The beauty industry can get a negative rap with surgeries, injections and the occasional “snake oils” that promise to protect us from the universal truth of our ever-changing bodies. Yet, at the heart of all beauty lies the timeless truth of wellness -- the idea that as we grow, change and age, we can do so with vitality, dignity and a connected sense of wholeness. Challenging the conventions of the beauty industry and providing another innovation in the field of wellness, Universal Companies recently opened their Wellness & Beauty Learning Center (WBLC) in Torrance, California. The Center's activities and curriculum will explore effective ways to integrate wellness into our society while providing continuing education for wellness and beauty professionals.
The grand opening's series of events from February 22 through 24 attracted leaders in the spa industry as well as beauty professionals, including spa and med-spa practitioners, estheticians, massage therapists, salon technicians, independent practitioners, and "solopreneurs."
Why another "school?" Today one can find roughly 2,000 beauty and cosmetology schools in the U.S. alone, but most of these are designed to help individuals enter the spa and beauty fields. While Universal Companies' WBLC does offer courses and certifications for individual learners, its goal is to extend the company's reputation as a “one source spa solution,” and aid the growth and development of the spa industry as a whole.
Rather than simply teaching skills of the beauty trades, WBLC will bring life-long learning and advanced education to a broad range of wellness and beauty professionals. CEO Brenda Elliott puts it this way:
Universal Companies’ mission is to help spas develop their businesses. This, combined with ongoing education, is a guaranteed way for spa owners and employees to grow spa operations by continuing to enhance the client experience. Our West Coast Wellness & Beauty Learning Center will help provide spas with the tools to keep abreast of the latest trends and advancements in treatments, beauty, and wellness.”
Course offerings range from traditional esthetics courses, to more business-oriented management courses. Some unusual offerings that intrigue Wellness Warrior, and exemplify how the spa industry is changing to a more complete look at wellness, include an "Aromatherapy for Skin Care Professionals" series and "Promoting Wellness through Retail." It’s a unique model that puts Universal Companies at the intersection of education and retail supply.
Ultimately, WBLC’s commitment to integrating wellness education programming into their offerings goes beyond the industry itself: it's another great step towards providing broader access to health and wellness education for all.
PHOTO: Ribbon Cutting at Universal Companies new Wellness & Beauty Learning Center in Torrance, California. From L-R: Brenda Elliott, Universal Companies CEO; Paul Jablonski, Director of the Wellness & Beauty Learning Center; Anita Lumpkin, Education Director at the Wellness & Beauty Learning Center; and Karen Short, Universal Companies SV.
Read all stories by Damon Cory-Watson