This blog is one of the first from a series which will cover people we work with who we find inspirational.  New stockists, long-standing advocates of Made for Life Organics and regular users will all be featured as we explore what makes people love the Made for Life brand and ethics and find out more about people’s motivations and experiences of life and business.

 

 

ESSE

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At the beginning of January I travelled up with Spa Development Manager, Shane Edwards who I have worked with now for over 13 years to the village of Melbourn not far from Cambridge.

We went here to introduce Spiezia products and facials including Head in Heaven™ to a beautiful bijoux spa, Esse which is nestled above a shop which is literally a Pandora’s Box of designer clothing which are priced accessibly with the added benefit of advice on styling provided by the helpful and friendly team who work there.

Esse was the concept of vibrant owner/manager, Sally who contacted us, having been recommended by one of her customers who told her all about Spiezia.  Esse has just celebrated its 10th Anniversary and was the brainchild of Sally who works with her daughters, Steff who helps her run the Spa and Serena who runs the very lovely Sheene Mill Hotel & Restaurant opposite the shop and spa.

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Esse is a simple but really ingenious concept.  Take a beautiful old deserted building with a spiral staircase, fill it with beautiful designer clothes and a central Coffee/Champagne bar; add on access to fitness and health classes and a quiet spa area upstairs and you have the start of something great.  Add in some really lovely staff with smiles and a real desire to help you get the best out of your visit and you have quite simple a recipe for success.  This and a load of drive and hard work make Esse the success it is today.

Sally took time to tell me about the concept “I had owned the Sheene Mill Hotel & Restaurant and then my marriage ended and life could have fallen apart at the seams.  I haven’t trained in anything and have no qualifications but I felt that my personal experience in life give me some insights into how I can help people and provide a really great service.”

“I wanted people to feel good about life. Having gone through some hard times I felt that I had an understanding of what may be needed. So we spent a lot of time and money putting together Esse -  a shop and spa with fitness facilities and the idea that everyone would feel welcome when they walked through the door.  The concept centres on women coming together to join in exercise classes or have a spa treatment and relax and get to know each other over a coffee or tea afterwards.”

“It has been really challenging at times but I was determined to make this a success and worked all sorts of hours and put on some great offers to tempt people through the door.  We are now doing really well with a huge and loyal customer base. Esse offers a little escape from the everyday hustle and bustle”

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This business is a true family business. Steff expertly runs and manages the spa which has beautifully relaxing spa rooms and an extensive treatment menu.  As you enter the spa you are enveloped in a comfortable waiting/relaxation area with huge comfy sofas, magazines to read and water to sip.  Shane was really impressed by the quality of the therapists during training and the Head in Heaven™ treatment is now on offer alongside the Relax & Rejuvenate Uplifting facial and Radiance facial - all using Spiezia’s 100% luxury organic skincare range which is ideal for all skin types due to the high level of vitamins and EFA’s  with no synthetic chemicals.

Steff shared her view of Spiezia and Head in Heaven™ “I knew I would love the Spezia products. The combination of organic and smelling divine, as they do, is irresistible. However the Spezia training was on a whole different level! Head in Heaven™ is a slow, rhythmic and very holistic treatment which is really relaxing for both client and therapist. I thought I may find it difficult not performing my usual deep tissue massage. This wasn't the case at all. It was so nice taking the time to slowly flow each individual specialised movement and completely relax whilst treating somebody to such a wonderful experience. Part of our training was to also have the treatment.  I was asleep in seconds and when I awoke at the end of the treatment I could truly say my head was in heaven!”

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For those of you wanting a break, Serena manages the The Sheene Mill Hotel very beautifully.  The bijoux hotel,  with just 10 rooms overlooking a stream is situated opposite Esse and has a fantastic restaurant too.  As Serena says  “Only two years into business The Sheene Mill is still growing and developing all the time. There is so much we still want to do, but so much I believe we have achieved already. We have re-decorated the building inside and out including decking overlooking the river – perfect to sit and enjoy lunch or drinks in the summer.  We have built an amazing Wedding Ceremony Pavilion within our river and to top all this have officially been awarded our ‘2 Rosette’ accolade from the AA!” 

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‘My Mum ran The Sheene Mill with my Dad, almost 10 years or so ago now. As a child I always remember the business absolutely ‘booming,’ day in and day out, I remember the feeling of that full, ‘buzzing' restaurant… that feeling and those memories are what make me determined to ensure The Sheene Mill is better than ever and that is a challenge!’

That drive and passion is paying off. Shane and I arrived in the midst of a cold and wet day in Januray after a 7 hour drive from Cornwall. It was lovely to be greeted by a warm fire and friendly smile as we walked through the door. Having run hotels and worked in the hospitality industry for many years, I can honestly say that the food and service was exceptional and exceeded our expectations.  It is an ideal spot for friends to get together and relax, visit Cambridge for the culture, shop and relax in Esse Spa and to enjoy fine food and wine in the evening.

That is the secret of Esse and a great family run business – it is all about really caring about the customer.