Five years ago, Emily Carey declared she was done with long, cold Minnesota winters. She and her husband decided to move their family to sunny Las Vegas, leaving the bitter cold behind. But Carey was also leaving behind a clientele she spent years building up.
“I needed the opportunity to build up a new clientele quickly, and with LifeSpa being located in the busy Life Time Athletic Country Club, it was an obvious solution—people are coming in the door all the time.”
LifeSpas are full-service salons and spas located inside Life Time Althetic Country Clubs with 150+ LifeSpa locations across North America, offering a setting unlike any other to salon and spa professionals.
A Built-In Clientele
Grant Larson, massage therapist at LifeSpa in Edina, Minnesota, has been with the company for almost 18 years.
“This is the third club I’ve worked at and helped to grand open; I always find the guests at LifeTime are a perfect fit for my background,” he says.
Larson trained in the sports and rehab modalities of massage, so he loved the idea of a one-stop shop for people in health and fitness.
“It was easier for me to start building my business at LifeSpa,” he says. “Clients don’t have to make one more stop in their day to see me because they’re already at the club working out.”
The opportunities are endless, and Larson takes advantage of them.
“There are so many ways to pull in clients,” he says. “I build relationships with personal trainers, group fitness instructors and the front desk. The more relationships you build, the more promoters you have within the club.”
When Larson first started, he partnered with the fitness team and offered the instructors complimentary services, incentivizing them to let their clients know about him.
“Then I took it a step further, and offered the instructors a free massage if they sent me a certain amount of new guests.”
Carey says she also tapped into the walk-in clientele at her LifeSpa at the Life Time in Green Valley, just outside of Las Vegas.
“I pop into a spin class sometimes, greet the instructor, talk to the class and let them know we are a full-service hair salon, not just doing blow outs,” she says. “I have also set up a braid bar in the hallway before a yoga class—anything to make myself recognizable,” she says.
Carey has built relationships with the instructors at Life Time, and she’s booked and busy.
“Guests of the LifeSpa are also eligible to use our free childcare while receiving their service which can be very helpful for booking more clients,” Carey says. “Additionally, they can have a healthy lunch at the LifeCafé, work out, use the steam room, and enjoy all Life Time has to offer.
Big Company, Big Benefits
Joee Nelson, esthetician at LifeSpa in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, recently returned from an all-expense paid trip to Budapest she was awarded as part of the LifeSpa Artist Achievement Awards.
“We took a trip to the headquarters of Eminence Organic Skin Care and toured Budapest with four other LifeSpa estheticians,” she says. “We learned so much just being together as top performers for the company.”
The trip was a huge incentive, but Nelson says LifeSpa offers smaller incentives for service providers in the early phases of their careers as well, such as gift cards, products and more.
“I’ve won blow dryers and flatirons—there’s something for everyone,” she says.
To stay on top of her game, Nelson consults the app LifeSpa uses to look at her numbers every day and meets with her supervisor to go over her stats monthly.
“My leader also sends me a weekly report so I know exactly where I’m at,” Nelson says. “We work on a sliding scale commission based on revenue brought in per hour, which gives me control over my salary.”
Retail sold counts toward the revenue per hour as well, so Nelson says she can make up a cancelation or slower day by selling more retail. And a big benefit is that LifeSpa has no shop charges for any technicians.
“This is huge because you get paid commission on what the service costs without subtracting the amount for the products used,” she says. Nelson is consistently earning 67% of her service sales.
Carey is also numbers oriented, consistently earning 70% of service sales, and breaks down her day so she knows exactly how to hit the highest commission possible.
“I’m in control and able to use retail or upgrades to stay where I want to be,” she say.
Larson says it’s hard to beat LifeSpa when it comes to perks and benefits. “It’s one of the most appealing aspects of working here—the benefits are hard to beat.”
In addition to a lucrative compensation structure, LifeSpa also offers 401k opportunities; medical and dental benefits; generous vacation pay; family leave; a free signature club membership to any Life Time; advanced education; flexible schedules (the company recently made 30 hours per week full time); and more.
“The benefits cover the whole family,” Nelson says. “When we talk to other couples in our social circle, we have the best benefits by far—they are virtually unheard of.”
As an esthetician, Nelson says LifeSpa has given her opportunities she could never pursue as an independent operator. The company provides the latest in technology and the education and team needed behind it, including expensive Hydrafacial machines and microneedling skin pens.
“I could not offer skin pen services on my own as they require a doctor to oversee, which LifeSpa provides,” she says. “To be able to provide the level of service I offer now at LifeSpa on my own, I’d have to take out a $100k loan just to get started. And my husband owns his own business, so I provide health insurance for us and our four kids.”
But perhaps the best perk of working at LifeSpa is the work/life balance it affords. Carey says her whole family benefits from the Life Time membership.
“My daughter does tumbling classes here and my husband, who is a loan officer in the community, is able to make connections. On the weekends we play pickleball together.”
During the week, Carey hits up the gym and relaxes in the sauna or steam room before she showers and heads to work.
“It’s so peaceful—I’ve never had such good work/home life balance before,” she says. “I’m able to create my schedule and have the support of a whole team behind me if a kid is sick or I have an emergency.”
Now that she has built up a steady clientele, Nelson has created a schedule that works for her and her family, no longer working Saturdays and only seeing clients a few evenings per week.
“I have a wonderful schedule that’s amazing for my family,” she says. “And I get to come into an amazing environment to provide my services.”
After the pandemic, Larson says he knew independent massage therapists whose careers didn’t survive.
“But Life Time did a phenomenal job of marketing its cleaning practices and safe environment to its guests,” he says. “And even though I was furloughed for a short time, I got to keep my job. A lot of massage therapists did not.”
Carey says, “First I am a mom and wife, then I am Emily the hairstylist. Life Time puts the support behind me to allow me to do be both. I don’t want to worry about whether or not there are extensions on hand for me to use or enough color at the back bar, I just want to give the best service to my clients.”
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