Spa Talk With Dawn Spann of The Spa at The Charleston Place

Meet Dawn Spann, director of spa operations at The Spa at The Charleston Place, who has 20 years of experience in the spa and hospitality industry. 

Photo credit: Dawn Spann

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the spa industry?  

Being in the spa industry allows me to assist in creating some spectacular spaces and experiences for people to take a moment to relax and prioritize themselves. Perhaps even more beautiful is the genuine trust guests grant us in this process. The challenge comes in when this journey doesn’t go as planned and we must of course correct our guests' experiences to what they might have expected or intended to receive—it's often hard not to personally feel responsible during these moments.

What is your proudest accomplishment?  

It's always an accomplishment when I am able to be a contributor in someone’s growth journey. Whether it's supporting someone's career growth in the wellness industry or sharing a new wellness habit, I'm always proud when I support someone discovering their true passion.

Where do you think the industry is heading?  

I've recently been reading a lot about advancements in health technology. I do believe the industry, like many others, will embrace technology more and I find it fascinating to think we might be able to incorporate technology like AI to get an understanding of an individual’s internal health state to inform lifestyle and nutrition choices. 

What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?  

My favorite skincare ingredient is probably glycolic acid. I love it for its versatility with a lot of skin types and ability to brighten the skin and promote great cell turnover.

What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?  

I have experience practicing as a massage therapist, which taught me a great deal about how to be present with each guest. This has been an extremely helpful skillset for managing and supporting the different wants and needs of every guest.

Was there a time you had to make a decision in your career that ended up changing your destiny? How did you handle that challenge and what was your thought process?  

My career path changed when I decided to shift from being a massage therapist to join a destination hotel company as a spa manager for a new resort opening. I jumped in with both feet, nervous and excited for this new chapter. The biggest takeaway I've had from this challenge was to not hesitate to raise my hand and ask questions—I still do this because you can truly never stop learning from amazing people around you.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?  

You only have one life, so work hard, laugh harder, and love with everything. 

How do you like to spend your time away from work?  

I'm lucky enough to live near the ocean so I enjoy spending as much time as I can by the water, soaking up the healing air and saltwater. Some of my favorite things to do include walking my pup on the beach and getting lost in a good book on a beach chair. I also love cooking and learning new recipes.

What are your three greatest priorities in life?  

Family, health, and gratitude