Zara Priestley started her spa career back in 2001 at the renowned Ragdale Hall Health Spa in Lancashire followed by a spell at the equally renowned Stobo Castle and Health Spa in the Scottish Borders. Zara's love of travelling then kicked in and she took a spa job with cruise company Harding Bros in 2003.
Bermuda was one of the stop off destinations for the cruise ships and the sub Tropical climate, pink sandy beaches and blue ocean waters beckoned. Today Zara works as a Senior Spa Therapist for Bersalon, spas of Bermuda. Hair and Beauty Jobs spoke to Zara Priestley about her Bermuda Island experiences...
Occupation: Senior Spa Therapist
Currently Living: Bermuda
Likes? Cats, travelling, shopping and people who inspire me
Dislikes? Early morning rises, negative attitudes and bad manners
Would most like to meet? Everyone at the Tudor Court of Henry Viii, Renee Guinot
Proudest Moment? Getting my first job as a beauty therapist, Ragdale Hall
What are you currently doing?
I am currently employed as a senior therapist for a spa company in Bermuda.
What made you take your spa career in Bermuda?
I saw the position advertised in a trade magazine, I thought it was an opportunity I couldn't afford to miss.
What's it like living in Bermuda?
Generally it's a more relaxed approach to life, fun in the summer as there are a lot of things going on for the tourists which we are able to enjoy. This year is the 400th Anniversary since the island was discovered so there are a lot of special events coming up.
On the downside, it's a very small island so when you have tried everything once there not much else left to do. Also everything is imported so this makes shopping a bit more expensive.
What do you miss about home?
Family and friends, good shopping and not being able to hop on a train and visit somewhere new.
Is there much of a beauty industry in Bermuda?
Tourism is big business in Bermuda, so most of the hotels have spas. There are about 6 beauty salons in the capital (Hamilton). You don't get any Beauty exhibitions like you do back home and the local college only provide 'cosmetology' courses (equivalent to our NVQ 2). Spa owners need to look to the UK or US for latest technologies and importing of a product range.
What is the main difference with spas in Bermuda and the UK?
Treatments are the same as the UK and the product ranges are too. There is an issue with Water on the island, so it's mostly the hotels that provide Jacuzzi, hydrotherapy services.
What do you love about working in the spa industry?
I love being able to help people, whether they are stressed and in need of a massage or have an skin concern and am I able to correct it through a facial or products. I also love the variety of the day, as well as the opportunities to experience living and working in another country.
What have you personally gained from working abroad?
Making of friends on a global scale, the chance to experience other cultures and seeing the world with my own eyes and of course meeting my ace boy. (A Bermudian term for boyfriend)
What are your aspirations for the future?
I hope to develop further into writing for the beauty industry; I would also love the chance to work for Hair and Beauty jobs .
I would jump at the chance to work the Guinot brand too!
For anyone considering working abroad, what would you advise?