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NEW YORK — Relaxing in a spa all day may be the average frazzled woman’s dream, but for most of the real world, it’s simply a fantasy. But Liz and Mark Warom, creators and owners of the British brand Temple Spa, are out to change that — with a lineup of unisex products they have dubbed “a spa to go.”
And they mean that quite literally. Besides distributing Temple Spa products in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Belgium, the couple also has contracts with three airlines to provide toiletries for first- and business-class amenity kits.
The Waroms, formerly product developers for The Body Shop, began operating their flagship spa, also called Temple Spa, in September 2003 in the Bailiffscourt Hotel in Climping, West Sussex, in the U.K., and quickly realized that its upscale clientele was deeply in need of portable versions of its treatments. A 50-stockkeeping-unit body and facial care line, drawing from a mix of Mediterranean, high-tech and holistic principles, followed soon after.
“With our products, your space becomes your spa,” said Liz Warom. “Whether it’s on an airplane, in your car, in the office, or your home — it’s about creating relaxation wherever you are.” Given the “to-go” part of the couple’s message, it makes sense that the troika of airlines — Scandinavian Airlines, British Midland and American Airlines — were among the first vehicles to get the brand’s message across.
“Being on these airlines, our brand receives global exposure — which is resulting in [worldwide] interest,” said Liz Warom, who said that she and Mark plan to expand the brand’s reach into Greece, Spain and Germany by year-end.
And it’s a strategy that the brand’s only U.S. door heartily applauds: “You never know where those amenities kits end up,” said Claudia Lucas, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty for Henri Bendel. Lucas began stocking the brand last fall shortly after assuming her current role at the retailer. “Business travelers keep them, and often pass them on to assistants, wives, husbands. Some of our first calls after we began stocking the line were from American Airlines passengers who loved the line and wanted to know where to buy it.”
And she should know. Lucas herself first discovered the line when she was traveling on business. A former beauty buyer for Selfridges, Lucas was first introduced to the line at the Hotel Malmaison in Birmingham, U.K., where she was staying as a guest. One thing led to another, and Lucas began stocking the Temple Spa line in her doors.
The products themselves have a variety of cheeky names, ranging from Get a Life!, a $35 treatment fragrance, to Be Gone, a $35, 5-oz. cleansing lotion. The latest products will hit U.S. doors later this spring: a lip balm and a new eye gel. Items in the line range in price from $7.50 for All Mouth Breath Freshening Essence to $60 for Exalt Neck Cream.
“Launching a brand from scratch in a new market is always a challenge — but this line is already gaining a lot of traction in our door,” said Lucas, who noted that the line’s bestsellers include Exult Neck Cream and its Take a Grip Dry Shower in a Bottle. “The products work on many levels. They have fab packaging, great names and great positioning — the line talks to you on a personal level. The line doesn’t bombard you with scientific information. But at the same time, it is very technologically advanced. Also, the line has products which address everything from head to toe — from shampoo to leg gel.”
Industry sources estimate that sales now top $8 million globally — although that’s likely to change as distribution increases. In the U.K., the brand continues to be available at Selfridges and is also available at Harvey Nichols, the couple’s Temple Spa, and several hotels. In the U.S., the line will be exclusive to Bendel’s until further notice, said Liz Warom, although she and Mark hope to eventually expand to additional markets.