The Spa Business Association announces guest speakers for February event

The Spa Business Association is offering those in the spa industry an opportunity to join three top spa entrepreneurs, including the chairman of the Sanctuary Spa and the co-owner and director of Champneys.

Attendees will hear how they have dealt with the mistakes they have made, how they pulled their businesses through really tough phases and what vital lessons they learned along the way that we could all gain from.

This special event is due to take place at L’oreals head office in Hammersmith London on the 9th February 2009 between 6.30pm and 10.00.

Speakers include…

Alice Avis, Chairman, Sanctuary Spa Group

Alice Avis joined The Sanctuary Spa Group in July 2005 as CEO. Since her time with the company, the Sanctuary has enjoyed huge growth and success to become the No1 Spa in London and it product range is the No2 best-selling beauty brand in Boots.


Alice’s previous roles include, most recently, Marketing and Ecommerce Director of Marks & Spencer and global Brand Director of Johnnie Walker, Gordons and Tanqueray at Diageo.  Her early career was at BMP advertising agency and at Bain, management consultancy. She gained an MBA from INSEAD and a Classics MA from Cambridge University.

STEPHEN PURDEW Director/ Co-owner Champneys Group

Stephen Purdew - strong passionate and clear about how to grow spa’s. Stephen has been instrumental in taking Champneys into the High Street with salons, expanding the range of products and services the Company offers and into Sainsbury with a food range.

As an individual who started life in accountancy Stephen lives by cash flow but loves expansion, likes to manage with a tight grip and is black and white on what works and what doesn’t. The Purdew family has grown the spa business from humble beginnings to a business empire worth in the hundreds of millions of pounds over the last decades through tough times and easier times. Stephen will share his insights and anecdotes on those experiences.
SUKI KALIRAI   MD Carlton Institute/ Founder Dove Spa

Suki is also Chairman of the Spa Business Association and Deputy Chairman of HABIA, the government standard setting body for our industry.  Suki spent 15 years with Unilever, Coca-Cola and Forte & Le Meridien Hotels rising to the main board worldwide of the latter $8bn Company.
He conceived and set up SSI (parent company of Re-Aqua and Dove Spa) in 2000, as a new start-up. The Company had grown to 45 spa and salon sites in 3 countries, employing 500 people when he left in 2007 to buy the Carlton Institute - a training and consulting company focussed on the spa, salon and hospitality sectors. Suki therefore has first hand recent experience of the trials and tribulations of turning spas and salons into profitable operations.