Can you tell us about the new products you’ve just debuted at ISPA?
We launched a few large items and a few smaller ones, but the Wilshire LE Pedicure chair was the star of the show – it’s a compact mani/pedi chair with a retractable, motorised, fully plumbed pedicure bowl. It takes up a significantly smaller footprint than a traditional pedi chair, is designed for ‘social spa-ing’, and also has a fun mid-century design aesthetic that people really responded to. It’s a truly beautiful and unique concept for pedicure and lounge furniture. We’ll be shipping our first production units in November, and we already have incredible demand.
Our Ella Wave Lounger was also a big hit at ISPA. It’s a zero-gravity, gentle rocking relaxation lounger that’s activated by a guest’s own natural movements – move your toes, and you rock gently, or lift your arms over your head and you move more. It’s equipped with a Strata GT SpaMattress with GelTech technology, so it’s also super-comfortable, and perfect for a relaxation lounge, quiet space or even a salt room. People were visiting it over and over at ISPA to lie in its curves. We didn’t need to reinvent the lounger – we just gave it a new spin, added a little sway – and we perfected it.
It’s always exciting to reveal these new ideas to the spa world. We were the most crowded that we’ve ever been at ISPA and our constant innovation is something that our top clients expect.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration comes in many forms, this year we were inspired by both classic design and one surprise ‘aha’ moment.
For example, the new Wilshire LE Pedicure Chair is a derivative of our Club LE chair, which won this year’s Innovation Award from ISPA. Our clients loved the technology, but we wanted to give it a more social spin. This is not your typical pedicure, it is low-lying, with a small footprint and a flash of mid-century design.
The “aha” moment was with our newly designed Ella Wave Lounger. I live in San Diego and have learned to appreciate the mindfulness that surfing brings. One day I was lying on my surfboard, just beyond the waves to relax. As a small swell went under, it made this gentle rocking motion. It was exactly what our Wave Lounger needed… and voila!
Can you tell us a bit about the design and engineering process for your products?
We thrive in the manta of ‘form+function’. While I can create designs and ideas for the aesthetics, it takes real engineering to create the correct mechanicals and features, and to perfect the movements of our furniture. Our in-house engineers are phenomenal and have helped craft these amazing pieces.
The electronically retracting pedicure basin on the Wilshire LE pedicure chair was a challenge but our team clearly hit the mark. The Wilshire LE will revolutionise spa design, creating a beautifully compact unit with a minimal footprint – all while being very ‘high design’.
What is your background in design and engineering, and how did you get where you are today?
My father was a design engineer. I was six years old when I learned how to use drafting tools, so I’ve always had a talent for rendering. I’m a bit old-fashioned, as every piece we create starts with a pencil drawing for my initial concepts.
When I came into the spa business nearly two decades ago, design development was the first talent that I applied. I instantly fell into spa design and concepts, but furniture is definitely my real love. While I’m a partner in our companies and manage our global sales, I’m secretly a furniture design aficionado. It’s my passion, but it was developed through a lifetime of study and years of consulting and design work.
I definitely learned the most when I worked for Robert Redford at Sundance. He taught me the value of storytelling in my design work and how that can bring a guest – and spa – experience to life.
What are the biggest things that set LEC products apart from your competition?
LEC has won the American Spa magazine Professional’s Choice Awards for Best Treatment Table and Favorite Company for Manufacturer Support nine times in a row. We’ve won the Pedicure Equipment Category. We’ve won ISPA’s Innovator Award four times in the last five years.
Our company is growing each year at an unprecedented rate, and LEC is known for innovation, service, support – and listening to our customers. We take each and every relationship to heart. We support and build for nearly every major spa operator in the world, but we value every single customer and show our love and appreciation by giving the best possible experience when purchasing spa, wellness and pedicure furniture.