Style | Diary of a Somebody

Susan Harmsworth

The Espa CEO can finally begin to look forward to her trip to Dubai

Susan Harmsworth

July 23 2011
Susan Harmsworth

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

I was in the office from 9am all day today – this was to focus and plan on the week ahead as I will be away on business for all of next week. My first meeting was with Melanie, who is one of my project managers on design; she got me up to speed on the current status of one of our contracts before we dialled in for a call with the owner of the Ritz Carlton in Bangalore to discuss some of the project issues we’re currently facing over there and how to resolve on these.

10am: I’ve been interviewing for a new project manager for some time. Most of my project managers have worked for me for more than 10 years but as more and more of our business is coming from India and China, we really needed to find a Chinese speaker. The candidate I saw was at the final stage of her interview; she speaks Chinese, has an architectural background, is really excited about the work and the Espa brand so we seem to be a perfect fit.

11.30am: My meeting with Tracey, who is director of spa operations, was to cover off the finer details of our trip to Dubai. We’re taking an entire stand with us and I’m making a presentation to 140 general managers over there; we’ll have clients coming to see us from Abu Dhabi as well as existing clients in Dubai so I just wanted to make sure that my presentation and all the collateral we were taking on this trip were aligned. I started to feel I can look forward to the trip now!

12.30pm: I met with Max Tomlinson, who is our in-house naturopath, nutritionist, homeopath and medical herbalist for the EspaLife flagship, to go through all of our candidates for Gleneagles (we’re rolling out EspaLife there at the end of the year). We ensured that we were in line with the EU directive on complimentary medicine and discussed whether any changes needed to be made to our treatment offering going forward before we looked at and tested the latest machinery used for colonic irrigation – we are putting these into EspaLife Gleneagles so we need to ensure that we are using the safest, most state-of-the-art equipment available.

2pm: I had a meeting with our IT team as I have a new iPad and they were uploading all of my presentations and key documents I need for the various pre-opening sites we’re working on so they wanted to give me a lesson on where to find everything and how to use all the various short-cuts. It’s a dream invention!

3pm: I’d requested a conference call with my US team in San Francisco as they are on their way to Vietnam and then on to Resorts World Singapore. One of our colleagues will be shadowing the project manager over there on this trip and I wanted to check off the agenda, that the designs were correct and that we get a successful outcome!

4.30pm: This time another conference call with our design agency putting together all the retail concepts for our stores – as we’ve recently re-branded, re-packaged and re-formulated, we now need to mirror this on our counters, at point of sale, etc.

6pm: I had a final tie-up meeting with my PA Anna Gooch so that I have my travel documentations, details about where I’m staying in Dubai, plus all my presentations for the trip. We also finalised what needs to happen while I’m away.

7pm: I left the office to go and look at a house as I’m thinking of moving. I’ve lived in the centre of Guildford for years and have been very happy there – I’m close to the airports, our offices, factory and schools but I’m toying with the idea of living slightly out of the city...

8.45pm: When I got home, I made myself a caesar salad, unwound a bit reading a magazine, caught up on the news, then lights were out by 10pm.

See also

People, Middle East