If you’re like me, you think of two things with you hear or read the word relaxation: sleep and spa dates. Candace Holyfield, who is affectionately referred to as “The Six Figure Spa Chick,” has broken new ground in the beauty and spa industry for African American Spa professionals with The Queen Spa Expo and The Black Spa Magazine. The millennial business mogul has been featured on BET, FOX and ESSENCE Music Festival as a trailblazer who has assisted in launching and creating six figure income for over 500 spas and secured a clientele base of over 15,000 since beginning her journey in 2011.
HelloBeautiful caught up with Candace about her journey in the spa industry as a Black woman and discussed the importance of representation for Black spa professionals, how she acquired her six-figure alias and where she sees herself in the spa industry and the Queen Spa Expo in the long-term. But what exactly is the Queen Spa Expo?
As the only Black spa expo in the world, Holyfield curated a weekend to bring Black spa professionals together as a weekend jam-packed with business-building seminars. She was inspired by being featured twice in American Spa Magazine, the largest spa publication, but was only nominated for recognition; never awarded. “Blacks are not represented in the spa industry, so I created my own expo and magazine. It was especially important for me to increase visibility for my diverse spa owners,” the 38-year-old mogul confided in HelloBeautiful.
“Many of the African American spa owners were barely turning a profit not because of their services, it was because of visibility in the market.” She continued to tell HelloBeautiful about how very few Black Spa professionals have an impact in the marketplace. “If you search the hashtags #massagetherapist or #esthetician, [there] is not a lot of [Black people],” Holyfield added. “We need to be seen and heard in the marketplace so our business can remain open and profitable.”
The Memphis, TN native told HelloBeautiful that she had never experienced a spa until she enrolled in school to become a massage therapist because her upbringing was limited and she had no idea about the idea of living luxuriously in a spa. “In my community we did not discuss the importance of massage therapy and freeing your mind and thoughts. I also did not have the disposable income to frequent a spa,” Holyfield continued as she foreshadowed her future as a millennial mogul in the spa industry.
During her first year in business, she curated mobile spa parties and often traveled to multimillion-dollar homes with stay-at-home moms and other wealthy clients. From then on, her viewpoint on the spa industry was changed and she knew her potential in this realm was limitless. “Exposure to another world was particularly important to understand my relevance in the marketplace,” Holyfield added.
“I wanted a name that would immediately get people attention. I made my first six figures on Groupon, so I named the page Six Figure Spa Chick,” Holyfield told HelloBeautiful about obtaining “The Six Figure Spa Chick” as her alias. “My goal in business has shifted to educating other spa owners on how to grow their businesses to a six-figure earning business.”
When first starting out in a business within any uncharted industry, including the spa industry, Candace Holyfield advises legalizing your business as soon as possible, getting your paperwork in order and setting new goals every month to be on your way to making your six figures. “Once a goal is completed make a new one. This will keep you elevated in your business,” she told HelloBeautiful. She continued to list the basics of the business including choosing catchy names, strategically identifying a location, and investing in your marketing and branding.
“Make sure that your spa reflects your client base,” the multilocation spa owner continued. “It is important that spa owners market their business and their services so that their future client base knows that they are there. Lastly, every spa owner should have their own product line. Products will carry the business through downslopes in the market.”
Holyfield believes that in order to truly impact the industry, her students must learn the bare essentials of running a spa business. As she is currently working on developing and owning her very own spa school, she is working towards fulfilling her long-term desire to host the Queen Spa Expo internationally across multiple countries. On her short-term goals, Holyfield shared with HelloBeautiful, “My short-term goal is to continue helping 500 spa professionals get business credit in the next 90 days. I discovered during my journey as a spa owner, that business credit makes the difference. As a business owner, when you have the additional capital to invest in your business, you can grow it, foster it, and you have a better chance at being successful.”