So much work goes on behind the hospitality industry that it is easy to underestimate exactly how much energy and dedication is injected into making every bit of our experience of the hospitality world operate like clockwork.
Sabi Phagura caught up with Jennifer Findlay a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) on how she has expanded her Core Essence business which is dedicated to health and wellbeing globally.
LM: What inspired you to create Core Essence?
JF: Core Essence began as an informal home for various passion projects, always wellness-inspired endeavours that over the years have ranged from supporting new businesses as they open dedicated health facilities, developing and coaching wellness professionals in the delivery of curated spa and wellness programs, and leading holistic travel adventures and spiritually nutritious retreats worldwide. There has been exponential growth in the global wellness industry over the last decade, now a 3.72 trillion-dollar economy*, yet there remains a significant gap in the marketplace. Core Essence is now an expanding business that is committed to delivering wellness-led design, brand concepts and ongoing operational support and management to resorts and communities dedicated to wellness and the health of their people and guests.
LM: What is it about Core Essence that makes it a top developer of wellness and spa concepts worldwide?
JF: We approach each project with the commitment to bringing an innovative brand concept to life and designing a wellness-infused space that allows for the creation of exceptional and unexpected guest experiences.
The early stages of concept and schematic design, as well as the brand development, are heavily research-based. We seek to understand the intricacies of the culture, history, traditions and environment of the region. We are committed to offering a seamless interconnectivity between function and beauty, practicality and creativity, performance and experience.
We always stand in the shoes of the operator – while we are conceptualising our projects from a design and programming perspective, we are also analysing all of the behind the scenes operational nuances in an effort to produce a space that is optimised both for the guests and team members.
LM: What is the most important element for you to incorporate into spas?
JF: Every project has its own story. We have a mindfully crafted process, signature to Core Essence, which we apply to every project, that “journey-maps” the various unique guest experience opportunities. This allows us great insight and ensures we deliver on our commitment to reimagining traditional spa and wellness spaces and offerings while also creating unexpected and exceptional guest experiences. Our design and development processes are intimately intertwined, ensuring that the key touch points are felt in all aspects of the space and programs provided. The end story itself is meant to underscore the underlying ethos and values of the larger vision and mission of the company, strengthening its unique selling position and elevating its place within the market.
LM: What have you found to be the most difficult aspect in your work?
JF: Unfortunately, it is far too common to find spa businesses that are inefficiently and ineffectively operated. These businesses, like any other, require strong leadership, continued advancement and education of team members, a commitment to financial performance, and a fierce understanding of what it takes to deliver exceptional service experiences, every time, all the time.
Most early phases of projects are often spent overcoming fears and pain points of owners and operators as you try to instil confidence that spa and wellness businesses are not only great for guests but great for the bottom line as well.
LM: How will the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) help you to develop Core Essence?
JF: ISHC is a wonderful connector. Through the society, we have the great opportunity to build relationships with industry professionals with specialisations and areas of expertise across the hospitality industry that help compliment your unique skill set. We all come together in conversation and in the exchange and generation of ideas to build best next practices and accelerate the growth of our industry.