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The Business of Pampering: Jeannine Hewitt

Jeannine Hewitt, Founder of Geri’s Garden, Fair Oaks, California


What’s your back story?
We opened in October 2001. I’d been working in a retail as a district manager. I did my research but…(there’s always a but!)

What would you do differently if you were starting all over?
If I were to do things over again, I would have studied aesthetics in addition to massage, so I could truly understand what my team knows. The spa has was so successful I didn’t have enough time for education.

What’s makes you proud?
The relationships I’ve built — with people who worked for me and are now lifelong friends…people who are currently working for me…and the clients who have become dear to me.

Best advice?
If you’re starting a spa, be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Bookkeeping, marketing, billing, and every part of the administrative business doesn’t come naturally to those of us who love touch, but start doing the things you don’t like right away.

Biggest challenge?
During the recession of 2009, business suffered because many of our clients were in industries that were financially affected. and I had to make some difficult staffing decisions. But we rebuilt and now have a more diversified clientele. We recovered and started building back in about a year. Be prepared and make the tough decisions.

Your Inspiration?
I left a solid, established career to switch gears. My mom Geri (who died young) believed that women needed a place to go to escape and relax and be nurtured. My spa is a tribute to my mother. And I now believe I’m doing something that matters.

Are you sheBOOMING? Please share your story with us. e-mail us at nancy@sheboom.com!