Cityscape caught up with Forme Spa & Wellbeing’s managing director, self-confessed spa junkie, and owner of the country’s largest day spa group Hady Wenham following the opening of her first South Island spa in Christchurch.
You’re now a nation-wide day spa group (congratulations!). How does it feel opening your first South Island spa in Christchurch?
Exciting! You have sunshine for starters. It’s been our goal for a long time to open in Christchurch, and we’re thrilled to have encountered the opportunity to buy Urban Skin & Body, as the spa and team have a similar culture and philosophy to ours in how they care for their guests.
Tell us about your new spa.
Urban Skin & Body already had a great layout and feel, so we didn’t need to do too much except make it Forme. We changed the colour palette to our signature dusky rose and added brass accents and new signage. Plus we are introducing Christchurch to Bioelements, Bless and Babor skincare and some new equipment, and the team have just been trained to provide these amazing facials.
How did you get your start in the day spa world?
Initially it was due to the difficulty of juggling a baby and a role as an account director in an advertising agency that lead me to look for something with flexibility. Having been a regular spa goer, I loved the feel-good factor of the industry, and how it could have such a positive impact on people. I knew I was far too impatient to be a good therapist, but was able to use my marketing and business experience to add value that way.
Did you think you’d be at the helm of a nation-wide beauty empire back then?
When I purchased and renovated and rebranded the initial location I had no idea how well it would take off and how ready the market was for the type of service and offering we had. Within a year we had opened our second location in Parnell, and then the following year Remuera and Takapuna. At that point it was obvious that the business was scalable and it became a case of evolving and refining what we do. Believe me, it hasn’t been easy!
What has been the secret of your success?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, wanting to push the boundaries and try new things, and I think that has helped. Resilience to cope when things go wrong (and they always will from time to time), tenacity to keep going and find a solution if you get knocked back, a clear vision of what your business is, and a positive attitude are all essential.
What are the hallmarks of an amazing spa experience?
It’s all about the details. Every step of the guest journey needs to be thought through. But ultimately, it’s about the team and the therapist providing the service. They have to be happy and enjoy what they do, and want to provide an amazing experience.
How often do you undertake quality control?
Regularly. It’s a great way to notice things from a guest perspective. The hard part is relaxing during it as I’m so busy noticing everything around me!
What’s your go-to treatment?
Only one? Impossible. Love a great Babor facial – it’s the perfect blend of relaxation and amazing results – but I’m also very partial to a great massage; sometimes deep tissue if there are aches and pains, sometimes hot stone for relaxation. The Lumiere is great for a collagen-boosting radiant skin, which is great after a peel or microdermabrasion.
What’s your favourite thing to do immediately after a treatment?
Go as slow as I possibly can for as long as I possibly can and savour the bliss feeling. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t very long!
Forme Spa & Wellbeing
329 Durham Street North