Who We’re Talking To
Dee Suarez-Diaz, Owner, BSM
Owner of ReNuew Wellness Spa in Woodbridge, VA
Master Esthetician, Colon Hydrotherapist, Skin Classic Trainer
Board Member of Virginia State Association of Skin Care Professionals
Association of Skin Care Professionals-Member
Tell us a little bit about your business.
ReNuew Spa is primarily skincare, but we take an integrated approach that combines advanced technology and science-based skin protocols with holistic therapies. I really believe that combining these modalities helps my clients achieve their end goal of healthy, balanced, rebuilt skin. We offer other services, but skin care is our main focus. In November, we’ll have been in business for six years.
Tell us a little bit about how you’ve been using live stream services to keep up with your customers.
I’ve loved being able to do one-on-ones, I’ve enjoyed it for doing classes, it’s been really good to have that. With the clients I already have, it’s given me the opportunity to have some “Aha!” breakthrough moments.
Could you tell us about some of the “Aha!” moments that live stream made possible for you?
I’ll have my clients cleanse their face in front of me on live stream, and I’m able to notice little things, like using too much product or a technique that’s not quite right. So, I’ve had the opportunity to help them make some minor tweaks to their routine and their processes, and that’s been really great. The other big “Aha!” moment is wondering, “Why weren’t we doing this before?” I realized that we could be doing this in addition to what we’re already offering, so I decided, why not keep it going?
How has the transition to virtual services been for you and your clients?
At first, I was worried about losing that in-person, intimate connection, but [live streaming] really works! And it’s been well-received by my clients.
What services have been the most popular?
My best performing live streams have been for the Awaken Gua Sha workshop. I’ve just finished up a new module for Reflexology, and Firm Flow, which is Reflexology and Gua Sha together.
It sounds like education has been the most successful live stream for your business.
Yes, definitely. I’ve also been creating follow-up videos for my clients after their sessions and classes. I’ve made it so that they’re private links, only available to the person who took the class. And when I send my follow up emails thanking them for taking the class, I include the link to the recorded tutorial so they can follow along.
Are you hosting any special lives streams in the weeks leading up to reopening?
I want to take the home-based party with a purpose concept to live stream. I have an idea to host a live stream that’s like a Tupperware or Mary Kay party. I’ve invited a few friends and family, and asked them if they’d invite a few people, maybe four to six, so it doesn’t feel stressful. People who invite four people, get half-off their services, and people who invite six, receive their services for free.
Do you think you’ll continue to use live stream after ReNuew reopens?
I think after the pandemic is over, it’s something I’ll keep doing for my Awaken Gua Sha and Multi-Reflexology workshops. These are things that not only can the client come to the spa and have this service, but then instead of a product, it’s a tool that they can use to support their skin in-between treatments. We’re in a community with sometimes up to 2-hour commutes. So, what a great way to make this available to people who don’t have the time to come to the spa for education, who won’t have to juggle babysitting, or get back on the road again.
It sounds like going back to in-person services is probably a while out for your business. Have you been planning for reopening?
Phase two is scheduled to launch June 12, and I imagine that will be pushed back to the end of June, maybe even into the beginning of July, unless the numbers drop and [reopening] keeps the projected timeline. But I’ve already put many plans in place to prepare.
What are some of the plans you’ve put in place to prepare ReNuew?
The first thing I did was go to the CDC website [Center for Disease Control], because I wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel, you know? So, I took all the CDC information, figured out what they meant, and turned it into new policies and procedures.
How much has the layout of your business changed in preparation for reopening?
I’ve re-structured the whole spa, especially the reception area. I’ve already changed the layout. I wanted to create an environment where when my clients walk in, they felt welcomed, hugged… you know, the things you do when you receive someone into your home and you want them to feel like they’re not strangers, they’re part of your family. And so, I had to take out a sofa, take curtains out, I had to move products to a place where [clients] can’t handle them, we had a coffee/tea/water area, and we had to move that. And at first, I was thinking, “Oh, this looks so sterile,” but when we started putting things back up on the walls, that warmth came back to it. It was important to me to create a new space where the energy is flowing.
Have you made other modifications to get your business space ready to welcome clients back safely?
We’ve added all new touchless systems. In fact, just yesterday I had a big delivery of touchless everything: paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, toilet covers, the works.
How has doing all this prep work been going for you?
It’s been a lot of homework for me [laughs.] It’s been very mentally taxing. I tell my family I feel like I’m working twelve-hour days without getting paid. But in the end, it’s better for me to prepare now, so that way when we go live, I’m not having to scramble.
In making all these preparations, have you had to face many obstacles?
PPE [Personal Protective Equipment.] I’m still looking for PPE. Like gloves, I haven’t been able to purchase gloves from where I normally purchase them, they’ve been out. And places that do have them—it hits me not only in the heart, but more in the purse strings. They’re three times, even ten times what they usually cost. And the disposable face masks, they used to be between five dollars to nine dollars per box, and now they’re around $128 for one box! And I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” Talk about opportunity.
That’s quite a bit of preparation you’ve been doing! What advice would you give to businesses getting ready to reopen?
I’ve had to change everything from the layout to the fabric of my practices and protocols. It’s really making us all think in a whole new light. Step out of your comfort zone – embrace the new normal and equip yourself with knowledge.
Does your business have insights to share about preparing to reopen, or what it’s been to be back at work after the pandemic? We’d love to hear your thoughts! If your business is interested in being considered for a business spotlight on the Vagaro Blog, click here to fill out our interview form!