Today the news story broke regarding Massage Envy facing allegations from over 180 women who were sexually assaulted during a massage at their facilities.
I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the women of sexual violence who stepped forward lately and those who are yet to do so. Your bravery inspires me.
As founder and CEO of The Woodhouse Day Spa, and a representative of the spa industry, I must encourage those who, like me, love what we do - whether you have dedicated your life to building your spa, you have spent years as a spa professional, or you are just starting out as a spa hospitality member - Let’s use this opportunity as a renewed commitment to ensuring our guest’s trust and to exceeding expectations each day.
I would also like to encourage guests who love to visit spas - please do not let the challenged nature of a few keep you from the experience and stress relieving beneﬁts you need and deserve. I understand and validate the shadow that this has cast over the industry that I love, and at The Woodhouse Spas, we will commit to your safety and trustworthiness. The standards of excellence by which our massage therapists are recruited, hired, and trained is something that we set very high.
As women, we can never let fear to get in the way of wellness. The spa industry is a beacon of light and hope for millions and is full of wonderful, highly trained professionals, both male and female, who have made a career choice to serve others. Some of the best men and women I’ve met are massage therapists.
They have a unique quality that makes them selﬂess providers. In any profession, you will ﬁnd people who abuse their role, but in the spa industry we have a unique risk, as our guests de-robe and are alone in the room with spa professionals. Guests trust us, the owners, to ensure that the person in the room with them will not take advantage of them, and it is our top priority to ensure that trust is upheld.
The shame of sexual assault can be debilitating, and the last thing a victim wants is her story out in the open, at least not in the beginning. Typically the reason she shares is to help others who have had the same situation, but are ashamed to speak up. The women in this story are brave and I applaud them.
In most states, there’s no legal obligation to report sexual assault claims made on their premises; however, there is a duty, an obligation, should an assault of any kind happen on the premises. The victim requires the beneﬁt of the doubt, a change of mindset that has been a long time coming. Now, a light is shed on the tsunami of assaults that happen to women each year and this awareness should ‘tip’ society to believe the victim when the ﬂag is raised.
I’ve spent 16 years building a spa brand and I believe spas have the potential to make the biggest, most profound impact in our guests’ lives - whether it’s a place the guest relies on to relieve stress from big project, like I do, or it’s that familiar place with genuine hospitality. Whatever the reason, at The Woodhouse Day Spa, we have focused on creating an experience, not just a service, so that we exceed expectations, one guest at a time.
Jeni Garrett Founder and CEO The Woodhouse Spas, Corp. www.WoodhouseSpas.com Founded in 2001, The Woodhouse Spas, Corporation is is a national luxury day spa franchise that operates with the ﬁrm belief that people matter most. Voted “America’s Favorite Spa” multiple years in a row, The Woodhouse offers an unparalleled guest experience through the proprietary ”99 Elements of The Woodhouse Experience”. The The Woodhouse Day Spa currently serves over 1 Million guests in 56 destination day spas and has an additional 15 spas in development. The Woodhouse Spas believes that it succeeds due to the high quality of franchise partners, teammates, guests and vendor partners that it calls family.