“We both had jobs where we did not feel listened to at all,” says Nila Gaulden, daughter in the Mother/Daughter team now running the Blue Giraffe Day Spa. The new owners are dedicated to revolutionizing the workplace for employees and improving services for guests; a worthy undertaking in an unprecedented time.
In March of this year, Julie and Nila Gaulden purchased the Blue Giraffe Day Spa located in Ashland, and were open for one day before COVID shut them down. But that has not stopped them from making it a haven for employees and an oasis for guests. Spa patrons of the Giraffe for over a decade, they felt their last visit was ‘stale,” Nila reports. The funky, exotic, other-worldly experience they had come to expect was missing even though services were great. So when the opportunity arose to purchase the spa, they put a check mark next to an over-due goal box.
“It was a culmination of both of our combined skills,” reports Nila. “My mom (Julie Gaulden) is a registered nurse and I am an esthetician who has marketing and human resources experience.” It made sense for such a dynamic duo to take on this new adventure because of their unconventional entrepreneurial spirits. “When asked to choose between Door A and Door B, my mom and I always choose Door C.” This means enjoying the journey more than the destination. It also means commitment with a capital “C.”
The first order of business for the team has been operations. They are following all state mandates and maintaining constant contact with the Oregon Health Authority during COVID. Extra time between clients for cleanup, screenings conducted at the door, and masks required are policy priorities. Additionally, they are selecting vendors who have a similar, generous, and sustainable purpose. Making improvements based on staff requests and reducing excess products are some examples of what they are doing to smooth out operations.
As for the future, they are committed to “magnifying our employees’ talents,” by paying for continued education. And they are equally set on spreading kindness so everyone feels valued and like family. As a guest, they advise you to consider slowing down because the Blue Giraffe offers paradise within (which you do not want to rush), and they are not going anywhere. “We are going to make this baby float!” says Nila.
Call first to schedule appointments and ask about up-to-date requirements. No water services are offered at this time, but hair, nails, esthetics, and massage are available.
Blue Giraffe Spa
51 Water St. Suite 111