Lois Christie, owner of Christie & Co. Salon and Spa, and her staff
are known for hair—more specifically, hair color. But recently it’s the
spa portion of her business that’s taken center stage. The spa, which
she opened in 2001, just took home Repêchage’s Spa de Beaute of the
Year award, honoring it for overall achievement in decor, advertising
and marketing, charity and community involvement, education and
“I think it’s a morale booster for the staff,” says Christie, of winning the award. “Everyone likes being acknowledged for doing a good job, and everyone wants to be proud working for a salon and spa on the leading edge, that is doing things right. With clients, it gives us a notch up in credibility.”
Working with Repêchage has also given them an edge in increasing their facial business—-Christie credits Repêchage founder Lydia Sarfati with the idea of bringing mini-facial treatments onto the salon floor. “Women buy what they see,” she says. “We’ve taken treatments out of the room and made them more visible.” Offering mini-facials in the window or even 30-Minute Signature Treatments—consisting of mini-mask, hair conditioner and hand treatment—meant a significant increase in facial business, as many of those clients bought a full facial for their next appointment. Retail increased too, in the month following the introduction of the express treatments on the floor, outselling shampoos and conditioners. “Clients are visiting less—so if they’re stretching appointments, you’re losing business,” says Christie. “While they’re here, you have to offer them services quickly and efficiently.”
That nimbleness when it comes to business is part of what has made Christie successful—one constant throughout her 30 years in the industry has been evolving to stay ahead of the curve. “You have to constantly keep changing how you do business, and change your business strategy with the changing times. What made us successful in 2005 won’t keep us successful into 2010,” she says. One change she is planning on for next year is expanding the salon and spa hours. Already open seven days a week, with extended Saturday hours, she’ll stay open until 11 p.m. two nights a week to accommodate client needs.
“If they want to come in, we have to work them in. I don’t believe in too short a day—people should be able to get a facial at 8 p.m. too,” Christie says.
She is also creating an express service menu to accommodate walk-ins and those who want or need to pay less for services. Young talent will be priced at a lower level than senior staff, and clients will be able to walk in without an appointment and get the service they need with whomever is available from the young talent pool.
When it comes to selling retail, she has the same approach, with different price points. “It’s always high-end, but we have to respect that this economy may mean lower price points. To stay in business and be successful, you have to be diversified,” she says.
Christie & Co. Salon and Spa
Lois Christie, President, CEO and Co-Director
Location: Bayside, New York
Years in the industry: 30
Specialties: Hair color, customized facials
Square feet: 8,000