Sunday 21st April 2019
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?
From the age of 12, I put in full weekend shifts at the local stables, to get extra riding lessons free. It was my wonderful Grandad who really instilled a strong work ethic in me. He always used to say, and still says, “Emma Roberts (always double names me!), to get anywhere in life you need to work hard, always be prepared to do a little extra for nothing and save some money for a rainy day.” I’m still working on the saving money part, but the rest of his advice has done me well.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Authenticity is key. People ultimately see through the smoke and mirrors! Be what and who you say you are.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
Joining VOYA 4 years ago, I have seen significant growth and development of VOYA within this time and I’m proud to be a part of it. VOYA has an amazing team of people who really give heart and soul, it is great to work in such a positive and authentic environment.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
There have been a number of people throughout my career, too many to mention. I have to give a big shout out to Sue Sharples who gave me my first ever job in the industry. She is a real stickler for standards (in a good way) and made me the most conscientious therapist. Jacqueline Ross has been an amazing spa consultant and
mentor over the years and is now a dear friend. Jaclyn Hughes, who I first met about 15 years ago taught me D.I.S.C principles which I still use to this day! I meet people every day who have a positive influence, we are fortunate to work in such a creative and inspiring industry.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
A bit of a cliché but don’t think there is any bad decision. Mistakes and bad decisions turn into learnings, which in turn help us to grow as people and leaders.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?
PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). Attitude is everything.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I literally cannot see the wood for the trees. I find it hard to think clearly and even the simplest tasks and decisions become ten times more difficult. I have learned over the years to not let things get to this point. I take a step back and take a breath.
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
This is something I need to constantly work on. VOYA is a global business so there is always someone, somewhere in the world, that needs you. I love my job, so I could literally work 24 hours a day if I didn’t keep control of this.
I make sure that downtime is downtime and I take as many holidays as possible to re-charge the old batteries.
When travelling I try to prep my own food, so I don’t have to eat in airports and on planes. Nutrition is so important, I really feel the difference if I’m not eating as well as I should be.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
I believe we are really privileged to work in an industry with so much passion, heart and soul. We have the ability to improve people’s lives, whether it be for a 30min treatment or a full week wellness break which changes their lives completely. If I could wave a magic wand, I would change the perception of our industry in schools.
The people coming into the industry often come in for the wrong reason. As an industry, we need to do more to educate younger people on amazing opportunities throughout the spa and wellness industry.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“You can’t train passion”. I can’t remember who said it to me! However, it is a mantra i have lived by. I look for passion in everything, employees and companies I work for.
For me, everything else can be trained (within reason) but if you don’t have that inner fire in your belly, then you are fighting a losing battle.
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
I love anything by Jodi Picoult! One of my favourite authors.
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
Elf! It’s a great Christmas film and I’m not sorry!
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
My living room at home, curled up on the sofa, with a cup of tea and a good book. There is no place like home.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Tomahawk steak and a good bottle of red wine, both shared with my other half, bliss!
6. Your go to drink is?
Gin and tonic in the summer, red wine in the winter.
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
I’m more of a savoury girl but if I had to choose then anything with salted caramel.
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
Geranium or Sandalwood!
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Balinese Massage, I love how the movements flow. Totally relaxing. Heaven!
10.What’s your favourite flower?
11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
I love my sleep. The best sleep ever is a hot VOYA Seaweed Bath, then jumping in to fresh smelling clean bed linen.
12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Carrot, apple and ginger juice or if that is not available, I put some loud music on and have a dance.
13.The theme tune to your life is?
Don’t Stop me now, Queen
14.What makes you laugh to your belly?
The girls or the other half doing/attempting DIY!
15.What’s your favourite season?
I love them all for their uniqueness, but, If I had to chose one it would be Autumn. I love getting wrapped up in layers, the beauty of the colours on the trees, a sunny Autumn morning is breath-taking.
16. What’s your favourite colour?
17. Your favourite time of day is?
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
Show jumping (the rider not the horse)!
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
Currently is: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix I’m hooked. I’m hoping that if I watch it enough my house will “Marie Kondo” itself by the power of thought!
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
I would love to be able to tinkle the ivory’s, in the style of Billy Joel/Jools Holland.
Emma has worked in the spa industry for over 20 years, originally trained as a Beauty Therapist, Aromatherapist and Reflexologist. Emma worked at sea with Steiner for 5 years where she worked her way up from therapist to Spa Manager.
Emma now manages luxury spa brand VOYA global sales, marketing and training teams. VOYA caters to the evolving demands in the international spa market and has become a leading organic influence.