It’s unclear who’s getting a better deal at The Humber Spa, the customers or the staff.
Open as of mid-February, Humber’s new state-of-the-art spa at its North Campus allows students in the Spa Management program and Massage Therapy Program to train on cutting-edge equipment. It gives customers access to a retail boutique, hot stone and aromatherapy massage services, body treatments, facials, chemical peels, manicure/pedicures and medical esthetics treatments with state-of-the-art equipment, at a significantly reduced cost.
“We’re not here to make money,” says Antonietta Perretta, Humber's spa manager. “We reinvest the money we make from the services back into the products that we use.”
With the guidance of Perretta and two full-time industry professionals the spa is a teaching ground for approximately 20 second semester students.
“We make sure they pass their testing before they can perform the services,” says Perretta. “We also follow the Toronto Public Health best practices guidelines very closely to make sure all the services are being offered in a very hygienic manner.”
Different services are offered in different semesters. Right now the spa is offering manicures, pedicures, paraffin treatments and customized facials.
“They’re really quite amazing,” says Perretta of the facials. “They go into depth in terms of different skin types and conditions. If you were to have that kind of treatment anywhere else it may cost you $150 but we can offer it for $40.”
The spa is not just about teaching students about the services.
“It’s about connecting with your client and meeting their needs,” says Joanna Alexopulos who is currently enrolled in the program. “It’s learning the little things like how to manage the front retail area, greeting your clients, booking appointments and running the cash. It’s about learning how to manage a group of therapists, timing all your services so your day runs smoothly and helping one another whether it’s setting up for the day or cleaning up in between clients.”
So as clients benefit from the eager dedication of tomorrow’s spa practitioners, students get all the advantages of a real-world setting.
“This is definitely something you can’t be taught in class,” says Alexopulos. “It’s something that you have to experience. And I am so glad that we’re given the opportunity to do so by having such an amazing facility to practice in and instructors to guide us. Not many people can say that they’ve had the chance to experience all of this before they even begin their career.”