For Gay Kennedy, Owner Operator of the hugely popular Pure Skin Therapy in Wanaka, a commitment to family values and exceptional Customer Service is largely why the business has continued to experience strong growth and loyalty from their adoring clients from all over New Zealand and beyond.
She identifies establishing a team of highly skilled therapists is a challenge within any salon, a challenge that has been made easier through the support she’s had from Sothys in accommodating training needs and ongoing mentoring.
How long have Pure been operating in Wanaka and how long have you been using Sothys?
We moved to Wanaka late Dec 2003 12 years ago after selling our previous business ‘The Cottage for Beauty Care’. We purchased The Cottage (from Sue Dewes) in 2001, a year after our daughter Angela graduated from the Joyce Blok School of Beauty. At that time the staffing structure was 1 full time therapists (Angela) and 1 partime therapist Nikki. The world of beauty had always been a strong passion of mine and with Angela completing her qualifications it was almost like her completing my dream. She graduated with honours so obviously I hadn’t pushed her into the industry.
As it has turned out it is a great passion for her as well. The business flourished over 2 1/2 years, doubling in cliental, eventually supporting 3 full time therapist, 1 partime therapists, a receptionist and myself. The demand from many clients who travelled from Wanaka to Gore to have treatments was a catalysts in us eventually selling The Cottage and moving to Wanaka and establishing PURE skin Therapy. Sothys was always at the heart of our Skincare and we were very proud to take it with us. It has now been 15 years.
Wanaka has a dry climate of cold and hot extremes, what are the most popular Sothys treatments and products with your clients that suit this unique climate?
Hydration..hydration…hydration. We all know what happens to a sandwich when put it into the fridge uncovered. Dry and crusty within minutes. Well there are times in the winter when living in Wanaka is a little like that ‘living in a fridge’ The new hydrating treatment has us all at PURE in a buzz. A well moisturised skin not only looks younger but it prepares the skin to be more receptive to any other treatments we may undertake. The SOS serum and Soothing Creams compliment the Soothing Professional Treatment.
They successfully correcting the skins barrier function on clients who arrive in Wanaka and continue to exfoliate, and cleanse their skins like they live in the tropics. Between the environment and what clients do, the skins barrier function is non existent in many cases by the time they reach us. Combined with the regenerative solution we and our clients can’t speck highly enough of the results. The new Hydrating programme and Energising treatments and products are firm give fantastic results also.
What plans do Pure have for 2016 and going forward?
Our focus is primarily working with the skin. The improvements to skin conditions that we and our clients are achieving from using ‘Sothys’ is impressive to say the least. ‘Sothys’ was chosen to symbolise female beauty and adorn products, well 69 years later they are now at the cutting edge of skin health. This has resulted in a substantial growth in new and regular clients, facial treatments performed and associated product sales. We are very impressed with ‘Sothys’ introduction to the new clinical line, especially the results we are continuing to see from the RX peels and in the use of VitC and Retinol in supporting the skin. As a salon have exciting plans for the year ahead and know that they most certainly will align with the ‘Sothys’ philosophy symbolising female beauty and well being. We look forward to what they have install for us in 2016!
Family is one of the key factors behind the success of PURE and lies at the heart of our culture. The journey begun in 2001 and is still continuing today with both my daughters who are beauty therapists involved successfully within our business structure. Angela lends her wealth of knowledge gain over 15 years working with the skin, freely. Sarah who in her previous working life pre beauty therapy was a P.A and adds valuable experience to the role of business manager. What a relief! We are all different souls and living proof that working together, in good times and bad times is possible if we adhere to the culture establish in the beginning of mutual respect, a willingness to listen to others and team spirit. Therapist who embrace our vision and willingly work alongside us as a team are valued family.
Wanaka is a hugely popular N.Z destination for both local and international guests, do you get a lot of interest from these guests and what do they enjoy most at Pure?
Pure is a destination. We have a strong cliental base both local and international. Our local clients are gems. We love them and they have been so influential in building the success of PURE. We have many clients from around NZ who work and travel intermittently between cities from a Wanaka base, primarily Auckland and Tauranga. They are very loyal but it is nice to know that there are reputable Sothys clinics in both places that I recommend they visit should they need anything. International clients either stay with friends or family and make the connection with us through those friends or they own property here in Wanaka, and are influenced to visit PURE by word of mouth. Most live 3-6 months in Wanaka travelling home in our Winter & returning again in our Summer. Their prime objective while they are here is to work on looking 10 years younger when they step off that plane back home.
Treatments used to correct skin conditions are only ever performed in the autumn / winter and in some cases the spring primarily because of the intense summer sun in Central Otago. During the summer months we encourage our clients to care for and enjoy their skin. Build it up to be strong and healthy. A strong healthy loved and well cared for skin will not easily succumb to attack. The RX cosmetic peels have delivered brilliant results for us. Vit C to support the collagen reserves Vit A for the micocondira or powerhouse of the cell and not to forget the hydra-advance It facials and skincare. We just love it when they come thru the door with a big beaming smile and say “I have a friend coming over to visit me and she wants you to do the same for her as what I had done” Yeah Success!
What is the best thing about working in an iconic place like Wanaka and what is the most challenging?
It would have to be the weather!, the lifestyle and the positivity of the people who live here. They are fit, strong, healthy and happy. The most challenging was the intense completion we faced in the early stages. The only way we could survive was to focus on a niche market which we did.
We developed high standards, forging close professional relationships with our clients. Relationships based on care and an unwavering attention to quality treatments. Quality treatments and products that delivered results.