Kickass Entrepreneur: SpaBlue
SpaBlue is not just your ordinary Spa. Sure, the Del Mar luxury spot has everything you would want, but with one little twist. It cares about the community, the environment and its ecological footprint. This change comes from customer-turned-owner Emma Hughes. She’s tall, gorgeous and cares not just about her clients’ spa experience but also about green initiatives.
There are organic and all-natural product lines and services, and eco-friendly flooring, paint and LED lighting is used in the spa. But thought and effort also was put into the way customers are pampered. SpaBlue offers massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, body wraps, microdermabrasion, waxing, makeup application, prenatal treatments, sunless tanning all in a 6,500-square-foot spa with 13 luxurious treatment rooms and a 700-square-foot nail salon.
Q: What inspired you to start SpaBlue?
A: I enjoyed the spa for many years before as a customer, and it has always been a dream of mine to own a spa. I truly believe that opportunities are not coincidences, and I am excited every day about what I learn from this brilliant wellness and beauty industry.
Q: You are not originally from the U.S. What was the biggest change you had to get used to with San Diego?
A: The biggest change unquestionably, was the weather. What shall I do with all of my winter clothes from England? Will I ever need anything but flip-flops to wear again?
Q: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
A: Olivia Pope. A stylish confident woman who succeeds against all odds.
Q: If you could go to lunch with any style icon or entrepreneur who would it be and why?
A: I can’t decide between these two individuals: Robert Kahn (Internet pioneer) and Coco Chanel. What world-changing people!
Firstly Bob Kahn. Can anyone imagine where the world would be today without the Internet? And yet it wasn’t really about the world when it was developed; it was about communication and accessibility for all.
Coco Chanel, one of the most (if not the most) influential fashion designers ever. A woman who made such a huge mark on what was a world of men. She provided some of the most stunning designs in the world of fashion that have become classics that will never go out of style.
Q: Describe your perfect day in San Diego?
A: Always with my family. It would start with a lovely walk on dog beach, obviously with our dogs, followed by a hearty breakfast together at home. Then an afternoon spent on the water in Mission Bay, followed by a lovely supper at one of our many favorite restaurants.
Q: What do you find your clients love most about your spa that surprises you?
A: I love how much people enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the lightness of the spa. I often hear comments from guests about how they love the soothing relief and calm they feel when they step into our spa, which always makes me laugh as I believe this is what the spa should be about.
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
A: Coming from England, we had very few contacts in the U.S. and knew absolutely no one for any services we needed for vendors, financial services, improvements and renovations, and so on. But we found that you only need one or two good service providers and they will lead you to a wealth of other contacts ... These referrals are so valuable, and it is great word of month marketing for the suppliers, too.