Q&A with Barbara Reffitt, spa director, Cedar Creek Spa

What path led you into the spa industry?

We relocated to Branson when my husband retired from law enforcement in the Denver metro area. Big Cedar is just minutes from our country home, and I believe in reinventing careers to stay fresh and challenged. This has been an amazing and fulfilling adventure.


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

My most challenging moments are trying to meet guest needs for last-minute bookings on full days. We really try everything possible to get them in. The most rewarding has been watching our therapists grow and blossom in this gorgeous new facility. Of course, it is equally rewarding to watch our guests leave with a smile and joy in being part of our grand opening.


Where do you think the industry is heading?

I believe the spa industry is leading the way to facilitate better health and wellbeing for individuals, and I see the industry growing rather quickly as people are more aware of the value in relaxing their bodies and minds.


What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?

For me, it was a dermaplane treatment at a medical spa. I was a bit unnerved to learn that a razor was used to scrape the skin. However, I did love the results.


What new spa treatment would you like to try?

Our Ozarks Rain Experience. This sugar-based body scrub treatment combines with our unique eight-head Vichy shower to create a one-of-a-kind treatment. I was part of the development team, and now I need to make time to experience the final treatment.


What’s your go-to spa treatment?

When I do have time for a spa treatment, it is usually a 90-minute cocoa butter and hot shell massage or a relaxing pedicure. Both give me such joy and reaffirm I’m doing what I am supposed to for now.


What are two things we don’t know about you?

I always wanted to be a hairstylist when I was young, but my mom convinced me I would be too busy giving my four younger sisters and her haircuts and styles instead of making money. Who knew so many years later that I would manage a spa and salon? The other thing most people would never guess is that in the 1990s, I was the county fair’s goat department superintendent. We lived in the country, and my kids raised goats, calves, horses, and pigs. We had a blast!

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

I would love to be a yoga and Nia instructor someday to guide as many people as possible in finding the joy and freedom through movement and mind release. I practice yoga as often as possible and think very highly of the instructors who can gently lead us through a blessed hour.


How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

I am blessed.


What’s the best advice you’ve received?

Greet each day, each guest and person you encounter, each encounter with joy, a smile, and optimism.