peels to create a one-of-a-kind treatment, tailored to the unique skin of each patient.

You'll gain a deep knowledge of the daily care and professional products at the PCA Skin Academy. Estheticians say PCA's training is some of the best in the industry. You learn expert techniques and business building tools through their advanced classes. And, you will welcome the camaraderie and think-tank atmosphere.

PCA Skin gave us a taste of this as a sponsor at our January Kick-Off. The response was outstanding. Their representatives were personable, engaging and well-informed about the products, treatments, and company. It was a pleasure to get to know PCA Skin a little better in a such a hands-on fashion.

Building a Dream Team

By Dori Soukup

Building a Dream team requires work. If you want a Dream team you have to invest in recruiting, hiring, and training your team.


Have a Question?

What do you want to learn about spa operations, the spa industry, leadership, vendor relations, wellness...? Each month we will select one question, and experts within the FSA team will share their insights in the upcoming newsletter. Send your questions to

This month's question is:

"How can I Spring clean my retail space?"

Follow these principles:

  • Group products together with a theme
  • Use all 5 senses
  • Use additional lighting to feature products
  • Change your display area on a regular basis
  • Ask vendors for in the press talking pieces, posters and shelf talkers
  • Display items at different heights, placing popular and profitable items at eye level
  • Don't make your display intimidating to customers
  • Highlight product benefits - what will it do for your customer


Coming Soon!

Florida Spa Association Spring Event

When: May 18, 2016 (Wednesday) - 9:00am - 6:00pm

Where: St. Somewhere Spa at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach

Featuring a Keynote Speaker, Round Table Discussions, Vendor Showcase, Goodies, Handouts and lots of Friendship and Warmth.

"It's those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same. With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

Join us for cocktails and munchies at 5:00 pm at "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere" and get "wasted away again in Margaritaville."


  • March 17 St. Patrick's Day
  • March 21 First Day of Spring
  • March 22 Washington Spa Alliance
  • March 25 Good Friday
  • March 27 Easter Sunday

Who knew pancakes could be anti-aging?

Quinoa is loaded with complete protein, which helps us grow and repair tissue. High in fiber, calcium and magnesium, it is a heart healthy grain. It helps to reduce migraines and milder headaches by relaxing blood vessels. And it contains copper and manganese, which bind together to form superoxide dismutase, a strong anti-oxidant.

Enjoy these healthy and delicious pancakes!

Quinoa Pancakes
Healthy and great for your skin
  • Original recipe yields 10 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flaxseed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
How to make this recipe

Mix the quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. The batter will be on the thinner side. Pour 1/4 cup batter on a well greased griddle, skillet, etc. and cook for 2-3 minutes (till bubbles form on top), then flip and cook another 2 minutes.