by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
I first met Helen Hodgson thanks to a “mobile spa Google alert” I received in my inbox in 2011. She had been interviewed by the “Massage Nerd” and was promoting her 5-week teleclass on “How to Create your own Mobile Spa Business” and I was compelled to click on the link. I’m so glad I did! We arranged to talk on Skype and soon I signed up for her teleclass which was to start in early 2012.
I count meeting Helen as one of the bigger blessings in my life because I dare say, Homespunspa Mobile Spa wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her guidance. She was the first person to show me the beauty of mobile spas and spa parties and has introduced me to many like-minded mobile spa professionals across North America that I keep in touch with on a regular basis through our forum.
Helen is a licensed massage therapist in the state of California and a member of the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Helen is a certified trainer and the California state coordinator of the Emergency Response Massage International Team which is responsible for sending out massage therapists to provide massage therapy to First Responders at disaster sites. Helen was also elected to the position of Vice President of The Mobile Spa Network which unites mobile spa professionals worldwide.
Helen was voted one of the best massage therapists by Allure magazine and her TV and radio appearances include NBC, E Channel, Discovery Channel, MTV and Sirius Satellite Radio, among others.
Helen and her team of 50 massage therapists, estheticians and nail technicians, provide massage and spa services in homes, offices and at special events for individuals, couples and groups.
I’m happy to introduce my mobile spa mentor and friend, Helen Hodgson.
Maria: Hello Helen. Do you have any memories of spas when you were growing up?
HELEN: Yes, I do! I am originally from England and grew up in a Victorian spa town — Harrogate, North Yorkshire. My friends and I would spend the day down in the Royal Baths and enjoy the Turkish Baths, steam, sauna and a “loafer and hose down” from one of the attendants on hand. I can still remember how clean my skin felt and I’d be so relaxed.
Maria: That sounds amazing, Helen. What’s a “loafer and a hose down?” 🙂
HELEN: The attendant (in a white coat) would exfoliate with a loofah mitt and hose us down with warm water from a water pipe. It sounds kind of crude, I know, but it was part of the experience.
Maria: That sounds like a great question and answer for a Spa Trivia quiz! As a frontrunner in the mobile spa world, what year did you create your Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa?
HELEN: The year, 2000.
Maria: Do you still have any customers from those early days?
HELEN: Funny thing is, yes. My longest standing clients are from 18 years ago and I see them still every two weeks. I’ve been to their sons’ bar mitzvahs and they came to my wedding. They are like family.
Maria: What lead you to open Serve the Goddess Mobile Spa in the first place?
HELEN: I’d hear time and time again from groups of women coming in for a spa day together that they’d be in separate rooms. They wanted to be together as they were usually celebrating a special occasion. This lead me to create my mobile spa so they could all be in the same room receiving spa services.
Maria: What is the best part about your work?
HELEN: Knowing my team and I had made a positive difference in the client’s day and being part of the client’s special memories.
Maria: What is your favourite spa treatment on your spa menu to give? And what is your favourite spa treatment on your spa menu to receive?
HELEN: I was hoping you’d ask. It’s the Aphrodite’s Delight — which is a bridal favourite — and it’s a soothing aromatherapy massage using oils of tangerine, clary sage, black pepper, nutmeg, patchouli, ylang ylang, myrrh and vetiver. It’s followed by Pedicure and Foot Rejuvenating Treatment.
Maria: I love those essential oils and am curious to know how they smell as a blend. Do you like spa music and do you have any favourite spa songs on your playlist?
HELEN: I do and I’ve discovered I relax best to sounds of water. One of my favourite albums is Healing Waters by Dean Evenson and another is Ocean Dreams.
Maria: I’m going to have to check those out in iTunes and then add them to my ever-growing Homespunspa playlist. If you were to host your own spa party (and I hope you do from time to time 🙂 ), what spa snacks would you serve and can we have a recipe?
HELEN: I hosted my very own Bridal shower spa party for my family when I got married three years ago. I served fruit and cheese plates, chopped vegetables and humus and to drink, I served glasses of Strawberry Kiwi Watermelon Fusion Spa Water.
Maria: Running your own business can be stressful at times: What are some of the self-care rituals that you do for yourself everyday to keep yourself healthy?
HELEN: I have an exercise trainer two times a week and I take hour-long walks down at the beach three times a week. I love the feel of the ocean breezes on my skin and hearing the waves. In fact, as caregivers, we need to practice what we preach to our clients and make time for regular down time. And I do get a sports style massage once a month and a monthly pedicure. If I am doing a lot of massage, I have to keep my nails short, so I don’t usually get manicures. And I am sure he won’t mind me telling you, but my hubby has filed my fingernails before — lol.
Maria: That’s sweet. What makes you smile?
HELEN: The simple things in life really… singing, catching a sunset, when my cat climbs into my lap and waking up with my hubby on a cozy Sunday morning.
Maria: My cat makes me smile, too. How do you see mobile spas, massages, and wellness in 5 years (2018)?
HELEN: What I’ve realized is more and more people are offering spa services these days. All of the hotels didn’t use to offer spa services and they didn’t have a spa, but once they realized how popular spas are, they started to think, ‘oh my goodness, we have to offer a spa.’ The future is: you have to be offering some sort of spa services to people.
Maria: So, spas — including mobile spas — are not some sort of passing trend?
HELEN: Absolutely not. Mobile spas are a convenient way to offer spa services to people in hospitals; to people who are travelling and are staying in high-end villas; to people attending charity events and product launches [to name a few]. Spa services are always perceived as high value, especially for people who wouldn’t normally treat themselves.
Maria: Yes, I often find that people make appointments with me on behalf of someone else.
HELEN: Another group of people who appreciate mobile spas are the elderly because they’re living [independently] in their homes longer. We do house calls which is like going back to a time when that was the norm. Everything is more personal and you get to develop relationships with people and give them more personalized care and attention.
Maria: I love that — we do house calls!
HELEN: My hope is that alternative medicine is available to more people. Even though I’ve been providing mobile services for over 13 years, I am still amazed that people aren’t aware that the service can be delivered to them for their convenience.
Maria: What are you most excited about in your life right now?
HELEN: Last year, I started teaching other massage and spa professionals how to start their own mobile spa business and I wrote an eBook. And I am expanding Serve The Goddess to provide day-long retreats. Maybe we’ll have to do another interview so I can tell you all about that.
Maria: Yes, I’d love to learn more about your retreats. Keep us posted! If someone wants to contact you for a mobile spa service in L.A. with Serve the Goddess or U Knead Massage or if they’d like more information on how they can create their own mobile spa business, how can they reach you?
HELEN: Here are the websites:
and I welcome your calls.
Maria: Thank you very much for your time, Helen, and for sharing some fun photos. I really enjoyed our conversation and I look forward to meeting you in person some day soon.