important lessons learned from
Cody has been to be a “thumb
pointer” rather than finger pointer.
Always look at how you could do
better and don’t try to shift blame.
SI: What is one of your most
LD: I moved to Puerto Rico to
open the first Golden Door Resort
Spa in 1998. While the spa was
under construction, a Category 5
hurricane decimated the island.
We had no power for a month and
no water for a week.
But, the show must go on.
With staff in training and a spa
under construction, we set up
a makeshift spa in three hotel
rooms and offered services to
the remaining guests. We opened
a few months late, but we had a
very strong team as a result of the
challenges faced during opening.
SI: What has been one of your
biggest lessons so far?
LD: Maya Angelou said “I’ve
learned that people will forget
what you said, people will forget
what you did, but people will
never forget how you made them
feel.” In the spa industry, we have
the unique opportunity to help
people feel better every hour of
the day. This is an honor and a
SI: What piece of advice would
you give to a new esthetician?
LD: Determine what your
passion is in esthetics so you can
become the best at it. Remember
that trends of esthetics come and
go, but knowing the skin and
its functions is the foundation.
Customer service, personalization,
and being present for your guest
will set you apart.
SI: What direction would you
give to a new spa owner?
LD: It is important to
understand what you are good
at, hire others with the skills you
lack and allow them to shine. Find
what works for your spa, and don’t
try to be everything to everyone.
If you don’t know what works for
your spa or your area, try new
things until you find what works.
SI: If you could go back in time
and tell yourself something, what
would it be?
LD: It is ok to be vulnerable
and human at work. Ask more
questions, and fully listen to the
SI: Where do you see the future
of the esthetic industry going?
LD: The healing power of touch
is here to stay. In this high-tech,
low-touch world, people need it
more than ever. However, we will
continue to see devices proliferate
the market as guests look for ways
to recreate the spa experience at
home. I think we will see more
skin care only memberships,
and more mail order delivery of
“personally selected” home care
SI: What do you like to do in your
LD: I spend time outside with
my family and friends. Nothing
makes me happier than hiking or
climbing a mountain. The quiet
allows me to recharge and come
back to work better able to take
care of everyone else!