Did you know that October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month®? Originally started by the National Quality Institute (now Excellence Canada) in 2001, it’s a month long challenge to bring awareness to the importance of workplace health, not only for the well-being of employees but also for the short-term and long-term success of the organization itself. It’s a time to celebrate organizations that understand the importance of a healthy mind and body and invest in programs and policies that support their team’s well being.
In honour of Healthy Workplace Month, this month’s Featured Vendor is Soulful Indulgence, an eco-savvy, wellness services company, providing mobile spa and onsite chair massage services for company offices, events, tradeshows, meetings, celebrations, seniors’ homes…you name it they’ve done it!
Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Michelle Wilson the founder of Soulful Indulgence and this is what she had to say…
How did you come up with the idea of Soulful Indulgence and what inspired you to start the business?
I have maintained a connection with nature since youth that has stayed with me to present day which includes my 16-year and counting career as a wellness practitioner. Back in the early 2000’s, I was working in the heart of Yaletown, helping clients balance their body, mind, and spirit, I started noticing lapses in the industry. I began to question why synthetic fragrances, dyes, and questionable fillers were being used in personal care products because in school we learned that the skin is our body’s largest organ and that certain particles get absorbed through the many layers of skin and even pass into the body’s blood stream. I also started to question practices regularly used in the spa industry. For example, why were we instructed to clean the mirrors and surrounding surfaces with ammonia or other toxic cleaners while people were coming to the spa to seek wellness treatments to promote their overall well being? This disconnect was alarming and difficult for me to ignore, so it was a natural flowing journey that lead me to come up with the concept of Soulful Indulgence. Since no other companies seemed to be filling the hole I uncovered, I decided it was time to venture out on my own with my inner entrepreneurial spirit to bring awareness to a new way to spa! I have always excelled in creating a positive guest experience so developing a mobile spa services company that enhances relaxation and allows more people to access to the associated health benefits was just up my alley.
Signature Thalassotherapy Treatment
How long have you been in business and what type of certification did you have to obtain?
Soulful Indulgence was formally registered in 2006, however it’s been in creation since I became a Certified Esthetician in 1999. Back then the esthetics profession was government-regulated meaning a written board exam was required to complete your certification. Sadly, that is no longer the case so things like safety protocols are not being enforced to the same degree as they used to be.
Anything else you can share about the launch of your company and the role you play in it today?
I launched the company while competing in the Professional Disc Golf Association’s World Championship Tournament, representing our country as Canada’s top ranked female disc golfer. Now that I have retired from professional disc golf my energy is completely focused on growing the company.
I was asked to do an onsite event many years ago that sparked the idea to go mobile. The business I was forming had no predecessors, so I had to figure it out as I went and through years of experience, Soulful Indulgence protocols came into existence. That protocol is critical in maintaining a consistent spa experience for clients as new members join our team with different ways of doing things. One of the most important roles I have at the company today is ensuring consistency in service though our training program so new employees understand the Soulful Indulgence way while also empowering them to consult with their clients and refine their approach based on those specific needs. Freedom of craft and customization is important to me but so is consistency. Our policies and procedures mean that all of our Spa Teams utilize the same products but specialized kits are made for each treatment group so their specific needs can be addressed. The greatest joy for me now is seeing my business flourish into a well-rounded, sustainable company and brand that brings happiness and relaxation to its clients as well as productive and gainful employment to its team.
Signature Body Wrap and Nail Service
Workplace wellness and personal health have never been more important than they are today with our lives moving at such a rapid pace. What are your thoughts on the vital role you play in wellness and health care in the workplace?
This is one of the things that excites me the most about our service. Soulful Indulgence has been focused on natural wellness from the get go and we offer the perfect solution for HR professionals and business owners to retain great talent by giving back to their hard working staff. Our services can be used as a perk to help companies demonstrate how much they care for their team’s wellbeing.
We are part of many organizations’ workplace wellness plans and see ourselves as an extension of their HR and management teams. As a workplace wellness partner we provide so much more than just chair massages. We provide our regular clients with educational content and tools for engaging their employees on various health and wellness topics. Our ‘Wellness Tips Of The Week’ and Newsletters cover topics like home remedies, ways to distress, healthy food, safe cleaning products and more.
The fact that we can set up our spa in virtually any environment means we can support and promote wellness in a variety of settings, whether it’s at an event or in a busy office environment. We’ve given massages out on the green at private golf tournaments and have thrilled conference attendees with free onsite spa services! Some working professionals find their local spas are closed by the time they finish work and many seniors simply don’t have the mobility to get themselves to a spa. Our mobility and flexibility gives us the opportunity to involve more people in wellness and healthy living. There are so many benefits to the spa coming to you; we ease stress, we save you time, and your only focus is your wellness.
What sets your company apart from your competitors?
The fact that we are mobile is the number one thing that sets us apart from other spas. While there are other people now offering mobile services these days, Soulful Indulgence is the industry leader offering licensed and experienced practitioners to service its client base. We are different than others because we only use natural, safe, and effective products. No bubble gum pedicures and chocolate candy facials here! We consult with each guest to understand his or her unique skin care needs and customize each visit accordingly. With each follow up appointment, the Soulful Indulgence experience continues to get better and better. We are also the only mobile spa company in town I know of that has their own line of care products and offer customizable gift sets for the holidays, staff gifts, event giveaways etc.
A lovely addition to your event
We love that your company is eco-savvy! How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your business?
Well it starts with the skin of our clients. It is important to know exactly what ingredients make up any given product and our aim is to offer the most natural, yet effective, and scientifically validated skin care solutions. Choosing products that limit the amount of unnecessary chemicals is very important to us. You’d be shocked by what’s lurking in some commercially available, popular products, or how much animal abuse and environmental damage they have lingering around them! Our exclusive ‘Beauty Through Balance’ skin care line is made right here in Vancouver, Canada and utilizes biodegradable packaging as well as sustainable harvesting methods – which aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals.
This philosophy and vision extends to every aspect of our business. Our nail polish is vegan friendly. We have a line of bamboo linens available for purchase through our soon-to-be released online store. Our printing is done locally with vegetable-based ink on post consumer paper. Our sanitization solution is neutralized before it goes down the drain, which is something else unique to our company. True wellness and corporate responsibility for a better future is not only about looking after ourselves but also the planet we live on!
What types of events are a good fit for your services?
Our services are fantastic for any event really. Customer thank you’s, birthdays, employee incentive programs, anniversaries, weddings, graduation, wellness fairs, tradeshows, private parties, product/book launches, girls-night-in, and what ever other corporate, or personal event you can think of! If you can think it up, we’re a good fit for it (well perhaps we’re not a good fit for a bride the day of her wedding because she should have hired us a couple days beforehand). Our services start at $140 for a basic set-up and single provider so we can really work with any event budget.
HRMA Tradeshow Set-Up
Your hands must get so tired by the end of an event. How do you take care of yourself to be able to work on people for long periods of time?
As a body care worker we are taught before anything else, the importance of taking care of ourselves. Stretching, breathing, and a positive attitude go a long way. Some of my favourite self-care therapies are: Contrast Bathing also known as ‘Hydrotherapy’, spending time on a foam roller, keeping fit by staying active & strength training at the gym, fuelling my body with healthy, nutritious whole foods, getting good rest, and laughing lots.
Tell us about the coolest client or event you’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.
We loved being a part of the Human Resource Management conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre this past spring. It was awesome to bring awareness and a solution to HR professionals as to what they can offer in their offices. We had such a huge response, being the most popular booth at the conference. We were even featured in a Vancouver Sun article about mental health in the workplace and how companies are becoming more adept at providing support services to those affected. It was highly rewarding seeing our team in action hit the press! As much as we enjoyed the HRMA conference and look forward to it next year, my favourite client is Dorothy, our 103 year old client who still loves to have her nails painted the brightest shade of red we have.
What’s next for Soulful Indulgence?
I’m working on hiring a Registered Massage Therapist so we can offer a service that people can claim against their extended health care benefits. We are also working on content management services to support the tips and newsletters we provide to clients as well as a self-serve online store for people to purchase our products.
Connect with Soulful Indulgence on Facebook and Twitter for wellness solutions tailored to busy professionals. This month the Eventsage team will be practicing their latest tip #attitudeofgratitude. We challenge you to do the same. Tell us the 3 things you’re grateful for today in the comments section below.