Meet Safyie Reid Jean-Pierre, spa director of The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Los Angeles, who started working in the hospitality and spa industry 22 years ago.
What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
I started out in the hospitality industry as a reservations agent and after about 2 years was promoted to supervisor for tour promotions in the spa. Later I was promoted to assistant director, then spa director.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the spa industry?
The most challenging parts of being in the spa industry are the changing times and expectations. The spa industry is dynamic and changes continuously to accommodate customers’ requirements and tastes.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment was becoming a mother. My proudest accomplishment in the spa industry was being named the number-one spa in the Caribbean for Peter island Resort & Spa (BVI).
What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
My most delightful surprise while working in the spa industry has been serving an international clientele. The need for spa services is universal, demonstrated by visits by customers from all over the world in whichever locality that I have worked.
Where do you think the industry is heading?
Customers continue to demand more as life becomes more stressful. With the onset of pediatric mental health deterioration, soon the industry will develop to formally incorporate pediatric spa services.
What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?
As an executive spa director on the executive team, being able to contribute to daily operations of the property proved most influential to my career.
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?
About 2 years after been promoted to spa director at the Ritz-Carlton, my first spa director position, I left the Ritz-Carlton to become executive spa director at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad in Port of Spain. That was a decision filled with trepidation, but it was a time when I learned the most and was awakened to the dynamism and scope of the hospitality industry. I am not sure that I handled the challenge very well because I remember feeling like I was thrown in at the deep end, but I learned more than I realized, which I took into my next assignment with more confidence which made me more effective and proved most satisfying.
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?
I would probably work in a medical spa or senior living environment. I think my experience is uniquely suited to enhancing customers experiences in those areas.
How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
Because of my upbringing, I always believe that I bring a unique perspective to my assignments. As a result, I have always believed that if anyone else can perform well on an assignment, I can also, though I am always mindful of my limitations.
How do you like to spend your time away from work?
I give my all to my assignments, so when I have time away from work, it is to replenish my strengths and strengthen my bonds, which is best accomplished spending time with my family.
What are your three greatest priorities in life?
My three greatest priorities in life are to help relatives as I educate myself and accomplish great things, to build a good family, and to enter old age with a great companion who is my best friend in an economically solid position.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
I have received a lot of advice on my journey, but maybe the best was to “not beat myself up too much because the world will do that for me.”