We’re pleased to bring you this guest post from Andrea Lipomi. Andrea is a massage therapist, esthetician, nail tech and educator from Las Vegas, Nevada. She runs the show at Feetish Spa Parlor and Confident Massage, and would love to be friends with you on Facebook!
I’ve been running my one-woman skin and nail care business for four years now. While the winds of change keep blowing and the tenants in my building come and go faster than a progressive jackpot on Fremont Street, one thing remains constant: People like my brand.
I totally understand that receiving spa services in a repurposed medical clinic with taxidermied alligator heads and sugar skulls peppering the shelves isn’t for everyone. The name “Feetish Spa Parlor” elicits second and third takes from even the most adventurous would-be spa-goers. My hair is pink, I wear leggings and Doc Martens, and the Forbes Travel Guide has yet to come up with a rating scale that simultaneously accommodates five star hospitality and fashion cues from Bowie’s reject pile.
Yet the people who visit me are, overwhelmingly, the right people. Spa adventurers who like my vintage skeletal foot logo and appreciate my Victorian parlor aesthetic. Humans who appreciate my personalized approach and attention to detail. People who — should they visit my website and book an appointment – I will have already bonded with over our shared experience: The experience of discovering each other.
How did this seemingly well-oiled branding machine come to exist? Briefly, some insight:
I came up with the theme first, combining some of my favorite things: old timey décor, anatomical elements, curiosity shop stuff. I envisioned a total environment, where despite some modern touches (table warmer, towel cabi, etc.), guests would be transported to a different place that time forgot.
Next came the name. I’m not going to lie: I was slightly nervous that my massage therapist friends would think I was being too naughty with “Feetish”… but they loved it! It turns out having a fun, descriptive name that causes people to look twice and giggle is a major win.
I designed my own marketing materials, choosing fonts, clip art, colors and words that excited me and matched my brick and mortar theme. There’s a skeletal foot on my business card, for cryin’ out loud! Nobody can say they weren’t warned.
I am an extension of my brand. When I walk around my neighborhood, post on my personal Facebook wall, go to breakfast or engage in hobbies, people who witness these activities are given a pretty good clue as to what they can expect when they come to see me at my office. Authenticity and transparency (with healthy boundaries, of course) are our friends.
I have a uniform of sorts. Black and gray – with pops of gothy cheer – just like the color palette at my office. We’re a matched set. I want to be easily recognizable across a room, even when I’m at a myopia convention and everyone forgot their glasses.
My services and retail offerings match Feetish’s tone and aesthetic, too. Playful but effective, not the cheapest in town but a great value nonetheless. I enjoy having unique products on my shelves…like a curiosity shop for the skin!
My social media presence (primarily Instagram and Facebook) blends my personal and professional activities. This is my life: I do what I’m passionate about for a living. I get paid to help people relax, and to smooth out their complexions when they were about to give up, and to make their toes sparkly. To follow me is to see that I’m equally obsessed with pampering, business, death, weird makeup and ‘80s synthpop. I mean, what else is there?
I’m certain my branding is confusing to some people, and off-putting to some others. But guess what! It’s supposed to be. Some people need disco balls and acrylic nails, and I’m over here with a two-hour, tribble-themed pedicure. When my authentic presence doesn’t grab someone, I hope they find a service provider who helps them to feel comfortable and relaxed, the same way my people find me.