Sunday 20th January 2019
By Michelle Hammond
Q1- How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?
My parents owned their own catering business as we were growing up, so me and my triplet siblings started working within the family business from a young age, so my parents work ethic rubbed off and was the foundation to an overall very hard working family.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Resilience, keep pushing forward and don't be scared to make mistakes by trying something out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you just need to go for it and not focus on the process too much.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
Collaborate with strong partners who have the skill set or experience that your business might not have but could greatly benefit from in the future. It is impossible to be good at everything, so establish your strengths and look to others to support areas of opportunity.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
I was fortunate to have a great mentor, Neil Hewerdine, who supported and groomed me, which has played a huge part in my career. Not only did we work as a team but their was honesty, trust, care and fun along the way that at the end of the day made us family.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
The grass is not always greener. There is a lot to be said about job security and knowing at the end of each month you will receive a pay check, so never take this for granted.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?
Ambition. You must want it so bad, so that through the tough days and days where you feel overwhelmed or lost that your inner drive just keeps pushing you through to the other side.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
Peppermint tea is the hero for all meltdowns.
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
I sleep 7-8 hrs, exercise 4-5 days a week and eat healthy with lots of vegetables, less sugar and intermittent fasting has been great for re-setting when I feel out of routine or not balanced. Little rituals including meditation, gratitude journal, daily stretching and aromatherapy have really helped to keep me balanced and when I don't do it, I really notice a difference.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
I think as an industry we need to move forward and be real when it comes to the terminology & images we are using, especially when we consider the rising suicide rates, mental health, bullying, social media expectations, body dis-morphia ....the list is endless. Anti ageing, instant fat loss and unattainable images of perfection is not what we should be using when promoting and marketing our industry, and our industry as well as many others need to move with the times and reality of what is happening.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be you, work hard, travel, have fun along the way, love with no limits, cherish family and friends and trust everything will be ok because in the end everything always works out, its just a question of timing.
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1.What’s your favourite book?
At the moment I am reading "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg and its a special book for any woman in the work force and questioning can we have it all? Refreshing, raw and unfiltered.
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
Going to the movies is something me and my future husband love to do in conjunction with caramel popcorn, no movie is complete without popcorn. I love all movies except horror but give me a true love story any day!
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
To have dinner with my future self to see where I ended up, what I learnt and what I messed up to see what I could of potentially done differently.
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
I am so blessed to have traveled the world and seen the most beautiful exotic places and each place has a special memory for different reasons, but when I look at these moments, they all had one thing in common, it's the people you share this moment with that makes it so amazing.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Traditional Italian pizza and a glass of vino or a good old fashioned burger with sweet potato fries and a beer.
6. Your favourite sweet treat is?
I am not a chocolate lover but I love a blueberry doughnut and of course being British, a scone with raspberry jam and you can never have too much clotted cream.
7. What is your favourite essential oil/scent?
Peppermint ...but please no more Lemongrass! (Spa overkill.....)
8. You go for a treatment – what do you have and why?
When you work in Spa you are always so spoiled when it comes to treatments, so when I travel or visit a Spa, I always like to try something unique or indigenous to that country that I have never tried before and it's not always about the big fancy hotel Spas. Recently in a Hong Kong day spa, I received the most memorable and magical experience that can only be described as the Harry Potter of Spas.
19. What is your favourite flower?
I love white lilies, roses, orchids anything white.
10. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Aromatherapy Associates De-stress Shower Oil, meditate, candles and the perfect onesie.
11. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Peppermint tea for meltdowns, as well as to reset and to energize. I think I have an obsession with peppermint tea!
12. The theme tune to your life is?
My theme tune to life like movies, I have too many favorites but to live everyday to the max, experience everything you can and give your all to everything you do.
13. What makes you laugh to your belly?
Surround yourself with the people you love and who know you inside and out, so laughing till your belly hurts is just a given.
14. What’s your favourite season?
After 10 years in Dubai and now living in Asia, I have forgotten what real seasons really feel like but I think given the choice, it would be autumn.
15. What’s your favourite color?
16. Your favourite time of day is?
My favorite time of day is just before sunset, as the day fades into early evening. Not so easy to see when you are working in an office, so when I travel, I truly cherish this moment and feel like I am on holidays.
17. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what/who would you be?
In another life, I would of loved to have been a fitness professional, so my day job would be training for iron-mans, marathons and extreme fitness challenges around the world. From north pole adventures to dessert challenges and throw in a few summits for good measure. Base camp Everest & a marathon complete but I have a huge bucket list to tick off.
18. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
I hate to say it and so cringe worthy but Dynasty on Netflix.
19. Magic dust – you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
If I could learn one new skill in an instant, it would be to speak multiple languages. I am so jealous of people who can do this and make it look so easy. I am very embarrassed to say for a worldly traveler, I only speak English. I am attempting Thai, so lets see.....
Starting in the spa industry in 2004, Zoe is an accomplished leader with 14 years of international experience and renowned for her expertise in large volume spa operations, pre-opening setup and brand distribution.
As Group Director of Spa for MSpa International, her role consists of overseeing spas' in Asia consisting of 45 properties within the Anantara and AVANI portfolio in South East Asia, China and the Maldives including management of the spas at St Regis Bangkok and JW Marriott Phuket.
Zoe's role focuses on ensuring the success of all spas within the region by driving performance of the spas to maximize revenue and profit while delivering the brand promise to the highest standards and to develop there spa leaders to be the leaders of the future. As well as overseeing operations, her role covers all new pre-opening projects including, concept design, brand identity and financial strategy for all upcoming spa projects.