Meet Allan Share, a 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry.
How many years have you been involved in the spa industry?
I started in 1989 with a spa and wellness company that distributed to the chiropractic, massage, podiatry, and veterinary fields.
What path led you into the spa industry?
I was selling telecommunications equipment and a friend in the business was going out of business and it seemed like my personality was perfect for the industry. I bought some inventory, put it in my garage, and my wife Kathy answered the phones while I went knocking on doors saying, "Hey, give us a try!”
What are most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
I love our industry. My hair is short for hereditary reasons and not because I pulled it out. Everyday I get up, I'm excited to talk spa to the industry. Running two associations is different than running and spa, where the real challenges are. The rewards are amazing. With more than 6,300 members, we have become an incredible resource for spas across the country that reach out to us with questions, such as "Whom do you know that..." and "Where do we find..." as well as "What do you do when..." Questions come in on all subjects and it's really satisfying to be able to make their day or do the research for them and get them back on track. Our staff smiles everyday.
What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
Turnover of staff and lack of financial understanding. Our industry tends to have a higher than normal turnover as spa people move from facility to facility. If I were an owner or operator, I would put more resources into retaining good staff. You'll always have some people moving on and that's just the way it is. The good ones? You can't let them go and hiring good consultants to help put a program in place to retain staff is key. The understanding of finance, even at a rudimentary level, is so important that lack of knowledge in this area inhibits the ability to run a successful practice. If you don't have the experience in this area, go get it. There are plenty of good trainers in this area within our industry.
Where do you think the industry is heading?
Our associations do several national reports including Compensation and Retail. When I view trends, I see a number of ongoing mile markers: back to basics in running your operation, niche items in retail especially price points, and trying new skincare products as a supplement to what spas are using.
What new spa treatment would you like to try?
I just tried a new treatment at the Spa at The Linq (Las Vegas) and was hosted by Joy Matti. They have a salt room built by Salt Chamber and it was the most relaxing hands-off treatment I've done in a while. If you haven't experienced a salt room yet, find your way there soon.
What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?
I grew up in the clothing business; my dad had eight stores in the Minneapolis area. I was 10 years old when he pushed me onto the sales floor and said, “Just go say hi." Ever since, I've never been afraid to talk to strangers. I have also been fortunate to have a few vendors in the spa industry be mentors to me starting back in 1989. I may talk a lot, but I'm an excellent listener and am not afraid to continue testing new ideas
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?
Easy, as I've found my calling, the spa industry is it.
What's the best advice you've received?
My father-in-law passed away a few years back and he used to say, "Every morning I sit up and get vertical on the bed, I make it a great day." It's how I live my life as well.