Glosshouz Spa Center Franchise Founder's Story
Updated: Sep 5
In our first blog, the owner and founder of Glosshouz, Loni Le Van-Etter, shares her personal life journey and her "How I got started in business" story of how Glosshouz day spa was created and grown. We hope you enjoy it. Please send us a note to share any comments or contact the franchise development team directly at email@example.com
About Glosshouz Spa Center Franchise Opportunity
The first Glosshouz day spa location was built and opened in 2016 in Centennial, Colorado which is a suburb in Southeast Denver, CO metro area. Glosshouz is an innovative 'spa center' business that is now franchising to qualified persons to help you drive toward your success as a business owner. The founder wants to share this business origin blog story with you so that you may understand where we've come from and where we are going. Learn how she and the Glosshouz franchise development team can help you on your own journey to business ownership which can be life-changing.
If you have a burning desire to own your own business, consider the opportunity of partnering to become owner of a Glosshouz spa center franchise. Our Glosshouz team is exceptional, and we will be here to support you in your journey of business ownership with your own Glosshouz spa center franchise location. Our main ambition is to help our franchisees have fun owning and enjoying this beautiful spa business!
The Glosshouz Founder's Story
Hello! My name is Loni Le Van-Etter and this is a quick accounting of my personal life path and the professional career I enjoyed until I developed a burning desire for business ownership. In this blog post, I reveal to you how I came to create, build, and optimize a unique and successful day spa business called Glosshouz which has recently begun expansion by franchising.
This is my story.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a singer. One of eight girls, I was raised in South Texas by very strict grandparents. I remember I used to practice singing into my pillow at night so that I wouldn’t get in trouble for it. I sang solos in church, and I even sang a duet for my tiny high school graduation ceremony. As a singer, I was a bit under-whelming, to be sure. I always enjoyed academics and learning, and so I graduated from my high school second in my class of just 23 seniors. At that age, I didn’t know what I would do with my life. Since I always made straight A’s I thought about attending college, but my family was without means and being so sheltered my whole life, I was terrified of living in a big city and doing anything on my own. I instead practically married the first man I dated. He was enlisted U.S. Air Force, older than I, and at just 19 years old I married him after 3 weeks! Funny, thinking back now that my grandparents at the time thought it was the best thing ever and gave me their blessing. Can you imagine?
Next, I decided to join the U.S. Air Force reserve as a first step into a meaningful and purposeful career position. After basic training in Texas and six months of technical training in Illinois, I became an enlisted Aircraft Maintenance Analyst at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. About a year later, my spouse and I got deployed with the military to Okinawa, Japan which is a beautiful beachy place to live, by the way. By this time, I was growing up and getting out on my own, and I began to realize that I needed to do something with my life. I enrolled in college overseas and took a few basic college classes there. Sooner than later my first husband and I divorced and as it turns out I was also expecting my oldest daughter. Having my first daughter, Courtney, at an early age and on my own shaped my mindset of ambition as well as my tenacity in trying to survive to get ahead for both our sake.
In the next seven years, as a single mom, I worked two jobs and put myself through school at UTSA San Antonio to get a degree in Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (I always loved math). My daughter still remembers when I used to bribe her with McDonald's so she would be happy coming to night classes in big lecture halls with me. Remember --these were the days before device entertainment! I’ve since had a great career as an Electrical Engineer working with awesome colleagues and for a few best in class American companies such as Tellabs, 3M, and Hewlett Packard. My corporate career was very rewarding and challenging, and I enjoyed it immensely. I believe my time at 3M encouraged my ability to create and innovate as they are very proactive with innovation processes. However, after 15 years in this career, I was constantly under pressure from so many angles, trying to balance a work-life situation with my second marriage and my now three children. I would leave work in my business suits at 6:30 am and come home around 6:30 or later each night. Alternately, I travelled quite a bit for work as well, which does take a toll on a mother. I was exhausted from the constant meetings and the corporate rat race. I needed a change.
I remember a point of inflection in my past was when I coincidentally sat next to a person at a wireless conference show who commented to me that they were a serial entrepreneur and loved it and would never do anything else no matter what. From that point forward, I had the incessant bug in mind that I had to own my own business. I even tried to get my husband at the time to start a swimming pool building company, but he was not interested. Then one day, we got an opportunity to move to Colorado for my spouse's work and I always dreamed of moving to Colorado. This was my chance! I struck a deal with my spouse that if we would move for his job then I would make a career change and start my own business. He always thought I was a hard-worker, and so he agreed. I resigned from HP, and we moved to the Denver metro area. I began researching business opportunities immediately!
At first, I did not know what kind of business I wanted to own. I researched all types of businesses and franchise opportunities including technology companies such as cell phone repair, or solar panels installation, etc. (After all, I was comfortable with technology.) Eventually, I thought to myself, why shouldn’t I do something fun, where I get to meet and visit with lots of people and make them happy all the time?! This led me to looking into consumer businesses for retail or beauty or wellness franchise ideas such as Dry Bar, Amazing Lash, Massage Envy and others. A major problem with these businesses opportunities, I thought at the time, was simply that I would need multiple franchise locations to earn the same or less income as I was accustomed to in my corporate career. I had no desire to have a business that made less compensation than I had been earning previously. A few of the franchise companies I looked into said, no problem, you can have the rights to start three locations! Since I'd never started a business before, one location seemed like a big project, let alone the notion that I would need to start three locations, one after the other for a few years in a row. As well, I worried about selecting a business type which only offered one kind of service (either massage or lashes or blowouts or waxing or BOTOX...etc.). I thought one category of service would be too specialized and risky. What if people stopped doing lashes, or getting a blowout? What if the franchise business I chose would have a service category that may decline in popularity and something new could obsolete and replace it soon? I did not want to take a risk in that kind of business. I did go down the path in discussions with a massage & facial type of franchise. They were close to my home and had very nice people developing the company. However, in the end I just didn’t think I could make enough income with one franchise location with them for it to be worthwhile for me.
Over a few months of franchise business research, I came to realize I just needed to create something that didn’t yet exist. The idea of creating my own brand of spa which would be beautiful and comfortable and offer the convenience of many aesthetic and wellness services all in one place began to consume me. From then on, I became obsessed with what I would do.
People love the name "Glosshouz" and they always ask me how did I come up with that for the name of my business? Actually, it wasn't me! My girlfriend, Kristi, back in Texas thought of the word ‘Gloss’ for the spa, and I really liked that. I thought it represented glossy hair, glossy skin and nails, and all things polished, but it didn’t seem to represent how big this idea of mine was becoming for a new kind of "spa center”. So, I added the modern ending of ‘houz’ to the name, and Glosshouz was born.
As you might guess, since I had never owned a business before, there were many things I needed to figure out. To name a few, those included: How to negotiate a lease, how to develop and build the spa center facility, how to efficiently advertise a brand for everything we do, how to set pricing, how to create a value proposition and loyalty program, how to drive key performance metrics to meet business goals, how to optimize the business to grow profitability, how to build culture and a workplace that attracts and retains great and talented people...and the list goes on and on and on. I'm happy to say over the years, with the help of my awesome team, we've figured out the answer to these questions and more. Today Glosshouz is a vibrant thriving business that continually delights our spa visitors and regular customers. Most importantly, our Team culture has developed into one of genuinely caring about our guests and each other and that's the Glosshouz secret sauce.
I love to read business books. One time I read, and I'm paraphrasing here, but I totally agree with it-- that when you are first in business for yourself you will run into a tough business situation and it may seem like such an unexpected, monumental crisis. You will stay up late at night worrying about it, and you will need to expend so much energy to work through the problem and be able to solve it. You will continue to have these tough problems, one after another, of all types of new incidents or issues that may have you quite challenged at times. Then, as the years go by-- you still have these business problems and issues, but now they are not new. When it happens the second time, you think to yourself “oh, yes, I’ve seen this issue before. I know exactly what to do, and it’s nothing to worry about.” You just take care of it as you have learned how to do in the past. Realizing this phenomenon is true has been a big relief to me over time. Experience is the best teacher, but it also does not have to be your own experience. If you can learn from someone that has done it before, they can also help you avoid the learning curve, avoid the pitfalls and accelerate your business to success.
How We Rapidly Grow the Glosshouz Spa Business
When it comes to strategies and approaches I have used to grow the business, my general strategy is the age old saying, “do unto others as you would want done unto you”. I know that sounds simplistic, but it is the golden rule and it works in every scenario and every single circumstance. For the Glosshouz brand, I want us to go the extra mile to make people feel welcome and comfortable –like they own the place themselves. I love it when a guest whips into the spa and says to us “I’ll have a mimosa and I’m headed to the relax room” This signals to me they are quite comfortable being with us which is the best compliment ever! We are in the business of making people happy and confident. We never want anyone to leave unhappy for any reason. Therefore, we empower each of our team members to take ownership and do whatever they need to ensure our guests feel happier and more confident every time they leave Glosshouz than when they came in.
Over the years, the business has evolved into a robust recurring membership model that resonates with our guest clientele and benefits our business. About 62% of our revenues annually are from our members. With $3.3 Million in annual revenue that is a lot of business from our regular member customers! Originally, we had many guests that would only come for special occasions or specifically for only one type of service that they would do over and over. However, they wouldn’t necessarily be trying anything else new. When we implemented our innovative BFF Savings Program™ our business grew significantly and rapidly. Our BFF Savings Program members love the perks and benefits of the membership, and I love that it rewards our best clients for their patronage. It’s a win-win program! It provides great savings for our clients while also promoting that they try new types of services which they may not have tried otherwise. Our best clients are those who do multiple services with us on a regular basis, and they find great value in our BFF Savings Program.
About Glosshouz Spa Service Categories
All of the Glosshouz services categories and especially the medical aesthetics, the medspa part of the business, have significantly grown over time. Minimally invasive medical aesthetic treatments, due to rapidly increasing market awareness, are growing especially fast compared to other service categories. Our guest clients love that they can receive these services from our expert medical aesthetics nursing team. To provide consistently safe services and great aesthetic outcomes we've created step-by-step instructions and learning modules for every treatment type and have safety protocols in place as well. The medical oversight from our Glosshouz Medical Entity over the years has been and will remain a positive contributor to our organization and operations.
Glosshouz started with the fundamental and high-demand services such as hair, nails, facials/skincare, massage, and popular cosmetic injectables (such as BOTOX and fillers). We've only recently added other service categories with energy-based device treatments such as lasers, RF microneedling, and body-sculpting to our services line-up. We offer a great discount on these treatments for our members, and they love these new modalities which are now becoming available from us. As the business evolves, I expect energy-based device treatments will have a significant influence on helping to grow the business revenue. My aim is that Glosshouz spa center will evolve and grow and remain at the forefront of aesthetic and wellness treatments for our business evolution.
Lessons Learned from the Founder
If I were just getting started in business, knowing what I know now, the advice I would give myself is to not worry so much in the beginning. It takes time for word of mouth to catch on and to cumulatively grow the business month over month. This is to be expected and is normal. Also, if I would go back in time, I would have started with our innovative BFF Savings Program membership sooner. This creates a value-proposition for our guest clients that is unbeatable, is worthwhile to them, and keeps them coming back to try more types of services. Getting and keeping our customers happy is the single-most important aspect of growing a successful spa business. Glosshouz franchise opportunity inherently has an advantage in this area as we have more variety of services than most other businesses which we can offer our guest clients to keep them coming back.
Another important lesson I learned in business is that once the culture is correct and you establish team members who enjoy their work, who care about our guest clients, and who are able and willing to contribute to common business goals, then honestly, everything else will fall into place. When guest customers can feel the positive energy as well as see the pride and joy of us working together to make each and every guest happy, it delivers a quality and memorable experience.
About Glosshouz Brand Identity
Glosshouz unlike any other, provides a modern spa center facility with a consistent and quality one-of-a-kind brand experience. I like to say, we are the friendliest and expert one-stop-shop for all things aesthetics and wellness. Certainly, our innovative BFF Savings Program is unique to the industry, and our breadth of service offerings also sets us apart. It is not easy to be able to offer the level of expertise we provide for such a comprehensive range of services from hair, skin, nails, massage, lashes, waxing and microblading, to medical aesthetics such as injectables, threads, and lasers. However, we have created a training program and service qualification process that enables us to succeed.
The spa design is upscale and a unique layout, and our visitors are delighted with our brand aesthetic. As well, we offer amenities other spa franchises do not such as refreshments of cocktails and smoothies as well as quick-serve food items and snacks for our guest enjoyment. We provide luxurious robes and slippers for comfort, showers and amenities in the lounges, relaxing fireplace room, soaking spa bath with a massage or body wrap, and a fun party-room out front for celebrations. Most importantly, our culture of genuine friendliness is always noticed by our clients and really sets us apart. Our online reputation and the feedback from our guests about this brand trait for Glosshouz is impressive.
Developing the Glosshouz Culture
I love serving our Guest clients and they are what make us successful. However, as it applies to all businesses, fundamentally there is no reason to come together and create a business unless it is to take care of the Team Members. I believe as a business owner, it is our responsibility to provide a way for our Team to make a good living and give them the opportunities they need to grow and succeed in work and life. We are all just so lucky that we are in an industry that is also incredibly fun and desirable. It’s taken me awhile to learn and grow into the role of leader and it may take you time as well, but that is ok. You will either develop yourself or find exceptional people to add to your team who have great manager skills. In the end, you just need to care about each person on your team because that is what is life is all about. I remember in the beginning I just wanted to keep everyone I hired because I felt it was my responsibility to make it work no matter what once I brought them onboard. Over time I realized (and a few great business books later) that I first needed to define how I wanted our culture to be, and then I was able to look for and find those individuals who now grow and excel in our spa business environment. Our culture is one of truly caring about each other and our guests, communicating well to truly understand, proactively practicing teamwork, always striving to improve and be the best at what we do, and most importantly –what we have become known for, is being the friendliest spa in town. We have a lot of fun at work because of the last one.
Glosshouz Spa Franchise Business Expansion
As the business became very successful and as I was developing our
Team, I realized that I also wanted to create a career path for them. The only
way to do that is with business expansion. There are potentially many methods
to grow the business: organically building spa centers, seeking investors or
partners, and franchising to name a few. Some time ago, I was invited to a Wells Fargo
NASDAQ Women’s Entrepreneurial meeting group which was to share
experiences and promote women in business. In one of those meetings,
someone suggested that I should read the book “Franchise Your Business” by
Mark Siebert. I’ve since spent a lot of time researching many franchise
business opportunities out there and considering the financial aspects of those franchise
offerings. I am pleased that we have created with Glosshouz an advantageous franchise business model that doesn’t exist in the marketplace today. I'm excited to help other entrepreneurial-minded individuals like me become business owners and grow a successful Glosshouz spa center business of their own. I get excited about teaching others how to develop their own Glosshouz community and how to drive to success in owning your own business.
Why Choose Glosshouz Spa Franchise
The Glosshouz spa center franchise business has a lot to offer new business owners.
Our BFF Savings Program recurring revenue membership model is robust and creates financial stability that brings success and peace of mind. I’ve always thought about choosing a business, and I would recommend to anyone, that you should find something you love and that you are passionate about. You don’t want to be bored by your business or get burnt out doing something you don’t absolutely love. This is a business that I am passionate about because it is so fun and it is worthwhile in helping people with their self-care routines to feel more happy and confident every day. The business itself is conducted in a lovely environment, with lots of perks and benefits of great services (for you too! lol), and your sole focus is to help people take care of themselves and be rewarded for it in the end. What could be better than that? Comparatively, we beat the competition for annual average unit volume and sales are increasing significantly year over year even during the pandemic. Our business is not seasonal, and the time for return on initial investment is advantageous compared to other franchise business offerings.
Being the process-driven person I am, we are set up to provide robust services for new
franchisees getting started with the Glosshouz brand. We provide site selection
help, lease negotiation input, construction management services, robust and
extensive online and in-person training which includes step-by-step protocols for
every service we offer to guests. We also provide grand opening assistance, ongoing local advertising assistance, business processes training and consulting after the franchisee opens, and ongoing business benchmarking and business consulting to drive toward optimal success.
As the Glosshouz franchise system founder, I believe ongoing communications and really “partnering” with our franchisees is the key to our success as a franchise brand. We are in this together, and our franchisees' success is my main priority.