For Nona Cohen, a retail partnership with Dermalogica turned out to be more beneficial than she imagined when she decided to carry the skincare line. Cohen was one of the first spa owners to offer Dermalogica products when she opened The Body Clinic in Los Angeles in 1986. Through the years, her working relationship with the skincare company has grown stronger, and in 2003, Dermalogica executives asked Cohen if she wanted to expand The Body Clinic brand and open a second location. She readily accepted the offer, thereby giving birth to The Body Clinic's Marina Del Rey, CA, site.
Although, according to Cohen, the latest Body Clinic branch is still committed to the original mission of "providing clients services in a holistic, serene environment," the design and atmosphere of the new spa differs significantly from its L.A. sister. Encased in windows, the 1,500-square-foot Body Clinic in Marina Del Rey has an airy, open appearance and a more modern, contemporary style, lending itself to Cohen's desire to create a sleek, professional, and relaxed environment.
Left: Decorative accents, such as flowers and stones, give the modern retail area a relaxed feel. Right: The retail area helps link treatments with homecare products.
At the Marina Del Rey location, Cohen remains committed to The Body Clinic philosophy of putting education—of both staff and clients—first. "I believe strongly in education," says Cohen. "We work closely with The International Dermal Institute to ensure that our estheticians are highly educated. They have to train every six months, and we employ an on-staff trainer who must be certified."
According to Cohen, this devotion to ongoing staff education comes from a dedication to giving clients the best experience possible. It also comes from serving a clientele consisting of mostly successful career women who are willing to take the time and spend the money to pamper themselves, and who are increasingly aware of the latest techniques and trends.
The Body Clinic
"Our clientele is becoming more spa savvy," she says. "They know about what's out there and about emerging treatments and services. Staff education is important, so we can be prepared to answer any questions our customers might throw at us."
The Body Clinic's dedication to education doesn't stop with the staff. Part of what Cohen believes keeps clients coming back is the spa's commitment to guaranteeing results that can be continued at home, ensuring the customer gets a complete spa experience.
"When a treatment is completed, the client is introduced to products based on the services he or she had," explains Cohen. "The client is given a product demonstration and a prescription form detailing what is in the product, how it's used, and what results can be expected."
For example, Cohen would recommend the European Facial ($75, 50 minutes) for an older woman with mature and dehydrated skin who drinks coffee and smokes cigarettes. The products she would encourage the client to purchase would include Dermalogica's Essential Cleansing Solution, Multi-Active Toner, Daily Microfoliant, Skin Prep Scrub, and Skin Hydrating Masque to cleanse, polish, and rehydrate the skin at home.
Yet, with a full-time staff of only 10, the effort to sustain this commitment to education is precisely what Cohen feels has been The Body Clinic's biggest obstacle to overcome. "Our biggest challenge has been staffing and making sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of education and certification," says Cohen. "We just always have to be aware and make sure the client is completely satisfied."
Despite this challenge, Cohen says the future of the Marina Del Rey branch looks bright. "Our dedication to client satisfaction and education will push us into the future," she says. "We just have to stay in tune with the business, stay true to our philosophy, and make sure to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry."