Natural skincare created by a therapist for that spa feeling at home
Within the world of spa, Claire Caddick has been a well known name for a long time, starting out as a spa therapist before starting her own Spa Consultancy in 2015. She’s a woman who knows what she wants from a spa treatment, and who knows the experience she wants to give others when it comes to therapies and skincare. It’s that knowledge and understanding that led her to launch her own skincare range, Tribe517, in 2016, introducing it both to spas and the consumer market. As the brand continues to grow, she told us what it’s all about.
What made you want to set up Tribe517?
I wanted to do it for ages. I have been a therapist for 37 years and always thought it would be amazing to have my own products, so after 30 years in the industry I decided to do it.
I felt there was a gap in the natural skincare market. I wanted them to be environmentally friendly, but also easy to use, with an emphasis on multi use products.
It was originally just supposed to be one product for everyone and everything - one that’s waterless, so it’s very intense and there’s no need for anything else. However, while that’s still the principle, everyone engaged with it so well that I ended up doing a whole spa range to use in treatments too.
I started with 11 products, which was a huge labour of love because I knew what I wanted, what I liked and didn’t like. I think being a therapist myself is really helpful in order to get the right results. I wanted products that gave maximum benefit in spa treatments too, and that would provide benefits to the therapists while they work as well, because being a therapist is a tough job!
What’s the idea behind the products?
They are designed to be used in spas along with the spa treatments we design, but they can also be bought and used at home. There are three pillars of wellness at Tribe517.
Wellness of planet: I was working on that seven years ago with eco friendly packaging etc, ahead of it being fashionable!
Wellness of the therapist: As spas, we want therapists to be well otherwise they can’t look after guests. So the techniques we use in treatments, along with the products, are friendly to the therapist, using lots of stretching movements and body weight rather than the wrists and thumbs, which causes injury. There’s also lots of mindfulness and ‘hero’ breathing. We encourage therapists to do the same as the client, so when the client takes a deep breath, so does the therapist. It’s a completely different way of working, which is hard to explain, but it’s really important so we stop losing therapists to injuries, and spas we work with really understand and embrace that philosophy.
Wellness for the client: This is the third pillar, and it’s those three things that we prioritise when we create our skincare products and the spa treatments that go with them.
Where did the name come from?
This is something that everyone’s always interested in! ‘Tribe’ seems to be a trendy term now, but I liked it originally because of the sense of community that came with it - like it’s a following sharing the same values. The original product was one product with five uses and seven natural benefits.
Behind the brand sits the Beautiful Hero charitable foundation. Each year on March 31st we make our charitable donations to the charities chosen by our Beautiful hero winners. Anyone can nominate a Beautiful Hero, and when we choose the ‘winner’. We ask them to name the charity of their choice to whom we make the donation. We have some great and worthy stories sent through.
We have a product called Beautiful Hero, which has zero allergens and is great for all skin types and all skin uses. The Beautiful Hero treatment is for those feeling fragile or recuperating from illness, so we have something for everyone.
We now work with some beautiful spa partners, some are considerable sized spas, and others smaller. We are adding to our portfolio regularly now and enjoying creating a natural buzz at these sites.
As mentioned, one of the big things is that we really focus on therapist wellness as part of the treatment training - we don’t want therapists to burn out, we want to nurture them. We aim to tailor the spa experiences to reflect the values of each destination, and add special touches to really bring people into the present moment.
All our treatments are quirky and different, which really allows people to get into them so they’re not thinking about making tea when they get home, or doing the shopping, they are aware of what’s happening because they aren’t predicting the next movement. That’s what I call cognitive wellness - understanding and experiencing wellbeing in body and mind.
At the end of each treatment we also do a ritual called a ‘love link’. It’s where the therapist wraps a ribbon dipped in mandarin oil around the guest’s finger. You take a deep breath in and then the guest puts their hand on their heart and thinks of things that are dear to them. It sounds simple but it has a powerful impact.
What’s next for you and Tribe517?
We have new spas opening and in existence, partnering with Tribe517. We also have our own treatment rooms opening, which is partially for training and partially for spa guests. As many of our products include wax and honey we have our own bees on site too. The brand has really grown organically to date, so I am looking forward to continuing that journey!
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