True Inspiration

Growing from a single room in 2000 to eight treatment rooms in 2012, E Spa & TLYN Makeup Studio (La Crosse, WI) began with a vision, $2,000, and a copy of American Spa magazine. According to owner Estina Hanes, there was a salon on every block offering services, but there wasn’t a place in the tri-state area that offered the day-spa experience without the salon environment. As a result, she set out to create her own with a Zen-like ambience. “I would fall asleep reading American Spa,” says Hanes. “It helped me bring my eclectic taste to life.” Today, the spa, which resides on a popular corner in the city’s historic district, includes a waxing lounge, a couples’ treatment room, a pedicure lounge, an organic spray-tan cabana, and the TLYN Makeup Studio. TLYN, which stands for Truly Loving Yourself Naturally, is a line of makeup and skincare that was  introduced in 2009. “Since moving to La Crosse’s  Powell Place in beautiful historic downtown on the Mississippi River, we have seen a 50 to 60 percent increase in bridal services and walk-in  clientele,” says Hanes. “TLYN Mineral Makeup and skincare sales are up 42 percent, and our  exclusive organic spa treatments are up 45 percent.” Here, she shares how E Spa continues to serve as a place of refuge and inspiration for women.


How has E Spa & TLYN Makeup Studio continued to succeed over the years?

A.  Clients have told us over the years that our success is because of our customized services. We make our clients feel like they are the only ones who matter. We offer private bridal and spa parties, as well princess parties for girls. We also customize spa packages for our Couple’s Retreat.


What are some of the steps you’ve taken to boost business this past year?

A. Every year, E Spa hosts four events within the spa: Lipstick and Wine, Holiday Glitz, Spring Fling, and Divine Diva Night. At each of these events, we offer complimentary mini services, hors d’oeuvres, wine spritzers, and a chocolate fountain. Each client is offered a booking incentive, package discounts, and a chance to mingle and tour the spa. We also go on location for requests to do lipstick and lashes for fundraising events.


How do you attract new and repeat clients and encourage them to visit?

A. We attract new clients by word of mouth, social media, and advertising, as well as by being very involved in the community. We sponsor a volleyball team. We support our school fundraisers, Habitat for Humanity, and local benefits. We are also involved in our Historical Downtown Main Street Chamber of Commerce. In addition, we volunteer our services and donate gift cards for silent auctions. A percentage of all TLYN organic lip gloss is donated to New Horizons Women and Children’s Shelter all year round. We also have E Spa’s “Hope in a Jar” for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Throughout the month, women can visit E Spa to receive a $10 gift card. To reach new clients, we rely on a word-of-mouth Client Referral Program. When a client refers someone new to us, they receive a $10 gift certificate to use toward any service. We just gave one of our clients a certificate for $70. We feel that this is the best way to get people talking about us. We also encourage clients to return with our VIP Spa Program. After every five regular-priced services over $30, they receive a free service of their choice.


Have you changed your menu of treatment offerings?

A. I see our menu as a continual piece of art, changing frequently to include new services. Clients often comment on how they look forward to the periodic changes, as it intrigues them and encourages them to book more services.


What are some of your greatest  challenges in running the spa?

A. Some of the greatest challenges include the juggling that is necessary to be a single parent of two boys, dealing with health issues and staffing changes, and keeping the flow of business steady during certain times of the year.


What have you learned from  surviving the recent recession?

A. What we are doing works. Giving back to the community and to our clients in all of the many things that we offer has enabled us to enjoy increased customer retention and revenue. Clients tell us that thanks to our VIP Spa Program and our Client Referral Program, they feel important and appreciated