An Interview With The Owner: Alethea Austin


What made you start your own company?

On our honeymoon when my husband and I were pregnant with our first child, we were planning for our future and wanted to create a life where we could work together, for ourselves and our family. We wanted to spend our days together helping others in a rewarding way. We looked into becoming franchisees for an existing business but nothing we found fit into what we wanted. The options available had mixed reviews and appeared to have limited support and poor business models. So we came up with a plan to create our own business. In 2009 we incorporated Achieve Wellness Spa and spent years planning, researching and developing prior to building in 2013/14 and opening the doors to the public in May 2014. Our son James was the inspiration for creating a business and a lifestyle of helping others on their wellness journey. James passed away in an extremely sad and tragic accident when he was only 3 years old. This loss happened just prior to beginning construction on our first location. The tragedy could have defeated us, but instead we used it to fuel our passion to complete the project and to continue to grow the business in his legacy.

Why own an Achieve Wellness Spa?

We live in a busy and stressful world. Most wellness businesses focus on one niche or type of service; what we do is focus on wellness. Wellness is a way of living; a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of the body, mind and spirit. Our business is unique because it provides guests a much-needed retreat with a multitude of services in one luxurious multidisciplinary wellness facility. We help our guests achieve better health and an improved quality of life. We provide an exceptional experience in affordable luxury.

Who is your target market?

Self-care is a booming multibillion-dollar industry. More and more people are understanding the benefits of self-care and health insurers offer direct billing for many of the services we provide. Our current consumers are primarily women aged 25-45 years old (60%) with the next largest cohort consisting of men aged 25-45.. However, there is a growing trend of baby boomers and the aging population to becoming more health conscious and seek out our services.

Tell us about your products and services?

Achieve Wellness Spa is an award winning luxury medical day spa with 2 corporate locations in Fort McMurray Alberta. We provide a variety of multidisciplinary services which range from the traditional spa treatments such as pedicures, manicures, massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs; to more medical spa services such as chemical peels, RadioFrequency Body contouring, laser hair removal, dermaplaning and Laser photofacials. We also provide more mainstream medical treatments such as Physical Therapy, Acupuncture, Shockwave Therapy, Naturopathic Medicine and Medical Doctors who perform botox and filler injections.
We are proud recipients of the chamber of Commerce Gold Star Award for best personal services, and customer service, Top 25 Spas in Canada and we are 2 of only 21 spas in Canada to hold the high designation of Quality Assured Spa from the Leading Spas of Canada. We also green spa network members, Canadian franchise association members, and have consistently achieved over 94% customer satisfaction scores.

What sets you apart from the competition?

Most businesses just focus on one niche or type of service. For example, most spas just do esthetics and massage. Most Medispas only focus on medical esthetics and cosmetic injections and most other rehab clinics focus just on physical therapy and rehabilitation of injury. We are the only company that offers multiple revenue streams with over 60% of our services direct billed to insurance providers at no cost to our guests; full spa and wellness services menu and luxurious amenities like robe and slippers, showers, baths, hot tubs and steam rooms, as well as being licensed to serve adult beverages keep our guests returning.

Who are your partners?

We have partnered with Arlene Dickinson and her team at District Ventures who believe in our brand and are eager to help us grow and support our franchisees. We have also partnered with designers, builders, developers, lenders and insurers to help our franchisees with everything from site selection to build-out and beyond. As innovative leaders in the personal wellness industry we hold ourselves to the highest standards in everything we do.

Who would make a good Franchisee?

We are looking for passionate individuals who hold our core values and want to live the dream life of being their own boss. Create and live a lifestyle of meaning.
We have a passion to change the world for the better, to create a better business model than what we had experienced in the past. We plan to expand our reach to affect positive change to the lives of more people. We are committed to providing an exceptional wellness experience which leaves our guests looking forward to their next visit.

Franchisee partners have the opportunity to be a part of a Legacy. Let’s make our mark on this world by spreading wellness through a better, higher quality model than what currently exists. Let’s create and live a lifestyle of meaning and passion. We are committed to developing positive and profitable partnerships with all of our stakeholders.