Trilogy Spa Holdings, a professional boutique spa management company, has announced the appointment of Rose Brenkus as spa director at the Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the second Bamford Haybarn Spa in the U.S.. In her new role, the Florida native will be responsible for increasing revenue and building guest loyalty at the 5,000 square foot spa, as well as educating guests on Bamford's skincare benefits, offerings, and techniques.
While new to New York City, Brenkus isn't new to the spa industry. She brings more than a decade of experience in the industry to her new role at the Brooklyn spa. American Spa was lucky enough to visit the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and the Bamford Haybarn Spa for our recent April feature, where we got an exclusive spa tour from Brenkus and got to chat with her for one of our Spa Talk interviews. Discover what lead Brenkus to the spa industry, what her favorite brands are, her best piece of advice, and more in the one-on-one below:
American Spa: What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
Rose Brenkus: I started working at The Spa at The Breakers (Palm Beach, FL) when I was in college, as I needed a job that had night and weekend shifts. I fell in love with the operation there. I loved the people that I worked with (many became lifelong friends) and loved learning about the business side of the spa world.
AS: What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
RB: The people and the people. Occasionally, it can be challenging to please all parties, but on the other hand, the people are my why. The relationships built within the team at the spa, the hotel, the industry, vendors, and other spas, it is the most beautifully dynamic and rewarding group of people that I truly feel connected to. It’s fulfilling to work with so many people who speak the same language and share similar passions.
AS: What is your proudest accomplishment?
RB: Any time I can help a team member grow. I love to teach and help others move forward in their careers.
AS: What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
RB: How much work it is to make such a tranquil experience for others. When I first started working at a spa, I thought what most of our guests think when they come in, “Oh, it must be so relaxing to work at a spa.” It takes a lot of work to create that environment, and I give credit to every team in this spa industry, as it takes continuous effort of so many people. But, in part, because of that, and in part of how we get to make people feel, it is highly rewarding.
AS: What qualities do you look for in your spa staff?
RB: A positive attitude. You can teach anyone with the right attitude. I look for honest, empathetic, kind, thoughtful, caring, creative, problem solvers, and team-oriented people.
AS: Where do you think the industry is heading?
RB: I believe as our consumers, guests, and market become more knowledgeable of the effects of massage and skincare and service and products, they are becoming more powerful and demanding more honest and pure ingredients. I believe that the spa industry is heading towards a holistic way of life that is becoming more of a necessity in wellness rather than viewed as a pampering, luxurious experience. I also believe spas are becoming a sanctuary for our guests to disconnect from our increasingly demanding, overly communicative world. I love the look of our guests’ faces after they’ve received a service. You can tell they were able to relax and forget the troubles and stresses of their busy lives.
AS: What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
RB: Nothing shocks me anymore. People have odd preferences and requests. Needless to say, anything that might make our team uncomfortable, we won’t do.
AS: What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
RB: A chocolate wrap. While it was strange, it smelled quite delicious and had me craving sweets.
AS: What new spa treatment would you like to try?
RB: I still haven’t been into a salt therapy room but would absolutely love to try it.
AS: What’s your go-to spa treatment?
RB: I love them all, but I find that facials are the most relaxing, where I am truly able to shut off my mind and disconnect.
AS: What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
RB: Calendula. It’s anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and great even for sensitive skin, like mine.
AS: Which brands are your go-to favorites?
RB: Well, of course, now Bamford. I tend to personally lean toward holistic, natural lines, as I have extremely reactive and sensitive skin, which played a part in why I wanted to join the team at the Bamford Haybarn Spa. It’s a perfect fit for my beliefs in holistic wellness. In the past, I have also loved EmerginC, Naturopathica, and a great Savannah local line, Wildflower Gypsy.
AS: What two things don’t we know about you?
RB: I love to paint and do pottery. Art is my personal passion, and I am constantly inspired by the art that I see throughout the world. Also, I love the beach (the mountains, the desert, pretty much anything Mother Nature has to offer).
AS: What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?
RB: When I was a treatment manager at The Boca Resort (FL), it was life-changing for me. That is when I was truly able to connect with the provider team and understand more one on one what it took for them to create these rewarding experiences for our guests. I was able to work directly with them developing protocols, learning and training on product lines, implementing operational procedures. They taught me so much. This is also where I met my mentor and dear friend, Cindi Moreno.
AS: If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
RB: Somewhere in the art world. I love creating and believe it is my purpose in life.
AS: How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
RB: I believe you get out what you put into the world. Live life beautifully, honestly, and with love, and that is what you will receive in return.
AS: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
RB: When I was leaving the first spa I worked at, the spa director, Mark Mantegna, told me the best advice he could give was to build a strong team around me. Those words I have taken with me in every position and believe I am only as effective as the team that I build, and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do any of the work that I do.