Q & A with Nadine Shelf, spa director at Trump SoHo (NYC)

Nadine ShelfMeet Nadine Shelf, spa director at The Spa at Trump SoHo (NYC)

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

I’ve been working in the spa and hospitality industry for more than 15 years.

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

Years ago, I was brought on to a team in order to increase retail sales and fell completely in love with the spa industry. What has remained consistent throughout my career, however, is a passion for implementing new business initiatives to surpass retail sales goals.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Quite honestly, to be promoted to a general manager position as a woman of color in an industry with very little diversity was a huge personal and professional triumph.  

Where do you think the industry is heading?

In recent years, we’ve seen a huge push around branding, industry-wide. I’m pleased to see that we’re currently experiencing a shift in priorities, whereby client feedback is driving a more individualized approach to spa program development.

What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?

While it’s not bizarre, the most exotic and unique treatment that I’ve ever received was the Spa at Trump’s luxury Hammam treatment. The Spa at Trump is home to New York’s only authentic luxury Turkish Hammam’s, and guests will enjoy the utmost in personal service with the Trump Attaché. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

I’d have to say a massage is my go-to treatment, as it’s the most popular service and continues to drive 75 percent of the business. Just recently, we developed a new 45-minute massage and facial treatment that allows spa-goers the rare opportunity to quickly beautify and rejuvenate mid-day.

What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?

My favorite skincare product is a lactic acid peel, which can be used by individuals with all skin types.

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

I believe my job is to teach and educate my staff. I’m committed to this simple fact. I also believe a loyal staff is the only way to a successful spa.

What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career? 

I jumpstarted my career in the spa industry as a spa coordinator, and continue to see great value in this position as I was responsible for wearing many different hats. I humbly reflect on my beginnings, thankful that I was given the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of this business from the ground up.   

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

If I could work in any other profession in the world, I’d love to do something philanthropic. I believe in giving back and would be very passionate about doing charitable work.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

The following can sum up my personal philosophy: A management team must be strong and loyal in order for any venture to succeed.—Compiled by Jessica Morrobel