How to Recreate an African Spa Oasis: Oasis Day Spa Launches Kanshi, Weymouth, MA, November 5, 2010

Last weekend, Julie Mahoney, owner of Oasis Day Spa in Weymouth, Massachusetts, hosted a special event to launch new aromatherapy spa line, Kanshi . Drawing on inspiration from overseas, Julie went all out to create a true experience beginning the minute anyone stepped foot in her doors. From African factoid cards to the African-inspired menu selections to the charities Julie chose to benefit, this event was a true channeling of Africa in Massachusetts.

The event kicked off with a special presentation by Shiri Sarfati on the inspiration behind the Kanshi line, the second Sarkli-Repêchage brand. Afterwards, the event continued with a demonstration of the unique Kanshi spa ritual, a true mind and body aromatherapy experience and finished with spa-goers enjoying conversation, tasty spa treats and shopping for a cause.

Take a behind the scenes look with Julie Mahoney on the inspiration, preparation and execution of the first spa launch of natural aromatherapy line Kanshi.

Repechage: What was your inspiration for bringing the Kanshi line into Oasis Day Spa?

Julie Mahoney: When I first saw the line at Congress, I was thrilled! We have wanted an African spa ritual for so long, especially a foot ritual, for years. We weren’t sure how we were going to do it, so when it was presented at Congress we were knew it was exactly what we were looking for. It brings a different caliber to the spa by bringing the experience. Especially with the economy, our clients are so stressed out. They are looking especially to decompress and escape the stress that they are under. This is the perfect service to give an experience and transports the client into another culture. Even for the technician, it’s a more meditative treatment. We love this product, I can’t even tell you how much!

Repechage: As a spa owner, what went into organizing and planning the proper way to introduce a new line to your clientele?

Julie Mahoney: I did a ton of research about Africa. I wanted to get familiarized with the culture, food, music and dress and planned the event to reflect this. Starting with the food, I called Weymouth Public High School’s culinary department and spoke with head chef, Rob, about having the students come up with a menu for my event. He had one of the students research African foods that were safe to be left out at room temperature. I let him know I wanted to use the ingredients that are in the products, so he took it from there and what he came up with for the menu was just great! He made fried sweet potato and plantain chips served with a cilantro mango salsa; zucchini wheels grilled with a vegetable ratatouille on top; fruit kabobs on skewers with yogurt mint honey dip. Then, I made the desserts with a spiced ginger mango punch, which was a huge hit! I have an esthetician whose son is a musician. He came to perform with an African drum and his keyboard and created his own African spa music. It made a huge difference and really set the mood. I am working with a project called Project Have Hope with Ugandan women who make jewelry. We were all wearing the headbands and belts, which we are planning to launch and sell next week with 100% of proceeds benefiting the women in Uganda.

Repechage: How would you say the line was received by attendees?

Julie Mahoney: Everyone LOVED it! The cucumber mask is fabulous. Fabulous! I have a longstanding client of mine with Rosacea, and I was weary because of the sensitivity. When I took the cucumber mask off, her skin was cool to the touch and very calm. This particular client bought the entire line. She just loved the line!

Repechage: It is clear that you put a great deal of time into coming up with displays for the Kanshi product. How did you take your vision for the display and make it a reality?

Julie Mahoney: I don’t have much, but I just got really creative. I took the visuals of the ingredients and put them on a 12×12 board through Shutterfly and put them behind my display. On top of that I got wooden letters spelling Kanshi and spray painted them black. So I went to Michaels’ and got cool baskets and candle holders to display products. I’m using the candle holders to display our testers. It’s so important to have testers!

Repechage: Was there a Kanshi Spa Ritual demo?

Julie Mahoney: We had the demo to show the ritual, which is definitely the way to go. We used two people working on one client, and people went ahead and started booking appointments.

Repechage: Can you tell me a little bit about Ubumwe Basketball, the charity you chose to donate to and the outcome of the donation?

Julie Mahoney: With the economy, I think it’s great to have people come in and not just spend money, but to support a charity. One of our clients founded the organization Ubumwe Basketball in February 2010. I told her we were looking for a charity and asked if we could sponsor her with a portion of our retail proceeds.

Repechage: How did this event measure up to your expectations?

Julie Mahoney: As far as the event itself, it was the best event we’ve ever held. Hands down. As far as the way it was orchestrated, the energy, it was just awesome. The people who attended were great. We raised as much money as I did last year at an event with higher attendance!

Repechage: Have you been short on free time since planning this event?

Julie Mahoney:Yes! I have worked about seven days a week. I’ve been super busy. I spent the whole weekend now catching up!

Repechage: Any secrets on keeping work/life balance?

Julie Mahoney: I wish! That’s why you have to have passion about what you do. If you don’t love it, you won’t want to put in the time. I love what I do! My kids help me to break away from and that’s how I spend my free time!

Repechage: Would you like to give a sneak peek of what you will be sharing with us at our December Power Lunch event?

Julie Mahoney:I was just working on my PowerPoint! It’s going to be… a surprise. But doing this whole presentation has been an eye opener for me. I’ve been reflecting back and going through everything that has gotten me to where I am today. Especially the people who have influenced me along the way!

Join us December 6th to hear more from Julie Mahoney at our Power Lunch Event!

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