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Success Story: Mia Mackman

Mia Mackman specializes in spa and wellness, strategic planning, coaching and business consulting. Based in Sedona, Arizona she is a 20+ year spa, wellness and beauty industry veteran.

She is the Founder and President of the Arizona Spa & Wellness Association, an open source network, serving industry best practices, community utilization, wellness tourism and spa and wellness integration.

What roles have you held in the industry during your career?
I landed my first job in the spa industry in 1994 in Boston, MA at a trendy salon and day spa. The spa industry, aesthetics and massage were in their infancy. I was hired as an assistant to the owner. I washed a lot of heads, swept a ton of hair and trained to learn his celebrated techniques. After working as, a stylist, manager and spa director, I was asked to help on a number of small projects and I started consulting in 2001.

I loved the creative process of consulting and realized I could use a greater set of my skills through industry forecasting and planning. In 2007, I began consulting behind the scenes for Fortune 500 companies, innovation firms and collaborating with Spa Management Solutions. This exposed me to a variety of different industries and gave me a different outlook on resort hospitality, operations, branding, communications and design.

What's the hardest challenge you've had in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I grew up in the industry in an unconventional way. Choosing to shift gears in my career wasn’t always easy. And being a single mom definitely added some stress. In some ways, shifting market segments was like starting over all the time. I constantly needed to restructure my time, reset my energy, acclimate to new business environments and learn.

Once I started consulting, I learned I was able to relate, adapt and appreciate the industry with a wider more dynamic view. I became extremely versatile. I was also able to contribute to different projects with more agility, perspective and add more value. I learned to do what was right for me, cherish my life-work balance and see the gift in always learning new things.

What professional achievement are you most proud of and why?
Deciding to form the Arizona Spa & Wellness Association in 2012 is one of my proudest professional achievements. I started the Association to build new relationships between the spa arena and Arizona’s wellness industry. I saw this as an opportunity to help people connect and support each other and increase the pace of information.

I’m grateful to have created a platform that supports Arizona’s industry, talent pool and vertical market. Thanks to our incredible partnerships, we also have the resources and tools to support industry education, destination and community wellness and employee health. Being able to support and advance the industry in this way has been an amazing and meaningful experience for me.

What one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in the spa and wellness industry?
Never set limits on your potential. No matter what stage of life you are in, your journey is as precious as your goals. It doesn’t matter what you used to do or might be doing now. If spa and wellness is something that calls you, give it your best. This market is constantly evolving. Experiment to find your best fit. Seek a good mentor, be adaptable and always be open to learning new things.

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