Interview with Svetlana Balakireva, founder of “Love Spa Ubud”
Bali is a unique evergreen paradise of tropical nature. There are the best beaches for relaxation and surfing, acquiring spiritual harmony and immersion in deep practices. This is a place with its own special atmosphere and beautiful views. Bali is one of the main centers of spiritual life and a real paradise on Earth. The island makes you fall in love at first sight, takes your breath away and amazes your imagination, giving balance and calming the soul.
Svetlana Balakireva is the founder of the “Love Spa Ubud”. She spoke about her move to Bali, opening a business, and the difficulties she had to face in her interview for the magazine “Dubai people”.
1. Svetlana Balakireva is the founder of “Love Spa Ubud”, creator of a heavenly place with an incredible atmosphere and the highest service. Svetlana, tell us about yourself, about your path to opening a business in Bali: the idea of creation, what difficulties you encountered, your successes and achievements.
My name is Svetlana Balakireva. We flew to Bali as a family in order to spend the winter in this warm paradise place in 2020, but due to the onset of the pandemic, we had to stay on an already closed island and build our lives here. As time went on, we managed to improve our life, find a good school for our children, rent a villa for a long-term lease for 20 years and make the final decision to stay in Bali and consider it our new home.
Bali has its own charming magic: even if you wake up in a bad mood, it is still guaranteed to be good. It cannot be otherwise!
I started learning Indonesian even before starting my own business, that later turned out to be the right and far-sighted decision. Local residents do not yet have strong enough trust in foreigners; they are afraid that they will deceive them and not pay their salaries. Knowing the language helped me quickly establish contact and gain their trust.
Of course, it was not without difficulties: there were many problems with the repairs. To do it badly, and then to redo it is more of a pattern for them. As a result, the repairs dragged on for a year. But we did it!
First of all we identified our target audience when opening the spa. These are Russian-speaking people who value their time, quality of work and service. And we all know that the best nail artists are from Russia and Ukraine and they make the highest quality manicure. There was a big problem with that in Bali, especially in Ubud.
We decided that we will create a place where the services provided will be exclusively according to the highest standards, with complete sterilization of the equipment and our Balinese nail artists will make a manicure on a par with nail artists from Russia and Ukraine. We were lucky and there were no problems with the employees: we trained them to do high-quality manicure, hired a therapist with experience working abroad and knowledge of the service.
We faced many difficulties in doing business under Indonesian law, as most lawyers and notaries say and do what the client asks. But through trial and error, we managed to cope with this. Now all our employees are officially employed, we have studied their rights and obligations, adjusted contracts, developed a company policy, thanks to which our employees receive insurance, a bonus in the amount of one salary at the end of a year of work, and there is completely no staff turnover.
2. What inspired you to create and open a spa in Bali?
The idea of creating a spa came to my friend, and she also became the creator of a unique concept: a conceptual spa of the 5 elements of the universe. We have created a space where you can harmonize your inner state with the help of aroma-oils and a visual component. Each of our massage rooms is decorated in the style of a certain element (fire, water, air, earth and metal). Bali is famous for its massage therapists, so there are a lot of salons on the island, but we managed to create our own unique spa.
3. Why did you choose such an unusual and original name “Love spa”?
Why did I choose the name “Love Spa”? Firstly, I really believe in love, it will definitely save and is saving the world. And secondly, all people on the planet know this word, regardless of the language they speak.
4. What makes your spa unique? What is its concept?
Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we are a conceptual spa. We use only high-quality oils produced in the best factory in Bali (that makes cosmetics for top hotels: Saint Regis, etc.). All textiles (from sheets to kimonos) are made from all-natural premium quality fabrics, and this is not all that makes our spa unique.
5. What services does “Love Spa Ubud” offer to its clients? What unusual and original treatments can you try in your spa?
We have unusual treatments, such as “Wedding Ritual in Bali” for couples in love. First we do a massage, then a scrub, then a bath with flowers for two and at the end we hold a real Balinese ceremony, at the end of which we tie a red thread as a symbol of love or the fulfillment of a joint desire. We bring threads from the temple in order to preserve the traditions of Balinese ceremonies.
Also, girls often order the ceremony “Queen of Bali”. This is a 4-hour ceremony, where two massage therapists take care of the guest four-hands: they give a body massage, face massage, scrub, seaweed wrap simultaneously with a head massage, and at the end the guest will have a luxurious bath, tea ceremony and fruit basket.
6. What plans and goals do you set for yourself in the future: opening new salons, collaborations or, possibly, the opening of new directions?
Our plans for the next year are to open another manicure studio in Canggu (another city in Bali), and next year we want to open another “LoveSpa” in another city in Bali. Perhaps we will decide to open it in another country, but there is no time for this yet.
This is my dream: for LoveSpa to be around the world!
We wish Svetlana that everything will certainly work out and that she will achieve all her goals.
To find out more about “Love Spa Ubud” visit the official web site.
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