Director of the Guerlain Spa in Toronto talks about the challenges and opportunities inherent in providing an exceptional spa experience
Jane Iredale was born in England and moved to the U.S. where she started her career in the entertainment industry, working first as a casting director and then as a writer and producer. She worked alongside those whose success often depended on having a clear complexion and witnessed how skin disorders and sensitivities could not only threaten careers, but destroy self-confidence. Makeup, while used to enhance appearance, was many times the underlying cause of the skin conditions these men and women sought to hide. This provided the inspiration behind her first mineral foundation. Working from her kitchen, Iredale’s passion for health and wellness inspired her to develop the product using natural ingredients that would improve the health of the skin. When an order was packaged for a customer, she would cut a sprig of lavender from her garden to enclose in each box—a tradition that endures. She’s moved beyond her kitchen and today, Iredale sells nearly 400 items in more than 50 countries.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
I live near a beautiful lake where friends have a house and a boat. I love to drift on the boat with my friends and our dogs. Once in a while, I jump in the water and swim forever. I feel all the tension of the week disappearing out of my body.
The hardest thing I ever did was… jump off the top diving board when I was 10.
The biggest mistake I ever made was… not learning another language.
Our customer is… the woman who has had an “aha” moment. Sometimes it comes with her first breakout, sometimes when she sees her first wrinkle, sometimes with pregnancy or when she first starts to read labels. It’s that woman who’s looking for a better way.
What I love about this business is… that I’m surrounded every day by accomplished, professional women who take pride in their femininity. My husband thinks he’s died and gone to heaven.
I started this company because… I had a product—our loose mineral base—that I thought could help women by providing them with a makeup that was good for the skin. It gradually grew from there. I didn’t think it would turn into a brand, but I’m glad it did.