Taking 10 with...Lisa Knowles

Taking 10 with...Lisa Knowles

Sunday 3rd June 2018

By Michelle Hammond

Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?

Both my parents are really hard workers. They are now in their 80’s and still work every day. They definitely installed that in me. If you want money, you have to earn it and work hard. They taught me to always be conscientious and do the very best I can.

Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Integrity, honesty and to be nice to people.

Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?

Starting my own business, The Spa Set and recently Nutriality

Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?

My partner. He taught me, not to get too emotional in business.

Q5 - What was your most difficult business decision?

Staying self-employed in the recession. That was one of the hardest times of my life

Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?

Facing your fears and to at least try. There is a great self-help book, called ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. I love that statement and I think I have always lived by it.

Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?

I can get very nervous when overwhelmed, but if I am stressed I usually need to be alone and don’t want to see or talk to anyone. However, I am very good at putting a brave face on, so that no one would know. In business I don’t feel people need to see you stressed.

Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?

Good nutrition, exercise, yoga and taking timeout for myself. I live by beautiful countryside and love walking through the fields. I am never more relaxed than when I am with nature.

Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?

Better training in the colleges. The industry has improved ten-fold over the last twenty years with so many wonderful spas, but I don’t feel that the colleges are keeping up with the standards. So many therapists are coming into the industry and not really understanding the level of service that is required. I taught Beauty Therapy for a number of years and I have really seen the difference, especially when I am recruiting for therapists for new spas.

Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote?

I actually have two, which really mean the same thing, just said in different ways.
“The only constant is change” – Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher
“Insanity - Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” – Einstein
The latter I use in both business and life. Sometimes you have to look at why something isn’t working and make changes. 


1. What’s your favourite book ?

A Kestral for a Knave also known as Kes, which is the name of the film – Barry Hines

2. What’s your favourite film of all time?

Greece. I have seen it about a 100-times

3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

Jacques Cousteau – Conservationist. I would love to hear his stories of seeing the world and being the first to discover marine life that we now take for granted…..and Marilyn Monroe. I find her intriguing. No one really knew her. I would love to think sitting with her at dinner you would see a glimmer of the real person without the mask.

4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?

By the sea, somewhere like Holkeim Beach in Norfolk on a windy wild day. We often go there for Christmas Day. It’s stunning and nature at its best.

5. Your perfect dinner is?

Veggie sausages, mash & onions with lots of gravy

6. Your go to drink is?

Red wine or water

7. Your favourite sweet treat is?

Dark Chocolate

8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?

Essential oil is geranium or sandalwood. Scent is something musky like oud

9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?

Thai massage or Synchronised Massage. I love feeling stretched after a Thai massage. A synchronised massage, if performed properly can be unbelievably tranquil

10. What’s your favourite flower?

Wild meadow flowers

11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?

Take a bath with Epsom salts, make sure the room is completely dark (no gadgets or tv), cool and silent….and with my own pillow!

12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Oil

13. The theme tune to your life is?

I don’t have one, but I like songs that evoke memories of my child-hood.

14. What makes you laugh to your belly?

Silly pranks with someone with a good sense of humour

15.What’s your favourite season?

Spring or Autumn. I love the changes that happen in these seasons.

16. What’s your favourite colour?


17. Your favourite time of day is?

The Afternoon

18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?

An animal conservationist.

19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?


20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?

To be multi-lingual

With nearly 30 years experience in spa, leisure and hospitality, Lisa has developed a variety of skills in education, management and consultancy. Originally training as a Beauty Therapist, she very quickly wanted to expand her skills and knowledge further. She trained as a lecturer teaching Beauty Therapy and then became a National Training Manager before becoming a Spa Manager in five-star hotels in both the UK and Australia. Lisa was head-hunted to become a Spa Consultant for an international company, which inspired her to start her own consultancy, The Spa Set. A role that has taken her around the world. As part of Lisa’s consultancy, she develops and designs treatments for many leading spa brands. Four years ago, she decided to retrain to become a Nutritional Therapist, starting Nutriality. A business that combines nutrition, treatment development & wellness programmes that can be taken into spas.

Learn more about The Spa Set

Connect with Lisa:

Phone: +44(0)7956 578608

Email: lisa@thespaset.com


Facebook: @nutriality

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