Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good news!

It seems our spa dealer is doing their best to make up for the inconsistent, often poor, customer service we have been subjected to over the last year and a half. Our part has been ordered and will soon be here. By their estimate, we will have our tub up and running either end of this week, or early next week. Cross your fingers for me that it will be the former.

In the mean time, I have been thinking about new things to do at the spa. McAuliflower made a mention of using produce as a basis for body treatments and that reminded me of my trip to Hawaii two years ago.

In September of 2005, the Little Red Studio troupe took a trip the the Big Island of Hawaii to have our annual retreat and perform at the Kalani Oceanside Retreat. During this trip, I had my first experience with Watsu. Dwight, our host and Visiting Artist troupe member, has been practicing Watsu for many years, not only in his own heated pool, but also in a natural thermal heated pool located at a nearby beach.

One evening, Dwight and his partner escorted 10 of us into the heated pool for an introductory lesson in Watsu. We spent the first half of class learning how to float and move our partner, and for the second half, we switched roles. To this day, I am still unsure of which experience moved me more; receiving or giving the Watsu.

The next day, Dwight planned a "spa day at the beach." He instructed us to gather up as many avocados and papayas around he property that we could find. He organized an assembly line of people peeling & cutting and mashing the fruit. Once we had a five gallon bucket 2/3 full of avocado and papaya paste, we all marched down the Red Road to the black sand beach. He claimed the black sand, being pulverized lava rock, was exceptional material for exfoliating the skin. There were conflicting opinions on the preferred method of application. What I settled on was to stand in the breaking waves, rubbing the sand over my whole body and then coating myself in the fruit concoction. Leaving it on for as long as I could stand before jumping back into the ocean and letting the waves wash all the paste off.

I would love to recreate that experience in the spa. I bet I could make an essential oil blend that was reminiscent of the oceanside. Black sand isn't really feasible, but regular sand is. And while the avocados and papaya would be spendy certain times of the year, they are easy to come by here in Washington. More will be reported after some research happens.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Conditionally taking appointments.

We are still open and making appointments, as long as you don't want a Watsu session. That is the only thing we can't do at this time.

With the hot tub on the fritz, we have had to become quite creative with the Spa Sessions. We are still open, as only 1/8th of what we do in the Spa is unavailable. The sessions have been adapted so that they are still packed with fun things to do that are relaxing.

Bad news: No Watsu is possible at the moment. I'll post as soon as the tub is fixed.

Good news: Therapeutic Massage is unaltered by the tub situation. The Classic Spa Sampler, Body Painting, Creative Movement and the Sculptural Clay sessions have all been adapted so that they can still be done without the Watsu element or the hot tub. The Scalp Massage station (our fancy hair-washing sink) has been inserted into the Classic Sampler Session. A steamy shower is prescribed before getting covered in scented, fine potter's clay.

Necessity really is the mother of invention!

Hot Tub Troubles

Warning: this is going to be me complaining.

The Little Red Day Spa has an incredibly fancy Coast Spa. It is rated as a medical device and was the deepest we could find at the time we researched spas/hot tubs for purchase. As expensive as it was, you would think the thing would run beautifully and we would be well taken care of by the dealer.

Reality is a harsh master.

This hot tub has given us trouble since the second month after delivery. The temperature regulation was inconsistent and when we would call the dealer, they would often say things like "that model has a glitch in it so that you should just disconnect the pump because it causes problems like the one you are describing." and "just make sure to keep the vents closed and you won't lose temperature." After a year and a half, we finally got an independent spa repair technician to check the tub, whereupon we learn that we have a flawed circuit board. In other words, everything is working fine except for the fact the that when computer tells the heater to turn on, ofttimes the heater doesn't get the message.

It's been a week since we put in the order for a new circuit board and the dealer is *still* telling us that he is going to look and see if he has one in stock before he orders a new one. I am not going to name the dealer. I want to give them a chance to make this right. But even if they do rectify the situation, you can bet I will never buy another tub from them. Which is too bad, considering we are planning on expanding in January.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time for a new scent?

At the last Little Red Studio performance I renewed the practice of mixing essential oils into the body paints. The Studio uses tempera paint for the body painting because it's non-toxic. That's all good and well, but it smells a little industrial to me, and not at all charming like oil paints. When I joined the troupe, that was one of the first things I did with my Box o' Smells.

I got a nice email from one of the troupe members who was a "canvas" during the body painting segment, complimenting me on the blend I used. The scent was a combination of Vetiver, Spikenard and Dalmatian Sage. I put one of the three scents in all the paint bowls so it would be blended once someone was painted. It was a heady and intense combination, but earthy and grounding.

Since a few other people have commented on it since then, I think I am going to play with it and see if I can make it subtle enough to be the scented oil blend at the Spa. I have used the Rosemary, Basil and Lavender blend all summer long. Changing the blend with the change of the seasons seems like a good idea.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

LRS Halloween Party is taking over the Spa!

On October 26th, a Friday, the Little Red Day Spa will only be open for appointments until 2pm. The Spa will close down for the rest of the day in preparations for the Little Red Studio's big Halloween Bash, during which the hot tub will be available for soaking.

Please forgive the inconvenience and I hope you will take the chance to come and play dress up with the Little Red Studio Troupe!

Doors open at 9pm (at both venues!) and tickets are $20 per person. You can pay at the door or go to Brown Paper Tickets and pay in adavance.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Love with Lush!

A little while back, I was introduced to Lush products and I was thoroughly charmed. The funky labeling and outrageous names captured my attention enough to try their shower gel for the Spa. I choose the Sonic Death Monkey which is has coffee and chocolate in the ingredients list. What could be more decadent than showering off with chocolate?

I am finally out of the Sonic Death Monkey shower gel, and despite it's lovely aroma and my overall satisfaction with it as a product, I think I would like to branch out. Also, I must admit, the name is not very soothing or sexy. Maybe I'll get the Flying Fox Shower gel next.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Practitions & Session available!

I would like to introduce David and Adele, our new spa practitioners offering a special Tandem Bliss spa session at the Little Red Day Spa. Tandem Bliss, for individuals or couples, includes aromatherapy, hot oil body treatment, energy work, and time floating and stretching in the hot tub.

David and Adele are romantic partners and soulmates, which infuses their practice with love. They have a holistic approach that honors your mind-body-spirit. In addition to the already juicy Little Red Spa Classic Sampler experience, David and Adele offer Reiki (energy work), chakra balancing, and breath-work, all with an emphasis on conscious touch and communication.

A difficult and involved part of my job is that I have to interview and train people. Working with David Adele has been wonderful and quite rewarding. They are thoughtful, sweet people who are quick learners and eager to be a part of the spa. And having the 2 of them work on me was heaven!

Obligatory business note: To schedule a Tandem Bliss appointment, it is suggested that you call 3-4 days in advance, minimum, since coordinating 2 people's schedules takes a bit more doing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Testamonial from a new guest.

Sometimes, there is no way I can convey how wonderful our spa sessions are intended to be. This letter from a recent guest touched my heart and made me glow. I am glad that I "add more to the world than I take."


You are marvelous. I have thought often of my time at the Little Red Day Spa eight days ago. You have created a true sanctuary…a refuge from the stressful world. I've found very few places where I can totally relax and feel disconnected from all other distractions. I love the atmosphere; you have such a beautiful and warm space.

But it is not the location. You create the magic of your safe haven. I've met very few people with such a beautiful sole. Perhaps I see only your professional persona – I think it's more than that – but that's still incredible. As you know I entered anxious and unsure what to expect. It only took our first exchange of words and the touch of your hand to put me completely at ease. Actually I first felt the connection simply by the warm and cheerful voice message you left confirming the appointment. I felt safe, secure and free to be in the moment without any hesitation whatsoever. Amazing.

I came to you because of stress. It disappeared; completely; at least for a day. I also came because I have over time ignored my creative side. Visiting the Little Red Day Spa was one small attempt to push myself out of comfort and routine…a way to explore the sensual and erotic. I was amazed (and pleased) that this happened in a totally non-sexual environment. I couldn't have appreciated the possibility without experiencing it. I certainly wasn't sure such a place, and person, could be found.

Feel proud that you add more to the world than you take.

I look forward to my next visit.

With fondness,

Friday, October 5, 2007

Back up and running again!

The offices of Hengst Studio & Little Red Studio have officially moved out of my waiting room! Despite the phone company's bungling of the transfer of the phone lines, the spa is running smoothly. (Thank goodness for call forwarding.) Even though administrative operations have moved to the Harrison building, Hengst Studio, meaning Jeff's painting business, has not moved. The Little Red Day Spa is still located in Hengst Studio. I am very glad of this. Having the creative energy of the hundreds of Jeff's paintings stored and created in our studio is invaluable for the spa's atmosphere.

Another exciting development is the arrival of our new Spa promotional materials and the impending question; where do we distribute the postcards and info/press releases? some will go into promotional packets along with all of the other Little Red Studio offerings. I am thinking perhaps I should contact the neighborhood hotels, as the spa is a nice treat when traveling. Other than that, I am at a bit of a loss for where else I should place the postcards. Suggestions are most appreciated.