Today we’d like to introduce you to Kamala Kirk and Lizzy Sherman.
Kamala and Lizzy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We both spent many years working as beauty editors and met six years ago when we were at “rival” beauty magazines. We kept running into each other at the same media events and eventually became friends! Our jobs were quite stressful and we were always traveling for work, so going to spas was something we enjoyed doing in our free time and posting about on social media.
People began messaging us asking for spa recommendations and that was when we realized there was a lack of resources for consumers looking for spa content. We joined forces and launched our own digital publication in 2018 to provide the content we wanted to see, which in addition to spa coverage included beauty, travel and lifestyle content with a wellness-focused angle.
Has it been a smooth road?
No road is ever completely smooth in life, especially when you run a business. There are always challenges that come up (such as this pandemic we’re currently in), but you just have to take things one step at a time and tackle each obstacle that comes your way, whether it’s finding new solutions or pivoting your services.
During the first year, our main challenges included building our publication, growing our social following, and publishing daily content. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. We both fill multiple roles, doing everything from writing articles and managing social media to handling the business side of things and attending events–the list goes on! The biggest reward of all is to have the opportunity to work on something that we built together and is entirely our own.
In the wake of COVID-19, we expanded our content to offer more articles based around self-care, DIY spa treatments that readers could do at home, recipes, and tips from experts on a range of topics from at-home workouts to fun activities to do while in quarantine. When the pandemic first hit, we put a pause on posting our regular spa profiles and switched up our content in order to provide support and uplifting content for our readers. Now that some time has passed, people want to read about other things besides the coronavirus, so we’re back to publishing spa profiles. Some people enjoy reading about spas for fun, while others come to our website because they’re planning their next trip and want inspiration.
Prior to the pandemic, we were attending multiple press events every week, which was definitely one of the perks of the job, but it also led to burn-out because we were constantly traveling. We’ve been taking advantage of this time spent at home to really focus on our publication and continue to create quality content for our readers. While there haven’t been any in-person events during these past few months, many brands have held virtual events instead, offering creative ways to share their latest launches with us so that we can continue to stay in the know.
Another challenge we encountered was the delay of our rebrand. We had originally planned to roll out our new website several months ago but then the coronavirus happened, so we postponed it until just a few weeks ago. We are really happy with how it has gone and the feedback we’ve received has been very positive. Everything works out for a reason!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Spa & Beauty Today story. Tell us more about the business.
Our digital publication features spa profiles from around the world, which you can search by location. We interview spa directors at hotels and resorts, as well as owners of independent and boutique day spas, who recommend treatments, share insider tips, and more so that our readers can make informed decisions when choosing a spa.
We publish a Spa Diary series, where we detail our own visits to spas and cover everything you need to know, from parking and pricing to amenities and services. We wanted to make spas more accessible to the general public and give people a better idea of what to expect when visiting one. We cover all kinds of spas, from luxury and destination to more affordable spas, because everyone has different tastes and budgets. We have several writers across the country who visit and cover spas for us as well, which has helped us expand our reach as it’s impossible to travel everywhere.
In addition, every week we profile beauty industry leaders in our #BeautyBoss column. Every month we feature our Editors’ Picks, which highlight the latest product launches in beauty and wellness, and we publish daily content about everything from wellness travel and retreats to spa and beauty news and trends.
We normally provide a lot of travel and event content, but currently we have adapted that to bring the travel and events home. For instance, we offer our audience details about the latest virtual retreats and events, DIY beauty and self-care tips, and recipes from favorite destinations.
We are both passionate about the spa and beauty industries, and along with our shared experience working in publishing combined with our industry connections, we pride ourselves on creating authentic content that is beneficial to our readers. Our goal is to highlight all of the incredible brands, companies and spas out there so that others can discover them too.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The wellness industry will continue to expand as more emphasis is being placed on the importance of self-care. Spas will be seen less as an exclusive luxury, while more massage concepts, beauty bars, and other unique wellness-oriented spaces (The Now Massage, Lifehood, Face Haus, etc.) will open with a focus on accessibility and affordability for all.
Wellness social clubs like Remedy Place (a similar concept to Soho House but with a health focus) are increasing in popularity as well, offering people a place to gather with friends while taking a more proactive approach to wellness (healthy beverages instead of cocktails, doing IV drips and cryotherapy together, etc.).
COVID-19 has certainly had an impact on the wellness, spa and travel industries, and while there will be a slow return to some of these activities along with new measures and limitations in the near future, we envision these companies and businesses finding different ways to be creative while offering their guests a place to relax and feel safe at the same time. A lot of hotels and spas have started to offer more virtual wellness experiences like workouts and cooking classes, so we see those continuing to grow in popularity as well. Prior to the pandemic, the industry was booming with new clients and innovative treatments, and we are optimistic that this will pick up where it left off as consumers need a way to relax!
- Website: www.spaandbeautytoday.com
- Instagram: @spaandbeautytoday
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spaandbeautytoday/
- Twitter: spabeautytoday
Images courtesy of Spa & Beauty Today