The Path Forward to a More Inclusive Spa Industry

by | May 4, 2021 | 0 comments

Hi! I’m Irene Macabante, founder and CEO of Citrine Consulting Collective. Founded in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re a spa and wellness consultancy that helps spas thrive by truly embracing wellness.

If you’re reading this right now, you have a vested interest in what’s happening in the spa industry. And while the primary goal of Citrine Consulting Collective was (and still is) to support spas, their employees, and the clients they serve in a time of deep crisis, we also have a much broader mission: to help people heal.

2020 was incredibly difficult in nearly every aspect of people’s lives.

As we return to the spa — as guests, as practitioners, as leaders — we are not the same people we were in 2019. In many ways, the pandemic was a great leveler because we were all in the same boat and forced to grapple with the same lockdown, the same disruption to our social lives, the same upending to our lives as we knew them. But some of us were in the first-class lifeboats, while others were stuck in steerage.

The pandemic put social and racial injustice and inequity center stage: COVID-19 deaths have disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color. And with Black women in particular already being paid just 63 cents for every dollar earned by a white man, the pandemic’s economic disruption and job losses hit BIPOC communities especially hard. With such vast inequity being illuminated by the pandemic, many industries are being forced to confront how they’ve propped up these racist and unjust systems, including the spa and wellness industry.

It’s no secret that the spa industry has long had a problem with diversity and inclusion.

Spa and wellness brands have got to do better, and by doing so they can not just survive, but thrive. Like so many of us learned last year, spa and wellness must learn how to pivot and adapt.

Spas must stay connected to their customers and guests in order to really succeed, and in today’s world, what that connection looks like is shifting dramatically. Guests want to know that they will be safe with you on multiple levels, not just comfortable in a robe and slippers. I’ve had spa visits where I came in seeking healing and left feeling worse than I did before, and I’m passionate about educating practitioners, spa owners, and the industry as a whole to ensure those kinds of negative experiences become a thing of the past.

As a spa and wellness consultant, I’m not interested in helping big businesses make money by doing the same things they’ve done for the last few decades.

Instead, I want to push the industry forward as a whole by helping spas learn to do things better, smarter, kinder, more efficiently, more integrally, and more holistically

And that’s why I started this blog: to shine a light on issues in the spa and wellness industry that are long overdue to be addressed. You may have read my work in a number of top spa and wellness publications including Pulse, HotelExecutive, and Hotel Business Review, and I have so much more to say. An article I wrote for DAYSPA Magazine on Diversity & Inclusion will be published next month in their June issue. I hope you’ll stick around to hear it as we blaze a whole new path for the spa industry — one that’s more diverse, more inclusive, and more focused on facilitating healing for clients from all different walks of life.

Let’s journey forward together, doing things differently to better serve us all and releasing all those old outdated practices and ways of thinking that are no longer serving any of us.

Stay tuned for more upcoming blog content where I’ll explore these topics in greater depth, but in the meantime, some food for thought: What can you release today that’s holding your brand back from authentically connecting with your customers?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, or on spa topics you’d like to see me explore in an upcoming blog – leave a comment below!

About Irene
Irene Macabante is the CEO & Founder of the Citrine Consulting Collective. A lifelong spa-goer and wellness product aficionado, Irene uses her 25+ years of branding, marketing and tech experience to create safe and inclusive spa environments that increase customer retention, foster belonging in teams, and boost brand reputation.


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