The professional spa industry has always been a tight-knit community, and we at Eminence Organics are committed to helping you find support you need at this time, and beyond. While every industry has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, the spa industry in particular — known for human connection and mind-body wellness — is having to adapt.
Our community, supportive as ever, has an abundance of spa industry associations that offer support, resources, and a whole network of spa professionals willing to share their experience and expertise in challenging times and beyond.
To help you navigate all the spa industry associations out there, we’ve summarized a number of resources to help direct you to the support you need.
Spa Industry Associations for Owners/Directors
As a spa owner or director, you want to learn from the best in the biz: people with experience running successful spas and who know the industry inside and out. You also don’t want to reinvent the wheel with every business decision when there is so much help available and a myriad of proven best practices. Gaining access to these resources starts here:
International Spa Association (ISPA)
The International Spa Association (ISPA) is recognized worldwide as the professional voice of our industry, representing spas in over 70 countries. ISPA defines a spa as any place “devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.” This broad definition includes most spa experiences from resort to medical to individual service providers, including physicians and nutritionists. An ISPA membership indicates to spa-goers that you adhere to the ISPA Code of Conduct, including best practices in safety, sanitization, and hiring qualified staff.
As a member, you gain access to education such as their Certified Spa Supervisor Program, a research library, and webinars, courses and textbooks covering topics like retail management and financial reporting. They also keep you up to date on the latest industry news and offer templates and guidelines for spas that might not have access to marketing or operations teams.
The ISPA network of spa operators, resource partners and vendors is a major draw, and members have access to the full Membership Directory and ISPA Job Bank. They also receive special rates for the annual ISPA Conference & Expo, a leading networking event in the industry.
Green Spa Network (GSN Planet)
Eminence is proud to be a “green” company and Certified B Corporation, which holds us to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. With our many shared values, it’s no surprise that the Green Spa Network, or GSN Planet, is very near and dear to our hearts. GSN Planet is committed to “promoting the vital connections between personal well-being, economic sustainability and the health of our planet,” and believes that the spa industry is particularly suited to be a catalyst for positive change.
GSN Planet memberships are tiered, starting with a complimentary membership that includes access to webinars, newsletters and job search capabilities. Higher tiers include listings on the GSN Planet spa locator, access to their Sustainability Assessment Tool, Green Toolkit and industry research.
They also host the annual Green Spa Network Congress and recognize innovation and leadership in sustainability through the GSN Sustainability Awards.
Spa Industry Association (SIA)
In 2017, the Day Spa Association and the International Medical Spa Association consolidated their membership under the new Spa Industry Association (SIA). Their mantra is to “connect the community across the globe,” with a complimentary membership allowing access to day spas and individual service providers.
The SIA supports the professional spa industry by participating in tradeshows, speaking at events, and making industry tools more accessible. They compile resources and relevant information for their members — including spa & wellness research reports, industry news, and legislation information by state. They also round up accredited spa industry certifications, insurance options, and state spa associations.
Leading Spas of Canada
The Leading Spas of Canada is a non-profit association founded by a group of “forward-thinking spa professionals that saw great potential for spas in Canada to compete with the best in the world.” Without national regulation, the organization developed Standards and Practices, a Code of Ethics, and a third-party Quality Assurance program to ensure all members adhere to or exceed benchmarks of training, service, hygiene and safety.
The Leading Spas of Canada leads and connects the national spa industry, including spas, individual service providers, resource partners and educational institutions. Membership costs range by category, from discounted Student Memberships to QA Leading Spa Members (indicating Quality Assurance to spa-goers).
Spa Industry Associations for Estheticians/Bodyworkers
While all these associations are valuable to estheticians and service providers, a lot of the resources are geared toward spa owners and managers. The below organizations cater more directly to spa professionals on an individual level, including non-business owners and those early in their careers. They also focus on esthetician training, certification and continued education - which we love!
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP)
The Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) pride themselves on being an essential partner “for estheticians at every stage of the journey.” This includes membership options for students, educators, spa professionals and employers developing their businesses.
ASCP publishes a bi-monthly magazine (ASCP Skin Deep) and continually updates their news and video libraries to include the latest industry research, legislation, events and trends. They offer on-demand webinars, marketing support, website-building tools, and the ASCP Career Toolkit, including expense calculators and business resources.
Members of ASCP also get discounts on continuing education, advanced esthetician training, insurance, equipment and events.
Professional Beauty Association (PBA)
The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) is open to a broader membership, including estheticians, hairstylists, makeup artists, freelancers and manufacturers. Their goal is to “elevate and grow careers” within the wider beauty industry in the US.
Members of PBA get access to an insurance marketplace, industry research reports, and “Business Blueprints”— various guides on compensation, operations, business planning, etc. Their premium Visionary Memberships include branding for your business, a marketing campaign and an account manager.
Lastly, the PBA provides scholarship opportunities and supports a series of charities that benefit the professional beauty community.
While most of these associations have addressed COVID-19 and its impact on our community, it is important to remember that nothing suggested will supersede your federal, state, or provincial government regulations. Make sure to check these often, as the situation is changing rapidly. You can start here in the US and here in Canada.
In the meantime, we recommend looking to your spa industry associations to provide models of how to cope, adapt, and begin to move forward. The most comprehensive so far is the ISPA Spa Reopening Toolkit — a free guide for members and non-members with resources to prepare spas to reopen safely when their government allows.
These professional associations are just a few of the organizations available in the industry. Which associations do you engage with? Let us know in the comments below or share with use on social media. Stay safe and, as always, check back to our blog for spa professional content