Article by Sienna Creasy, Group Spa Director for the Jewel Resorts
The day I traded my flip flops and Yoga pants for LifeStrides and slacks I knew I had embarked on a new practice. Long sleeve shirts and blazers covered my tattoos and my wild curly hair pulled tight into a top bun. Yes corporate Spa life was a VERY different ensemble from Yogini and Thai Massage Therapist. But the outfit cannot change the heart of a person; the shoes cannot change the pep in their step.
Caribbean Wellness & Education (WE) began with a passionate mission, to develop wellness and education opportunities in the Caribbean. Since becoming a member of CHTA in 2017, WE has traveled to many of our regions destinations and learned what makes each island unique.
If there’s one thing the home of “one love” can do well it is bring people together in the spirit of harmony!
Those who had the opportunity to participate in this year’s Caribbean Wellness & Education (WE) event, are taking away new relationships, professional and personal inspiration, and knowledge on how to integrate their brands and expertise into this ever flourishing region.
The week began with WE’s attendance at the first World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)conference in the region. The conference was designed to deliver high-level content on jobs and inclusive tourism growth, bringing together diplomats and tourism stake-holders from around the world. Making it a historic meeting for the region and connecting with the core principles of WE’s mission.
After Super Storm Sandy in 2012, spa consultant Anna Moine of ALM Consulting saw the damage and destruction the storm caused first hand. She saw schools closed down and destroyed, and many young students who had lost most of, if not all of, their belongings. Knowing she had to do something to help, she started a fundraising movement called Project Backpack, where she and others collected and filled 500 with school supplies. Now, five years later, Moine is starting up her good cause again, this time to benefit the students in the recently-storm struck Turks and Caicos.
The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), presents the 1st annual ‘TCI WELLNESS Week’, in partnership with Caribbean Wellness & Education (WE)
Hot on the heels of Caribbean Tourism Organization announcing 2018 as “The Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean”, TCHTA presents the 1st Annual “TCI Wellness Week”. The week will kick-off in the centrally located Salt Mills Plaza in Providenciales, from 1-5 pm, on Saturday, October 13th 2018. The day will be free for residents and tourists alike! Activities will include Soca-robics, yoga, health screens by Turks & Caicos National Health, activities for the kids, a fashion show, local music and so much more! After the impact from two category 5 hurricanes, Turks & Caicos has quickly mobilized and is open for the busy tourist season. “Following an intense few months of weathering storms and rebuilding, many of our residents still find themselves impacted by the storms”, said Stacy Cox, CEO of the TCHTA, “With our Wellness Week, we will bring together tourists and residents in our first voluntourism experience”.
Essay From Kosha Johnson, Female Enterpenuer in the Bahamas
Purpose and passion will guide you to your destiny. This is my philosophy in life because my journey is unconventional, and beginnings are humble.Today I am the proud owner of Voko’s Mobile Massage and it is recognized as the number one Mobile Spa in the Bahamas, but I did not begin this way.
Make a Difference in a Child's Life this Christmas!
Each year the Kiwanis Club of Providenciales puts on a much-anticipated Christmas Program for the community here in the Turks & Caicos Islands, (TCI)! The Club hosts a Tree Lighting Ceremony including; Christmas Carols, Musical Performances and provides the community with 3,000 toys for tots in need.
Eassy on Hurricane Maria's Impact by Mitchel Rivera, CEO of Yelo Spa, San Juan
100 miles long by 30 miles wide, Puerto Rico is nestled in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. My name is Mitchel Rivera and I am the CEO of YeloSpa, San Juan. Born and raised in a tropical paradise our culture is full of richness and our population is extremely diverse. Let me start by saying that this story is meant to paint a clear picture of what is happening in the island.
I have called the sunny and salty Caribbean my home for the past three years and although we don’t experience four distinct seasons, there is a particularly noteworthy time of year called hurricane season.
This is the Year of Wellness & Rejuvenation in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is coming back stronger than ever. The past month has been heartbreaking, as Mother Nature waged war in the Atlantic. However, the region is resilient and already made many strides to get back on their feet; The Turks and Caicos Islands are welcoming guests back now, USVI are inviting tourists back over the next few weeks, and even some of our partners in Puerto Rico are open for business.
What is a lesson you have learned as a Wellness & Spa Industry leader?
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou
Wherever you are in your career-path, WE all began somewhere. Perhaps you did not envision being a leader. Your leadership path may be one that chose you or one that you were thrust into. However, you were set on this path, evidence shows that those who are actively in a mentor/ mentee relationship see just reward.
I just finished Spatec in Florida and had the pleasure of doing set up with Jennifer Thompson, Dir. of Business Development US and Caribbean, our very good friend and Diamond Sponsor from jane iredale.
Godgia Robinson was born on March 14, 1999 in The Bahamas. She grew up in Turks and Caicos on the island of Providenciales and was raised by two very loving and supportive parents. They helped foster her love for people and their wellbeing. She also has 3 younger siblings who have always been her favourite clients.
How did you get your start in the spa industry?
After attending spa camp in the summer of 2014 at the age of 13, I was offered an internship at The Spa at The Palms as a locker attended. That was my doorway into the spa industry. I learned about different spa treatments and the type of clientele certain businesses will attract, as well as the different products and the unique benefits they offer. I was also able to see what is expected of a therapist and the different roles they would play in a spa setting.
Meet Stephanie Rest, spa director at Argentta at The Watergate Hotel (Washington, D.C.).
How many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?
Hospitality is in my blood. I grew up on a golf course, and at nine years old, I could drive a range- picker before a car. I worked in all aspects of the industry from culinary, golf, spa, wellness, to sales, and in most recent years, event and association management.
On Monday January 30th, 2017, Caribbean Wellness & Education (WE) travelled to Nassau’s Pompey Square with an empty banner (pictured below) and a dream to unite the Caribbean through Global Wellness Day (GWD). GWD is a day of awareness and celebration to promote a lifestyle that focuses on wellbeing. 2017 will mark the 6th annual GWD, observed on the 2nd Saturday in June, (June 10th, 2017). Last year 90 countries around the world said YES to GWD. WE had a mission prior to arriving to Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Marketplace (CHTA), where WE was a platinum sponsor and created the 1st ever Wellness Zone on the tradeshow floor, to make the Caribbean the largest region in the to support GWD in 2017.
Substance, Sustainability, Style and Sun Jan. 30 - Feb. 3
January 2017 - Washington D.C. In her quest to bring health, wellbeing and business opportunities to the Caribbean, spa industry insider Stephanie Rest is set to launch the first Caribbean WE (Wellness and Education) events in Nassau. The series of inaugural events is set for January 30 - February 3, 2017.