Sunday 28th October 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1- How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?
I had a wonderfully happy childhood and both my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic and independence. However, we weren’t well off so I knew from a young age that if I was to afford the type of lifestyle I wanted, then I would have to work for it.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
I think that the principles of a successful business today are much as they’ve always been: an idea which you just can’t afford ‘not to do’; creation of a good working model; managing cash flow; and the best people you can find.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
To start my own company and thinking of the benefits rather than the risks. I’ve found that many people talk themselves out of starting a business because they only see the potential downfalls. Running my own business has enabled me to have the sort of life I dreamed of and the flexibility I needed to successfully combine work, marriage and motherhood.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
My biggest influence was my first PR boss, Toby Oliver. He taught me the fundamentals of PR but as an ex-journalist, he taught me what makes news, how to approach the press and to put myself in situations which might be uncomfortable but which I would rise to.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
One of the most difficult decisions was also starting The Spa PR Company 15 years ago. I had two young children at the time so leaving a regular well paid job for a start-up was a risk but I’ve never looked back.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?
Resilience. Throughout your working life there are always knock backs but you have to have the strength to pick yourself up and go on.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I lost my mother when she was still quite young so when I’m stressed I give myself a reality check on how important my concerns really are. If they’re not life threatening then I can put everything into a perspective. I’ve also found breathing techniques I’ve learnt in yoga help to keep me calm.
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
Exercise has been my biggest support and energiser. I work out in a gym regularly and more recently have taken up yoga. For years I dipped in and out of yoga not really understanding the benefits.
Last year, with a great teacher, I finally ‘got it’. The calm and serenity it brings me is valuable to all aspects of my life.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
I’d like to see the more serious side of ‘health’ spa grow faster than it is and make a greater contribution to the UK’s improved wellness and longevity. It worries me when I hear the latest stats on obesity and heart disease.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favorite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My favourite quotes are those I receive daily from TUT – A Note from the Universe. They are always upbeat and often make me smile. Here’s one:
“Did you know, Tracey, that whenever you say “I think I’m onto something HUGE, I’m so excited, I love my life, I have total clarity…” it’s like hitting an “ON” button that throws countless supernatural invisible mechanisms into action that gradually begin physically rearranging the props and events of your life so that they’ll soon yield something HUGE, generate excitement, inspire love and provide clarity?
And that whenever you say, “I don’t know what to do, it’s all so hard, I hate my life, I don’t ever want to return to time and space…” it’s like hitting an “OFF” button.
Of course you did,
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1.What’s your favorite book?
I love to read so I have many favourites. However, more recently it has to be The Handmaid’s Tale. Loved both the book and the TV series. Both unsettling and inspiring.
2. What’s your favorite film of all time?
The original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. I saw the theatre version with Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell and they weren’t a match on the originals. Incredible acting and Paul Newman is gorgeous!
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Oprah. She must have all the celebrity stories to tell!
4. You get taken to your favorite place to be, where are you taken?
When I was in my early 20s I lived in Florence in Italy. It’s still one of my favourite places to be. Its beauty, language, food and wine are all divine.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Unagi with my family in Kyoto. When we went on holiday to Japan last year, my son introduced me to unagi (eel). Served with the most amazing sweet sauce on a bed of rice, this is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had. Apparently in Japan they believe that eating unagi will provide health benefits to the body, especially in summer when it helps boost stamina to survive the summer heat.
6. Your go to drink is?
Good champagne or the occasional Rum Punch made with the best Caribbean dark rum.
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
I’ve managed to wean myself off most sweet foods over the years but I do like cake. Watching the Great British Bake-Off has made it even more tempting!
8. What is your favorite essential oil/scent?
I love the freshness of Cedar and fir essential oils. I have a wood fired hot tub made of cedar wood and the natural scent from that in the great outdoors is incredible.
9. You go for a treatment – what do you have and why?
Top to toe massage of any type. I always think I should try something different but a good massage is so hard to beat. The relaxation benefits are so long lasting.
10. What is your favorite flower?
I love all white flowers and particularly white roses and peonies.
11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Have a warm bath with Westlab Magnesium Flakes (they’re the best!) These help me have the deepest of sleeps.
12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Have a strong cup of coffee. As I only drink coffee occasionally it has an instant energising effect.
13. The theme tune to your life is?
I’m very much a half glass full person so ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone is probably the most appropriate.
14. What makes you laugh to your belly?
Normally friends. That sort of laugh normally comes from a shared experience when you have no inhibitions. We should have more of those moments!
15. What’s your favorite season?
Summer. I love the long evenings, warmth and going bare foot. This summer was perfect!
16. What’s your favourite color?
My husband would say it’s orange as he reminds me that I wore an all-orange jumpsuit when we first went out (this was the 80s) and I tend to be drawn to bright and shiny things.
17. Your favourite time of day is?
Morning. I’m definitely a get up and go type of person and like to make the most of the day.
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what/who would you be?
I wouldn’t want to be anyone else but I always think I’d like to have a go at other careers. I’ve always been interested in nutrition so to have explored this in greater depth would have been wonderful.
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
Strictly Come Dancing. When I was a child I used to take ballroom and Latin American dancing lessons with the professional dancer, Peggy Spencer so it brings back some good memories and I occasionally join in!
20. Magic dust – you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
I’d like to be able to draw or paint really well. I’ve always loved creative arts which is probably why my two children have ended up as architects, but I’d love to be a natural artist!
Tracey started the UK’s first specialist spa and wellness PR agency in 2004 and has gone on to represent some of the leading spas and suppliers around the world. Tracey is also on the PR Committee for CIDESCO International, the world standard for beauty and spa therapy and has a keen interest in furthering standards in the industry.
Starting her PR career some 30 years ago at one of London’s largest consumer agencies where she worked across beauty, travel and lifestyle. Tracey then specialised in travel PR for many years working for tourist offices, tour operators, hotels and airport operators before following her own passion for spa and wellness.
Follow the Spa PR Company on Twitter & Instagram: @spaprcompany