Where Every Guest is Treated Like a Pearl
Located in the prestigious business district of Maple Lawn, Maryland, THE Pearl Modern Spa & Boutique serves as a self-care sanctuary for locals seeking a space to escape the stresses of their everyday lives. Guests instantly feel at ease the moment they walk through the door and are greeted by the attentive staff. They are guided to a locker room and lounge embellished with soothing decor where they can unwind alone or with friends. The way to every guest’s heart is through their stomachs, with a decadent brownie and scrumptious glass of champagne to get the experience going. The only thing that gets them out of those plush, comfy chairs is what happens next. Guests can choose from an array of treatments offered at the 11,000 square foot spa, including massages, body treatments, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Each treatment is one-of-a-kind because every person is as unique and as extraordinary as a pearl.
In THE Blue Grotto (50 minutes, $100 per person), the world is but a canvas. The 4-room private suite provides a playful and relaxing experience for groups of up to 6 people. Although, the spa typically sees mostly couples and individuals. The guests are provided 4 heated clays and muds with paintbrushes to ignite their inner Picasso. Once swimsuit ready, they paint themselves and each other from head to toe before heading into the adjoining steam room to unwind on a large tiled bench.
The clay melts away like butter, drawing harmful toxins away as the muds detoxify, hydrate and firm the skin. Next, the guests wash off with an invigorating hydro-shower that cleanses the spirit. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the spa’s signature scent are provided, as well as sea salts to exfoliate the body back to a rejuvenated state.
This signature treatment requires no licensed service provider, making it the most lucrative service. Spa Director Sharon Schmitz says “ we call this our “gateway” spa service for first-timers weary about having a stranger touch them – women bring their husbands all the time and they don’t want to leave!” The blue grotto is ideal for an anniversary, girls’ night out, birthday celebration or before a massage as it makes the muscles pliable.
For a modern meditation experience, guests can find deep relaxation in THE great abyss (25 minutes, $40. 50 minutes, $75). The room is equipped with two SolTec Lounge chairs, created by neurologist Dan Cohen, who describes the technology as “a synchronized magnetic field therapy that stimulates the human energy system, causing greater integration with the physical body, which results in positive physical, emotional, mental and energetic effects.”
Guests feel a vibrating sensation in their chair as they listen to layered music that quiets the mind for a deeply relaxing inner body experience. This earthly journey balances the root chakra, responsible for both safety and security. “The music confuses the brain, shutting off the flight or fight response and allowing the client to deeply relax. We amp up the relaxation with a heated mask, a weighted blanket and calming flower essences and aromatherapy” says Schmitz. The treatment allows guests to enter into a place of stillness and inner peace. Many have compared the induced meditation to getting 4 hours of sleep in just 25 minutes. Perfect after a long day of work or midday pick-me-up to revitalize the mind.
THE Pearl Modern Spa & Boutique has developed an excellent reputation in its community primarily due to the incredible spa services provided for a superlative client experience. When it comes to marketing, the Spa focuses on retaining their existing clients through monthly service and product promotions. These are promoted using email blasts, the spa’s website and an app that features daily specials and a daily scratch off that reveals prizes. “We have a fantastic social media director who updates our content daily on all of our social media channels, however, we find that a direct approach works best with our core demographic,” says Schmitz.
The day spa also encourages clients to revisit through their annual memberships. There are three different levels of the pearl life membership. Each include discounts on treatments and products, as well as reward points, special event promotions and other perks. In addition to these incentives, THE Pearl also attributes much of its success to its 1,200 square foot event space where the spa hosts educational events and rents the room for client celebrations. Spa Director Schmitz says “these events introduce hundreds of new clients to our spa every month!” Guests also have the option to reserve the spa to themselves on the Sunday of their choice for a private spa party.
At THE Pearl, “education to guarantee results” is one of the team’s core values. Every new employee receives a three-day orientation before they start with their department training. As for treatment education, the spa takes on a “see it, feel it, do it” approach. The trainees will first learn about the theory, ingredients, and protocol of treatment. Then they will watch a live service before receiving it to “feel it” for themselves. After they have had enough practice, they will perform the treatment on a member of the spa’s leadership team. This will determine whether the new employee is ready to perform on clients.
New staff members have performance evaluations after 90 days, 6 months and then annually. Employees are recognized and awarded daily through various systems. For example, the spa has an app for its staff that allows for the leadership team to award badges for a job well done. These badges can then be cashed in for prizes. Team members can also award each other with “service pearls” when they see someone else doing great. These points can be cashed in for free services.
Special Events and Promotions
The spa holds mandatory, quarterly staff meetings to go over seasonal promotions. “Although our seasonal promotions focus on the same things yearly, we update our materials, pricings, and protocols every year to keep them fresh.” These promotions are announced at THE Pearl’s quarterly Happy Hour event held for its members. Schmitz also attends monthly meetings with local business owners to “brainstorm ideas to cross-promote and hold neighborhood events to bring more traffic to our community”. A few big yearly events include the 4th of July Festival and a half marathon.
Revenue and Retail
THE Pearl Modern Spa & Boutique mostly sells organic or natural remedies, skincare, and gift items. Some of their longstanding partners include Lifeline Skincare, ZO Skin Health, Body Bliss and Lacuna Botanicals. When choosing a product line, Spa Director Schmitz researches the company to make sure its values align with THE Pearl.
“I try the products on myself and my family and distribute them to team members to try as well. I read a ton of spa and wellness publications which is where I find out about a lot of brands” says Schmitz. She also attends industry events to expose herself to new brands. After their service, clients receive a “Pearlscription” as their home care recommendation. Members receive points for their retail purchases which allow them to redeem any service or product that they want. This encourages clients to buy products and come back for more treatments.
Spa Director Spotlight
Sharon Schmitz has been a massage therapist and esthetician for 22 years, which she believes makes her better able to lead her team as she has been in their shoes. From receptionist, service provider, spa attendant and manager, Sharon has held just about every spa position making her very well versed in her role. She can relate to many clients from different walks of life as she has two daughters and is currently pregnant. If she could give her younger self one piece of advice, it would be to never underestimate the power you have to change someone’s life through spa!