Q & A with Kristi Konieczny of The Spa Buzz

Kristi Konieczny founded The Spa Buzz to provide a compelling way to gather spa industry leaders together regionally, create opportunities for the development of strong relationships and to help the spa community prosper.

How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

11 years, wow, I had to stop and think about it!  Time goes way too fast!

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

I was recruited to work in the spa industry from the fitness side of wellness.  Prior to my job in spa, I had been teaching fitness classes, doing personal training, and helping companies to work on their corporate wellness strategies; spa was completely foreign to me.  What was supposed to be predominately fitness was in actuality mostly spa.  I was so embarrassed when I was told that to hire Massage Therapists I would have to get a massage!  Needless to say, I was on the phone a lot with colleagues.  I had always wanted to participate in regional networking but there was nothing available at the time.  While in operations, I never had the time to organize anything, so when I left my spa job, I decided it was my opportunity to create consistent and on-going gatherings.

What is your favorite place in the whole world?

On top of any mountain.

If you could have any profession in the world, other than what you do now, what would you be?

I have height envy; a pro basketball player!  Ok, more realistically, I would have loved to have been a gym teacher.

What is your motto or concept that you live by?

I think I might love quotes a little too much - I am constantly amazed by how well people are able to capture a concept with words.  The ones that I live by the most all have the commonality of effort.  I am in awe of people who have natural talent for things; athletics, business, even leadership.  I feel like personally I always have to make a pretty intense effort.  So the concepts that I live by are based on these:

  • "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." by Steve Prefontaine.  I try to keep in mind that "best" varies from day to day.

  • The theory about trying 1% harder, brilliantly stated by an Ironman triathlete.  There is always something to do for Spa Buzz, I am in this for the long run, so I know that getter better a little bit everyday will add up immensely!

  • And thanks to my dad for impressing on me that if I throw enough things against the wall, something WILL stick!

What is your most treasured possession?

If this is strictly a matter of possessions and not people, I would say my MacBook.  I almost said "nothing," but had to do a reality check; I would be lost without it.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

Saying I am a little excitable is an understatement; massage is always a high choice on my list.  But having acupuncture helps me attempt to stay grounded.  Sometimes after acupuncture I feel like a balloon, and all of the stress just whooshes away.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

For a long time I would have said it was running a marathon; my high school coach told me it was impossible.  I disagreed and ran the Chicago Marathon.  Hand down, though, it is being an entrepreneur.  It takes so much more persistence than running!  I feel like I need to pinch myself, a lot.  I love that I have my own business.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I could slow down more often and not perpetually feel the need to "do" something.

Care to share any details on family life; i.e. spouse, partner, children, pets?

I just adopted a Blue Heeler dog, Graycie Blue Nimbus.  She is hilarious and so smart.

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

I have the strangest urge to try anything new, it doesn't matter how awful it may sound.  I see it as something undiscovered, although there have certainly been hits (Wasabi Doritos) and misses (Harry Potter jelly beans - no need to gross anyone out and go into detail!)

I actually really like the smell of skunk.