02 Mar 2020
Against the advice of friends and respected business associates, the Chill Out Spa began trading in the aftermath of the 2008 credit crunch and shortly before the Government’s announcement of an impending recession. Just the kind of market conditions you want when you’re trying to launch a new business that encourages people to spoil themselves! Undeterred by this, owner Sharon Carroll, had a vision and wasn’t going to let the small matter of an economic recession stand in the way of her realising her dream.
Sharon said: ‘’At the time, I have to admit, it was a little scary. However, we were lean and able to control our overheads in line with demand. We had no borrowings… What bank would lend to us! So, all we had to focus on was making the proposition right for the client.’’
Fast forward to 2020 and that focus on the client is probably the core reason why, during the last 11 years, Chill Out Spa has grown into one of the region’s most sort after spa destinations.
Situated within the grounds of a Royal estate at Knowsley Hall and remarkably, just a mere 15-minute drive from the centre of St Helens, Chill Out Spa is accessed via electric gated entry, a feature that adds to the exclusive feel of this very unique day spa. Walking through the sandstone archway into a secluded cobbled courtyard gives you a sneak preview of what’s to follow and once inside the converted Victorian farm buildings, you are certainly not disappointed. A rustic feel along with contemporary design leaves you in no doubt that you are in a very special place.
Sharon explained: “There’s no doubt, our association with and proximity to Knowsley Hall, has proven to be a great USP for our business. As well as the obvious attraction of our location, Lord and Lady Derby have supported us from day one and from a marketing perspective, we consider ourselves fortunate to have their endorsement. Where else can you be pampered whilst rubbing shoulders with Royalty? Our celebrity clients too, appreciate the privacy and exclusivity of the spa’s surroundings and whilst we are careful not to compromise that privacy, we generally find that most of our celebs are happy to post positive comments and images on social media which can have a dramatic and immediate impact on sales.’’
Since opening in 2008, this little gem of a spa has welcomed more than 20,000 clients through its doors and it would seem that a spa regime is becoming very much the norm for many people evidenced by the popularity and growth of Chill Out Spa’s Membership scheme. For a small monthly subscription, clients receive complimentary treatments worth in excess of £200, 10% discount off all treatments and priority access to events and offers. Chill Out also provides bespoke corporate packages to local businesses ranging from pre-agreed discounts for employees to corporate events and memberships.
Sharon said: “With greater focus on the mental health and well-being of their employees, businesses are seeing the benefits of engaging with us in this way. It’s very much a growing feature of our business and a win/win situation for everyone.’’
Despite numerous national awards and accolades, Chill Out Spa is certainly not resting on its laurels. Plans are in place for an outdoor ‘spa experience’ which is due to be completed by the end of April and Sharon is constantly looking for ways to improve her offering and client experience.
Sharon commented: “As an independently owned business we are passionate about our responsibilities and objectives. We care about what our clients think and we understand that their time with us is special. Therefore, every expectation has to be fulfilled. I find that passion and enthusiasm is contagious and as such, we have a highly motivated team who share our vision for the business and enjoy the challenge of working towards our common goal – absolute excellence in everything we do.’’
Chill Out Spa is offering all Chamber Members, their families and staff 20% off any treatment or package booked between 1st March and 31st May 2020. In order to qualify for the discount, please quote SHC20 at time of booking.