Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

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In Conversation - Helena Field General Manager UKSA

Name: Helena Field

Company: UK Spa Association

Job Position: General Manager

Q1. What first attracted you to the beauty industry?

A1. I wanted to work with people and had an interest in holistic health from a young age.

Q2. What was your first job within the industry?

A2. I began my career in Gyms as a Personal Trainer and Holistic Massage Therapist

Q3. Tell us more about your job role now. What does an average day entail?

A3. I am lucky enough to head up the only not for profit trade association for the UK Spa Industry, I spend much of my time speaking to Spa operators UK wide by providing support, advice, up to date legislation, facilitating networking events and looking after our membership database.

Q4. Who was / is your industry inspiration?

A4. I have worked with many inspirational people over the years and truly couldn’t pick just one. I am grateful for all the people I have met along the way, who have without doubt impacted my work ethic, beliefs and passion for the industry.

Q5. What is the best thing about your job and/or working in the industry?

A5. I have always found this industry incredibly rewarding, I managed Spas for 10 years and witnessed many situations where we made a positive difference to someone’s life, those moments make it so worthwhile.

Q6. What are the biggest challenges that you face in your line of work?

A6. The biggest challenge I see in the Industry at the moment is the shortage in Therapists. I am pushing for our Industry to better PR careers in the Spa Industry in the hope we will attract more people!

There is such opportunity for the industry to attract more and better quality therapists. The NHS is groaning under the weight of patients with mental and physical issues related to lack of exercise, poor nutrition, stress and lack of life balance. The NHS can't cope and yet here we are in the Spa and Wellness Industry with the means and expertise to help and prevent a lot of those issues for people before they end up at the door of the NHS. You could say we are the secondary health service! Without a doubt this affords the industry the opportunity to grow in status and reputation, and who wouldn't want to be a part of that? However, I think we need to make that message clear to therapists coming into the's a serious but fulfilling role.

Q7. How do you define success, and what do you think has made you successful?

A7. Success for me has always been defined by my happiness, if I am enjoying my job role and making a difference then I get a total sense of achievement. You spend more time at work than you do at home and therefore you must do something that makes you want to get up in the morning.

Q8. What has been your biggest achievement to date?

A8. The Spas I have managed have won awards over the years and that is always exciting. However, the biggest achievement for me personally was when I got my first Spa Management role aged 27 at The Refinery, Harrods, Tracey Woodward now CEO of Aromatherapy Associates gave me the opportunity and I had been running Gyms up until that point, so for someone to see something in me and take a chance on me meant a huge amount and the rest is history as they say!

Q9. Who is your beauty icon and why?

A9. I admire natural beauty and ageing gracefully, therefore Audrey Hepburn springs to mind.

Q10. Which celebrity would you most like to give a treatment to and why?

A10. Holly Willoughby as she always looks flawless and I’d love to know her beauty secrets!

Q11. Do you have any beauty secrets?

A11. I am such a fan of organic face oils, I suffered from terrible eczema around my nose for many years, since I started using the oils it has never returned.

Q12. What is your biggest beauty no-no?

A12. Not drinking enough water. It’s the kindest thing to do for your skin!

Q13. What is your must-have beauty product/treatment?

A13. I think massage is the most incredible treatment for your health and wellbeing.

Q14. Do you have any predictions for beauty trends that will shape the market during 2018?

A14. Therapists are starting to specialise in an area of beauty, customers want to see ‘experts’ in a particular field and the industry is responding to this.

Q15. How do you relax away from work?

A15. I live in the countryside and love nothing more than a dog walk by the river with my dog Gilbert. I spend as much time as I can with my family and friends and that’s how I prefer to relax.

Q16.Do you have a motto you live by?

A16. Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t happened. Live in the present and make it beautiful.

Q17. Do you have any words of wisdom for individuals beginning their career in the industry?

A17. Make it a passion, become an expert in your field and give it your all, if you do you will have a truly rewarding and enjoyable career. Remember a client knows if you are only applying a half-hearted effort, make their day and it will make yours.

Q18. If you could go back 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

A18. To always follow your gut instinct, never ignore it, it’s always been right! 

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Thursday, 28 January 2021

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