‘Because of the nature of our job, people let their guard down and share things with you, you wouldn’t believe.’
I first met Maria when hiring her as beautician/therapist for a spa pre opening in the Middle East. From the moment I read her CV, I sensed that she was passionate and driven, and we offered her a contract after a telephone conversation only. What impressed me most whilst observing her later at work was how focused and authentic Maria always presented herself.
I cannot express how happy I was, when I learned that Maria agreed to share her story here on the blog:
Maria, tell us about how you started working in spas
I have always been an absolute cosmetic junkie and started having beauty treatments in my teens. After having worked in hospitality for a few years I needed a change and attended beauty school in Sweden. From then on I have been working in the spa industry as a beautician and therapist on and off for the last 15 years. At times I was certain I would never return, but somehow the work keeps pulling me back and I just recently started a new job in a spa in Tenerife.
Did you work in different places?
I literally worked everywhere I feel. On cruise ships with Steiner where I really learned the importance of retail. Around Europe, Middle East and South East Asia. I have been part of a few pre openings which was always very exciting. Last year I did a short stint in a luxury spa in Switzerland and to my surprise my old boss from my time in Dubai turned up and was going to grade the spa. When we first worked together back in Dubai, I was on my second job in a spa and she worked for the first time as a spa manager. Years have passed but where are both still working in the industry.
How do you adapt to moving around all the time, where is ‘home’?
In order to make the transition as smooth as possible I have a ritual wherever I go. Which means finding a local gym, a cinema, a news stand with international newspapers but most importantly find an expat community. Making new friends is very important for me to feel at home. More and more I feel at home quite quickly and it’s funny how fast ones new life turns into a routine, regardless if you’re in Zürich, Barcelona or Dubai.
What is great or maybe not so nice about working as beautician and therapist in the spa industry?
What is great? Well that’s easy! All the amazing people you meet in this industry all make everything worthwhile. I have met so many exciting and interesting people over the years not to mention the life stories I heard. It’s amazing the things people tell you when you touch them. Because of the nature of our job people let their guard down and share things with you, you wouldn’t believe.
However, in this industry you can’t have a bad day. I mean you can’t just say ‘well, today I am just going to hide and not speak to anyone’. This job requires you to interact with strangers every day and even touch them. At times it can be tough and a real challenge.
What is your favourite treatment or product?
I am still looking for the ideal product. I worked with so many different brands and with every new brand I find a favourite product. My all-time favourite foundation has to be La prairie, expensive but worth every penny. I was fortunate enough to work with the brand in Switzerland and until this day I still think they got some really amazing face products.
Strange enough and being a beautician myself, I am not very good in having treatments and usually prioritise pedicure, manicure and waxing rather than going for a relaxing treatment, not saying I don’t enjoy it.
Any special moments?
I have had so many amazing moments. Every time you make a guests truly happy and that can be by just listening to them, or give them a great massage. There is nothing more gratifying than making a guests truly happy about their spa treatment. This is a job where you know immediately if you have done a good job or not. I found myself many times at amazing locations, luxury surroundings, I know friends of mine would die to see.
What inspires you?
People inspire me! People who overcome real obstacles in life. People who survived diseases but also people with an inner drive and ambition. I met a handful of people who made a real change in their life, that is always very inspiring.
Maria, what is your personal wellness tip?
My personal wellness tip is really nothing out of the ordinary. Enough sleep, not too much sun, healthy diet and a fair amount of exercise. But foremost the body has an amazing ability to tell you when something isn’t good for you, so just listen to it!
A little more about Maria
Maria is a Swedish citizen, brought up in Chile.
As a certified Beauty and Spa Therapist, she has travelled the world. Besides being drawn to the spa industry, Maria enjoys the gym, a great hike, and networking and socialising, for example at the movies.
Her latest passion is SUP (Stand Up Paddling).
all pictures copyright Maria Remneus