Better BusinessJanuary 1, 2008 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
When Joyce Hampers opened her first day spa, Guiliano, on Boston's Newbury Street in 1994, the day spa concept was only just beginning to catch on. After enjoying a successful career as a lawyer and a stint in the U.S. government as assistant secretary of commerce for economic development with the Department of Commerce during George H. W. Bush's administration, Hampers longed to start a small business of her own. She envisioned a "one-stop shopping" destination for beauty, where clients could get haircuts, haircolor, manicures and pedicures, massages and facials—not such an unusual idea today, but fairly uncommon in the early '90s. "We spent the first year just trying to explain to people what a day spa was," Hampers says.
Since then, the number of day spas in the country has skyrocketed, and the market of spa-goers has diversified to encompass groups as varied as men, couples, young professionals and baby boomers. When the opportunity arose for Hampers to open a second day spa on Newbury Street in 2006, she jumped at it. "After 12 years in business, I decided it was time to start tapping into these new markets," she says. Her new day spa, Emerge, fills an entire building that houses a salon, treatment rooms for couples, a rooftop garden, a fireplace lounge and an area for male clients called the Men's Club, which features a private waiting area with a flat-screen TV and treatment rooms for shaves, manicures and pedicures, facials and massages. "When we first started out in this business, maybe 10 percent of our clients were men," Hampers says. "Now men make up about 35 percent of our clientele at the new spa."
Joyce Hampers opened her second day spa in Boston, Emerge, in 2006.
With two day spas on Newbury Street, Hampers recognized the need to distinguish one from the other. She designed Emerge as a traditional spa environment, blending Asian influences with European design to attract the sophisticated and seasoned spa-goer. Meanwhile, Guiliano morphed into g2o, a minimalist, edgy space for trendy, young professionals. Hampers says the response from her clients has been phenomenal, and she couldn't be more pleased.
"I've run huge bureaucracies, I've practiced law and now I'm running a small business," she says, "and I can tell you, this is the most challenging, rewarding, satisfying thing that I have ever done."