Q & A with Erin Madson, co-owner of Amber Products

Erin Madson, Amber ProductsHow many years have you been involved in the spa industry?  

20 years


What was the path that led you into the spa industry?  

My husband, Mark, and I took the helm of some smaller companies from his father that mainly catered to the salon business.  We decided to expand those products and our offerings to include almost every category within the spa market.  I am so glad we followed this path - it's been a fun journey thus far.


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

The most challenging part is also the most rewarding part; staying innovative and creative within an ever changing industry.  We consistently push ourselves to reinvent, and when those efforts are accepted within the industry, it is a great success that we are proud to be a part of.


What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?  

People's consistent enthusiasm for what they do and their businesses has surprised me the most.  They are always eager to learn and love new products. It keeps our energy up when we see people's excitement!


What is your proudest accomplishment?  

My proudest accomplishments are the Pod and Bar system, Serumology, and our completion of the new catalog.  Mark and I are very hands on during a rebranding, reformulating, and redesign of the catalog.  It was a great day when the catalog fell on our desk and we saw all of the new concepts, especially the Pods, Bars, and Serums, on the pages. It was a real thrill, and a relief!  


Where do you think the industry is heading?  

I think the niche spas with specialized treatments will continue to grow, however, we are seeing more and more people taking their spas to the people.  Be it in their hotel room, in their homes or even to people's offices for a quick manicure. I think it is a great concept, and it will continue to grow.


What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?  

I was at a spa in La Jolla, CA where I tried this ritual treatment. I had no idea what it entailed, but I always like to try things that are different and it included a scalp massage, and I am a sucker for a scalp massage.  The treatment was going great, and then my technician led me in to the sauna room where I laid down on the bench.  She then stood above me and began to gently hit my body with huge eucalyptus branches.  I was surprised to say the least and it kind of hurt.  Then, the cold section of the treatment began.  I stepped into a cold shower and without any warning she dumped a pitcher of ice-cold water over my head. I could hardly breathe!  But I have to say, by the time I was finished with the entire two-hour treatment, I felt like a million bucks!


What new spa treatment would you like to try?

I would like to try anything that does not include a beating with eucalyptus branches.


Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.  

I am a mother of five children (four girls and a boy).  I work with my husband every day and we still like each other.


If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?  

I would be a professional portrait photographer. I love Richard Avedon's work.


How would you sum up your personal philosophy?   

Faith, Balance, Simplicity, and Love.