Laura Polley is the CEO and founder of the Body Blitz group of companies. Entrepreneur and avid spa enthusiast, Laura applied her extensive knowledge of spas to create the body blitz brand in 2005. Laura is also founder of Global Incentives Inc., and since 1998, has built the company into one of Canada’s leading international film and television consulting firms. Laura has received several Women Entrepreneur of the Year nominations and has been featured in the venture section of the Globe and Mail.
Rena Polley is a successful actor, writer and producer. Like her sister, she is an active spa goer who saw a niche in the spa market. Together they created the Body Blitz brand. Rena is responsible for marketing and developing the product line. Rena brings great knowledge of pure products, her belief in beauty through inner health and a desire to help all women relax, rejuvenate and radiate.
We talk to Laura and Rena about the opening of Blitz Facial Bar and how/when the idea came about.
What does a typical day look like for you, from waking up to going to bed?
Right now every day feels like Groundhog Day. Opening two new stores within a month of each other is exciting and exhausting. We long for a typical day, and once the two Blitz Facial Bars are open and thriving, we can get back to you with what a typical day looks like (haha).
You have a day off to do whatever your heart desires! Where do you eat? Shop? Stroll? Workout?
Laura: I just bought two kayaks, and I’m so excited to get them in the water. Rena and I went on a sunset paddle last week and it was beautiful. We started at Cherry Beach and paddled to the Island and back. Toronto skyline is so beautiful and it was such a lovely peaceful evening. We happened to be out on the night of the full moon. I can’t wait to get back in the kayak!
Rena: Sleeping in would be my top priority, followed by a long bike ride on the Waterfront Trail. I love that it is so easy to access and that there are all these amazing riding trails right here in the city. We both love to eat at Skin & Bones in Leslieville, and Carmen’s close to Trinity Bellwoods. Strolling in the city, shopping and stopping for a glass of wine and a snack – all of it sounds so lovely at the moment.
Congrats on the opening of Blitz Facial Bar! How/when did the idea come about?
Rena: Most people think of facials as a treat or an indulgence, and like Body Blitz, we wanted to create a facial bar that was accessible, easy and affordable so facials could be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. It seemed like a natural extension of Body Blitz Spa and our philosophy of beauty through health. Blitz Facial Bars are designed to appeal to both men and women who want to maintain a high standard of skincare and still be able to fit it into their busy lives.
How do you define success for yourself?
Laura: I wish I could define the moment I felt successful. As an entrepreneur, I am not sure I will ever feel totally successful. I am always looking for the next opportunity. I am super excited about the Blitz Facial Bars and I do feel a sense of success about them. I think ultimately though, Rena and I define success by having happy clients. We really do strive to offer great services with excellent customer service. When we see a client leave Body Blitz Spa blissed out or Blitz Facial Bar with glowing skin, we do feel a sense of success.
Any advice for women looking to open their own businesses?
Do your homework, have a solid business plan and hire experts as consultants if you don’t know something.
What do you love most about the beauty industry?
Laura: Well, neither of us come from an esthetician or beauty background. I own other businesses and Rena is an actor. It was more about seeing a need for these services in Toronto and then building a business around that need. Ten years ago, when we opened Body Blitz Spa, we were the first business to introduce therapeutic waters to Canada and the idea of an express service. It took us time to educate women on these concepts. Now these single focused express services are the norm. It has been exciting to see this change and to now be able to offer an express facial bar to both women and men.
What aspect of the business do you find the most challenging?
Laura: Staffing is always challenging, although we are in a really good place right now. We have excellent leaders who manage Body Blitz Spas and our Blitz Facial Bars. Our biggest hurdle at the moment is rising utility costs. Running a business in Toronto is expensive. This is a boring challenge but a reality when doing business in the city.
If you could try a different career for a bit, what would it be?
Laura: A girl can dream…maybe a flower store, although I have been told if I opened a flower store, one store would become dozens across the country.
Rena: To be perfectly frank, I am doing my dream job. As an actor and a partner in Body Blitz Spa and Blitz Facial Bar, I love creating something from an idea and seeing it to fruition.