Next up in our series of blogs holding honest conversations with our clients, we have Dr Maxine Stead, Business Owner of Alexandra Spa House, talking about her career change, biggest achievement and working with Faith. 

Firstly, tell us a bit about your role and organisation? 

I established Alexandra House Spa in 2007 and run the business – overseeing the marketing, staff management and development, reception, maintenance, business admin, strategic planning, and development.  

Alexandra House is a holistic health and wellbeing spa offering holistic treatments and relaxation packages. We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer care, fabulous treatments, a high level of service, wonderful surroundings, and great Yorkshire value for money. 

How did you get into the industry and your current position? 

I used to work in academic cancer research and was starting to feel frustrated with the politics and extensive traveling and was trying to decide what my next steps were. I had an epiphany whilst in Bali 18 years ago to set up a health spa and went on some business start-up courses and then started the spa from scratch.  

It was a big leap as I had a nationally recognised role and no business experience. But I had many transferable skills – communication, leadership, project management, staff management etc and applied these to my new venture. I’ve never looked back!  

If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be? 

Spa with a Heart (sorry, that’s 4 words!) 

Who do you look up to for inspiration? 

Eve Taylor OBE, the founder of the skincare products that we use. She’s been in business for 60 years and still works in her 90s. She’s so passionate about her work and her company’s ethos is similar to mine – excellent products, personal service, good value for money, holistic and natural products. 

What has been your biggest career achievement so far? 

Growing the spa despite a global recession one year after we opened and 3 closures during the pandemic.  

What led you to engage with Faith? 

I’ve known Stef for many years and worked with Faith for the PR about our Thermal Rooms when they opened 7 years ago. I knew that Faith also helped with marketing and so engaged them to work on a social media engagement programme.  

What are the most important things to consider when working with an agency? 

A good understanding of our business needs, clear and regular communication, and a good track record. Having approachable and interested staff who make you feel like they are part of your team is also important.  

How important is trust in the client–agency relationship? 

It is vital, as with any business partnership. There has to be trust between both parties.  

Did anything surprise you about partnering with an agency? 

How quickly the team understood our business requirements and ethos. 

How does paid social media advertising fit into your wider business strategy/goals? 

It’s a way to reach a lot of clients for relatively small cost and helps us market our business to a focussed group of potential clients.  

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the health and wellness sector at the moment? 

Rising costs of living which are squeezing people’s budgets. Having said that, since the pandemic more people recognise the need to look after their health and wellbeing, so it is now a higher priority for more people.  

What is your personal favourite social media platform and why? 

Instagram – seems more positive although it might be the people I follow! 

Where do you consume news? 

I try to avoid watching the news. I tend to see the headlines on social media. 

What do you view as the most trustworthy source of news? 

I don’t think one exists unfortunately.  

Do you attend networking events? If yes, which is your favourite? 

I’ve attended lots of different networking events over the years, but I prefer the more relaxed ones. Currently I’m enjoying The Positivity Collective at Smile Bar in Huddersfield.  

Talk to us today about the services we provide, to find out what we can do for your business.   

author avatar
Rhianne Lee