– Spas of America, recently had the pleasure to sit down with Allan Share, the charismatic leader of the Spa Industry Association.

1. What is the Spa Industry Association?

The Spa Industry Association is a trade group that supports anyone working in the spa, salon, medical spa, resort, destination industry. If they fall under the wellness umbrella, they can be a member in our association, and it doesn’t cost anything. It’s free.

 2. What keeps your customers returning?

Free is unusual in our business. Most associations have a hefty fee to belong. We are supported by our vendor partners and service companies in the industry. This allows us to offer credit card processing discounts, industry magazine subscriptions and discounts to trade shows, but what people really love about the association is the access to information. They can call us anytime with questions like ‘Who do you know at?’, ‘Where do we find?’, ‘What do we do when?’. We thrive on helping people in our industry.

 3. What decision in your life lead you to where you are today?

I never pictured myself in this business. I grew up in the clothing industry. My dad had eight stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I ended up gravitating to the phone systems business. One day a friend came along who had been in this channel with two partners and they were suing each other, and going out of business, and it looked to me like a good business. I then began interviewing a few chiropractors and massage therapists, and a few spas and salons. And then because I had more balls than brains, and I didn’t know any better, I went out and put inventory in the garage, made a price list with product descriptions on my Smith-Corona electric typewriter, and I went out knocking on doors, and people starting buying stuff from us. Eighteen years after we started, we sold the company to an equity group in Chicago.

 4. Why do you love your job?

Because I don’t work. I’m truly the quintessential guy who says I haven’t worked in 31 years. I love being in the spa business. I fell into something that absolutely fits my personality. We run the Spa Industry Association in a unique manor. We act like Switzerland. Everyone is welcome. We keep information private, but we are willing to share anything to anyone and we don’t charge for those services.

Read the rest at Spas of America