The 2019 ISPA Innovate Awards
by Jamison Stoike

Contrary to what we may want, time moves in one direction—forward—and the spa industry is no different. Innovation is necessary to survive and thrive in our industry, and a single key innovation can lead to a widespread evolution—or revolution—through the world of wellness and spa. The ISPA Innovate Awards, created in 2013, celebrates ISPA members whose innovations are deemed the most significant by their peers.

Across four categories—Leadership and Philanthropy, Experiences and Treatments, Technology and Equipment, and Products—the following innovations demonstrate the imagination and dedication of ISPA members around the world. These treatments, programs and products represent the future of our industry, from philanthropic products and communityfocused wellness to nature-centric treatments and exciting new partnerships.


Conscious Coconut
Fair Trade, Organic Coconut Oil That Gives Back

Philanthropy is fundamental to Conscious Coconut, a provider of coconut oil products. Its ethically sourced oil is Fair Trade USA certified, then packaged by adults with developmental disabilities in Tampa, Florida. And for every product sold, Conscious Coconut donates a meal to a child through Feeding America.

“Business owners and our teams can no longer put a product on the market in good faith knowing that people up and down the supply chain are being treated unfairly or unjustly,” says Danielle Conte, founder. “We have committed to being the change-makers. We know it has to start somewhere.”

Success Story: “Since our launch in May 2015, we have donated over 150,000 meals to hungry kids through Feeding America.”

Hilton Worldwide
Spa Manager Onboarding Program

The lack of qualified middle management in spa is a problem acutely felt by Erin Robinson, senior manager of wellness at Hilton Worldwide. To help create tomorrow’s leaders, Robinson and Hilton launched the comprehensive Spa Manager Onboarding Program, which trains for competencies in finance, team management, operations, customer focus, marketing and time management.

Robinson feels that these areas are “building blocks that spa team members need to be leaders” and advance in the industry. The end goal is to propel spa professionals in their careers, while boosting retention and attracting new professionals to the industry.

Success Story: “When this program launched there were over 80 spa professionals that signed up for the courses in the first 30 days, despite being optional at that point.”

The 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

With wellness comes long life, and long life brings new challenges, including Alzheimer’s. Says Ann Brown, founder/CEO of Saltability, “These diseases are very much a big part of health and wellness as we seek to understand remedies and find cures so we can live out this longevity of wellness.”

To that end, Saltability spearheaded the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Boca Raton, Florida. Brown and her team spent countless hours organizing the event, raising funds and securing sponsorships.

Success Story: “The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s drew a record-breaking 2,600 participants and raised nearly $340,000.”


Knesko Skin
Rose Quartz Chakra Facial

Knesko’s new Rose Quartz Charkra Facial is a luxury experience that offers instant hydration and anti-aging for all skin types. The treatment utilizes a unique collagen hydrogel mask charged with Reiki Energy. At the end of their treatment, guests take home a rose quartz eye mask, a rose quartz face roller and a cosmetic pouch.

Founder and President Lejla Cas says that the Rose Quartz Chakra Facial, which features Knesko’s “Maskage” technique, offers a uniquely complete experience that “engages sight, smell and touch.”

Success Story: “Spas are reporting an increase in guest satisfaction and additional revenues from both the treatment upgrade and retail sales.”

The Edgewater Spa
Brew-Inspired Spa Treatments

Beer and spa might not seem like a natural pairing, but for the Edgewater Spa it was a match made in heaven. It took key ingredients from beloved local craft brews—coffee, apricots, vanilla and more—and integrated them into treatments that then ended with a drink of featured Wisconsin beer.

The treatments attracted new guests, especially those who were big fans of the featured breweries. New guests who booked the treatment also returned at a higher rate than those who had booked a normal treatment, according to Spa Director Kelleye Martin, with 40 percent booking an additional treatment.

Success Story: “Local news heard about the services and ran a story on it. We saw a 45 percent increase in special services during that time.”

The Spa at Cliff House
Treatments that Adapt with Shifts in Nature

The Spa at Cliff House’s innovative treatment series changes five times per year, aligning with lunar cycles. To cater to dynamic physical, mental and emotional needs, service providers adjust massage oils and techniques during each cycle; however, each treatment features Himalayan salt stones and an energy-clearing herbal smudging. The purpose is to generate good health by striking a balance among elements and seasons.

After the treatment, each guest receives a therapist-designed card providing wellness advice, meditations and suggested products, says Dawn Page, director of spa & wellness.

Success Story: “This has become our most popular treatment and an introduction to deeper energetic therapies for even the most conservative spa-goers.”


Hyperice, Inc.
Recovery and Movement Enhancement Technology

Hyperice’s ultimate goal is to do more than just enhance the guest experience: by making it easier to provide deep levels of massage, Hyperice strives to enhance the physical wellness of massage therapists. Says CEO Jim Huether, “Focusing on self-care, Hyperice works to become the tool in every break room to combat the industry burnout.”

2018 saw Hyperice develop new protocols for self-care, table service and express treatments for recruiting, as well as further rollout of training programs for therapists. According to Huether, Hyperice’s enhancement services have been able to generate review while reducing therapists’ hand fatigue.

Success Story: “Hyperice has moved into multiple properties, and is working with every big partner in the massage and spa spaces.”

Living Earth Crafts
Global Customer Service Phone App

Living Earth Crafts’ new F.A.S.T. Response Customer Service Phone App offers instantaneous product registration and service—simply scan the barcode of your Living Earth Crafts equipment to register in one easy step. Then, use the app to ask support questions, obtain warranty service, troubleshoot, and send pictures and video to customer support.

The app eliminates the use of intermediaries, ensuring spas receive the most accurate information possible. CEO Jim Chenevey expects that the barcode-reading app will become “the primary method for obtaining customer service” for its products in the years to come.

Success Story: “The reception for this product has been so positive that we are translating the interface into multiple languages—English, Chinese and Spanish—to leverage its global use.”


Technogym’s new SKILLBIKE is the only stationary bike with a real gear shift, which enables users to experience a true outdoor riding feel in a spa or hotel’s fitness center, according to Jay Muller, vice president of hospitality – North America.

Real gear shifts make it easier to maintain correct cadence when tackling a simulated uphill climb, and the gear selection is shown in real-time on the bike’s console. SKILLBIKE also features a frame and handlebar that accommodate different riding positions for road, time trial and trail rides.

Success Story: “SKILLBIKE enables cycling professionals and enthusiasts to experience the emotion and challenge of outdoor riding in an indoor environment.”


Circadia’s Innovative Skin Science Meets HydraFacial

In 2018, Circadia brought its expertise to HydraFacial with a line of boosters that utilize HydraFacial’s technology to deliver exceptional results. This innovative partnership allows for increased service revenue, says Owner and CEO Michael Pugliese, as well as increased retail revenue via a unique retail treatment kit.

“This innovative partnership brings the best of Circadia’s formulary expertise and over 45 years of cosmetic chemistry and understanding of skin physiology and partners it with The HydraFacial Company’s years of research in devices,” Pugliese says.

Success Story: “Early adopters of our partnership products have seen increased revenue in enhancement/add on services above originally booked services.”

Eminence Organic Skin Care
The Acne Advanced Collection

Delivering dramatic results in 28 days, Eminence Organic Skin Care’s new Acne Advanced Collection provides an organic option to treat acne—a market first. Eminence vetted the efficacy of its formula, featuring unique botanical actives, via a series of unpaid participant trials. Eminence hopes to bring organic skin care to a skeptical demographic. Atilla Koronczay, general manager, noted that 85 percent of people deal with acne at some point in their lives, and providing an organic option to treat acne will “build consumer confidence in the efficacy of natural products.”

Success Story: “51.8 percent of all spa partners have reordered the collection as of 180 days after launch, and 75 percent of our spa partners now carry the collection.”

Noel Asmar Group, Inc.
Sustainably-Produced Uniforms for Spa and Fitness

With environmental concerns looming larger each day, Noel Asmar’s new line of athleisure-inspired uniforms are made with a technical fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles. Says Founder and Creative Director Noel Asmar, “We use four to six bottles to make each top, and the fabric is 100 percent recycled, antibacterial, odor resistant, breathable and offers UPF50 sun protection.”

The athleisure uniforms were inspired by the “Lululemon phenomenon,” with more and more spa staff desiring uniforms that stay on top of fashion and fabric trends. Providing a sustainable choice in this space was important, adds Asmar.

Success Story: “The fabric has been third-party tested and verified to perform, and, more importantly, our clients love the feel and look of the garments.”