The 10 Most Influential Spa Evangelists

Putting up a spa entails more than just giving your patrons a massage. This service has grown and spawned an entire multi-million dollar industry-with hundreds of different players offering various services to boot.

So how does one survive or even begin to enter the market?

Well, starting up your own spa (or any business, for that matter) involves a whole lot of determination and hard work. One must be keen on finding new ways to get a leg up on the competition to draw people to his or her establishment, or be left behind in obscurity. Things like new or innovative health and wellness treatment, attractive deals and packages, an accessible location with interiors that are equally enticing and relaxing, and even excellent customer service might be a good mix. Of course, you might want to do a bit
of research yourself to see what’s hot and what’s not.

Better yet, why not get some helpful hints from the experts. Sounds intimidating? Don’t fret as you can find a lot of their work online for the world to view. You can turn to these folks­-some of the world’s influential spa evangelists. These gurus preach the gospel of spa and wellness to those willing to listen. They are:

1. Mary Blackmon (
Mary is the founder of Spa Addicts, an innovative service that offers spa treatment at any of its partner spas and wellness centers at very affordable rates-started at a time when the concept wasn’t even thought of yet.

2. Kristin Gladfelter Johnson (
A veteran in the fields of marketing, public relations, and publishing, Kristin has extensive experience that makes her the perfect person to turn to when you need help in making your spa attractive to clients.

3. Mark A. McKenney (@markthespaman #Spa; #skincare; #wellness)
Mark is a Media Consultant for DERMASCOPE, the most widely-read Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and Spa Therapy for over 40 years. This is the journal that anyone who is Cleveland med spa keen on staying in the industry for a very long time should be reading. And if you think that he is all talk, you might want to know that Mark is a Spa and Wellness enthusiast himself. So yes, he knows what he’s talking about.

4. Candy Holladay (@artofthespa)
Candy is spokesperson for the successful Art of the Spa and a Founder of the equally front-running Spa4Diabetes. In the Art of the Spa, for instance, she talks about what wellness treatment is all about via such programs as the on-air and on-web Brunch radio show, among others.

5. Susie Ellis (@susieelis; @spafinder)
She is President of SpaFinder Wellness Inc. This hardworking executive doesn’t just sit around or get facials and sign papers every day. On the contrary, Susie is the author of the well-read Susie’s Spa and Wellness Blog as well as the annual Spa Trend Forecast. The Chairman of the Global Spa and Wellness Summit likewise practices what she preaches by regularly working out and eating healthy.

6. Ella Stimpsion (@ispadoyou)
She is the Chairman of the International Spa Association. Apart from this prestigious title-which entails hard work, mind you-Ella is likewise the executive director for spa and salon at Wynn Spa and Salon and Encore Spa and Salon, located at Wynn, Las Vegas. Her prior tours of duty in the US Army have equipped her with more than enough discipline to handle the rigorous demands of her job which, ironically, aims to provide relaxation and wellness to many.

7. Cheryl Reid (@spaweek)
“To bring the spa and wellness experience to the masses by offering treatments, normally costing hundreds of dollars, for just $50 each”-this is the concept behind Spa Week. Its founder, Cheryl, herself understands very well the stresses of living in a hustle and bustle environment such as New York City. And for Chery, what better way to educate more people than by actually allowing them to get a “feel” for it, literally.

8. Ava Roxanne Stritt (@spatravelgal)
She has been quoted in USA Today as well as on Fox News, The LA Times, and many other well-known publications and media channels. We’re referring to Spa Travel gal Ava Roxanne. A freelance writer by day, this spa lover has been called “one of the most influential persons” for spa and luxury travel. Ironically, she believes that spa, travel, and skincare shouldn’t be a luxury but rather, are essential for a healthy body.

9. Shanon Hoffman (@helaigspas)
Shanon is the publisher and owner of Healing Lifestyle and Spa, a regular publication that gives useful information about anything about the service and its varied treatments. A lover of the open waters via a sailboat, she eventually finds herself back at her desk working hard to bring out the best advice and tidbits of data useful for any wellness enthusiast, with a homemade facial mask to boot-to better experience firsthand what she preaches.

10. Anitra Brown (@GuideToSpas)
Anitra not only writes for Guide to Spas for, but is likewise a freelance journalist and spa writer. In fact, this authority on the subject of wellness is as credible as they come-having worked as a spa therapist herself.

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