NEW YORK — There’s nothing like a fresh idea to breathe new life into a business.

That’s why Alina Roytberg, co-founder and creative director of Fresh, is so excited about the new business opportunity she’s currently exploring: spas.

"We have been thinking about offering Fresh in very specific types of spas and have been approached by many spas over the years," Roytberg said. "I wouldn’t say this is an entirely new direction for us but it’s one that is very exciting."

Roytberg’s excitement has been ignited by the thought of seeing her successful body care line used in an environment in which the products can be properly experienced.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton purchased a majority stake in Fresh in Sept. 2000, which is best known for its milk-, sugar- and soy-based beauty products. It operates five stores in the U.S. and is carried in Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Sephora. Fresh opened a store-within-a-store in Selfridges in Manchester in September, and is planning to open a store in Korea at the end of this month. The brand looks to end fiscal 2002 with approximately $25 million in sales.

Custom making treatments for innovative, theme-based spas also allows Roytberg to stretch her creative legs with Fresh’s core products. Her first foray into creating exclusive spa treatments began in September with London-based spa, Calmia. Blending New Age sensibility with modern conveniences, Calmia is designed to inspire the feeling of a trip to Bali.

In turn, Roytberg designed two treatments for the spa, the Fresh Japanese Sake Ritual and the Fresh Japanese Shiatsu Facial. The 60-minute facial includes a series of techniques and products, beginning with a cleansing treatment using Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser, followed by a facial wash using Fresh Rice Face Wash. Then, a deep exfoliation mask is applied using Fresh’s Sugar Face Polish. During this treatment, reflexology is performed using Fresh’s Rice Dry Oil. The facial is capped off with Rose Face Mask by Fresh, for a cool and toning feel, followed by an antioxidant face massage with the Rice Dry Oil. The facial costs approximately $110.The two-hour body treatment uses Fresh’s soy-, sake- and rice-based products. There’s a Sake Bath Foot Soak, a Brown Sugar Body Polish exfoliation and a Sake Shiatsu Facial. The body treatment costs approximately $225.

Fresh also recently started an amenity program with the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Products look like "mini Fresh items" and feature Fresh’s Sugar Bath line, including Sugar Bath Lychee Shower Gel, Sugar Bath Lychee Lotion and Sugar Bath Lychee Soap. Fresh hair care products, such as Soy Shampoo and Pomegranate Conditioner, are also offered. All bear the Fresh label. "We wouldn’t be interested in private label," Roytberg said, explaining that raw materials for Fresh are very expensive.

Roytberg said she is working on developing something unique for Bacara’s spa. To come up with ideas, she is considering the spa’s environment and climate. She also plans to spend some time looking for other potential spa clients in 2003.

Additionally, Roytberg has been focusing on the brand’s store presence. In February she renovated the first Fresh store, located in Boston. "We changed all the fixturing and opened it up to make it feel like our newer stores. Business has grown 40 percent."

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