Hand & Stone & a Lot of Heart—with Debbi Worton

Hand & Stone & a Lot of Heart—with Debbi Worton

Published on May 27th 2015

Debbi Worton, Director of Franchise Services for Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spas has been a client of ours for quite some time. In fact, for 7 years! That’s when we realized that it was the right time to catch up with her and learn more about her role at the company.

We found out a lot about what Debbi does each day and what keeps her motivated to do her best. Learn more now!
How long have you been with Hand & Stone and how did you discover the company?

I started in August of 2008, so I am going on 7 years with the company. The corporate office originated in Toms River, NJ, which is where I am from.

What made you interested in joining this business?

Coming from a different franchise company, I was already familiar with the structure and set up of the business. That’s how I became interested, but that’s not what drew me in. When I interviewed with the founder of Hand & Stone back in 2008, his passion was very contagious. At the time, we had less than 10 locations and it was such a great opportunity to be a part of a ground floor business.

I noticed that Hand & Stone is found in multiple locations. How many locations are there? How many do you work hand-in-hand with, if any?

To date, we have 215 locations and we are in 24 states plus Canada. I work with all locations for opening and ongoing support.

Wow, that sounds like a lot to keep track of! Do you spend any time at any of the locations, or just in the corporate office?

For the most part, I work only in the corporate office. On occasion, I may have a special project that takes me into the field, which offers some variety to my workday.

I understand that your role is the director of franchise services. Do you handle all new franchises? Do you advise and consult franchise owners? Do they go through your desk for approval? In other words, what is your role? Can you tell us more about what your job entails?

 Being in franchise services, I wear several hats. After a franchisee has worked with franchise development on their purchase I am their first point of contact in the corporate office. I review the process with them and introduce them to key players in the early stages of their build out. I continue this support throughout their build out process—and when they are ready to come into training, I assist in coordinating it. My support extends onto the facial program, commercial insurance, vendor relationships and processes and procedures.

What kind of things do you do during the workday? Can you walk us through your typical day?

I basically live in email and phone calls all day long. For our franchisees, support never ends— and there is always a franchise owner who requires some assistance.

In addition to this I oversee the facial program and continue to develop training and new services to offer.

Right now, I am organizing our annual conference. As the event planner, I assist in selecting the venue and overall program. This event has been extremely successful for Hand & Stone with a 90% attendance rate year after year. This year it is being held in Phoenix, AZ. I’m looking forward to it!

Can you tell us a little bit about any special projects the team is working on? Any flagship products or ideas?

Yes, as I mentioned before, I oversee the facial program. This segment of the business is a very fluid and we are always looking for ways to enhance it. This and retail have been major focuses for 2015.

What are some of the services Hand & Stone spas provide? Which is your personal favorite?

Hand & Stone (H&S) offers a variety of massage services. Everything from the traditional Swedish to specialty massages such as deep tissue and prenatal.

Our Signature service is our Hot Stone Massage. This service incorporates the use of hand techniques while delivering the therapeutic benefits of smooth, heated river stones. The muscles of the body are deeply affected by the heat of the stones.

We also have a Cold Stone Face Massage that will stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation. Lavender essential oil is added to help relieve stress. This service is great for sinus, headaches and TMJ problems.

For our facials, we offer a variety of services that may treat common skin conditions, such as acne, dehydration, rosacea and hyperpigmentation, as well as exfoliation treatments such as peels and microdermabrasion.

My favorite service at H&S is Microdermabrasion. It is amazing to see the results that are achieved in just one treatment.

Switching themes here, how does your role facilitate your relationship with Boca Terry? What has led you to work with them directly?

As a franchise system, we always look to provide our franchisees not only with the best value for their dollar but also a quality product, which is what we believe Boca Terry offers, as well. It was actually through a recommendation from one of our franchise owners that brought us to Boca Terry.

We have been working with Boca Terry for about 7 years and have developed a great partnership. One of the keys to this success is the relationship and trust that you develop with each owner, as a vendor. Having a single point of contact builds this trust—and Boca Terry understands our business and is able to meet our needs.

What Boca Terry items does your company provide during services?

We offer all of our clients spa wraps when they come in for a facial treatment. In addition to this, when a client has a back to back appointment with both a massage and a facial we then offer them a robe to go from the facial room into the massage room.

Franchisees have a choice to have these items with or without an embroidered logo, which is made available through Boca Terry. Lastly, we also offer our clients slippers for these back-to-back services.

Would you recommend Boca Terry products to others in the business?

I would highly recommend Boca Terry to other businesses. As I mentioned earlier, it is quality combined with value. The customer service is excellent and we have enjoyed a long relationship that will continue for many years to come.

Thanks again for your time, Debbi. It has been great learning more about you!

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