Amanda Gorecki has a Master of Science in Nursing with a background in emergency medicine and neurosurgery. Her focus on the well-being of others and desire to help people has culminated with years of experience within the medical aesthetics, spa, wellness and plastic surgery industries. Through her experiences, she has proven herself an industry leader, bringing education and fresh insight into new and current trends in the healthcare and wellness fields. She has a particular passion for helping women and men become more knowledgeable about skincare, personal beauty and aesthetic choices all while improving self-confidence and demonstrating how to embrace healthy living.
Amanda is an advanced registered nurse practitioner and founder of Healing Waters and Pure MD® Skin Science. She has a BSN from Seattle Pacific University and an MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Amanda trained at Harborview Medical Center and Duke University where she worked as an emergency room nurse and nurse practitioner for the Department of Neurosurgery before venturing into private business. Amanda was named Enterprising Woman of the Year in 2014 by Enterprising Women Magazine; she is an Atlanta member of the WPO (Women’s Presidents Organization) Chapter 1. She received the Champions of Respect Award from the YWCA Women’s Shelter, has been nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and was named one of the 40 Under 40 by the Wichita Business Journal.
Amanda founded Healing Waters in 2002, twice named the Best Medical Spa in the Country, and recipient of numerous local awards for Best Spa, Best Massage, and more. Healing Waters currently has locations in Wichita, Kansas; Durham, North Carolina; and Columbia, South Carolina.
In 2007, Amanda pursued one of her greatest passions by developing the proprietary skin care line, Pure MD® Skin Science. All Healing Waters spas offer customized Pure MD® facials and retail products. Gorecki is regarded as an expert on skin care ingredients and has lectured nationally on cosmeceuticals at various women’s conferences nationwide.
Amanda continues to dedicate her time to the development and expansion of both Healing Waters and Pure MD®, with a focus on growing the company’s mission of inspiring transformational change in the lives of others. Gorecki’s ultimate goal is to make a difference in the lives of others—to help people find their self-confidence and to feel good about themselves.
In this Interview, Amanda talks about the importance of having a mission statement and how she motivates her staff to execute that mission statement everyday.
Jeremy: what inspired you to become a spa owner?
Amanda: Well, my husband and I had worked for years, more in trauma and neurosurgery and emergency care, and we saw all these people that would come in all the time and just have appalling circumstances in their lives. We just felt like if we could get to them sooner, if we could get to them sooner and help them to make positive lifestyle choices. They’re so many end-stage diseases that come from smoking or alcohol abuse or drugs, and there’s a lot that can go on in someone’s life. Someone who has a brain tumor or gets something by accident, and you ask yourself what it takes to wake up with it daily. However, most of the time, it stems from our lifestyle choices, and so our real goal in beginning Healing Waters was to create a place that was beautiful, relaxing, inspiring, that would also help them make positive, healthy, lifestyle choices so that they could live a more fulfilling life.
Amanda: I grew up in the Northwest and literally grew up on the beach because there was so much water everywhere in the Northwest. It was not a luxury thing to live in the Northwest, and because we were surrounded by so many peninsulas, water was such an integral part of my life. We wanted to create a place of healing, to create a place of positive lifestyle choices, and so we came up with the name Healing Waters, and it stuck, and it’s now a success.
Jeremy: What do you like most about the work that you do?
Amanda: One of my favorite things about the work that I do is getting to inspire my leaders and my team members, and then what they do is to multiply it and encourage our guests and our patients. So my work is more integral to the team members and the leadership and even just right before talking to you. for instance, I was on the call with one of my leaders, and she was struggling with a team member, and my first thing was “sit down, talk with her, have a conversation, give her what you’re looking for, help her succeed.” What I found is we have so many team members that have been with us for ten years, 11 years and they will say I’ve become a better person from working at Healing Waters, so I found when the team member becomes that better person, they multiply it with their guests.
Jeremy: What are some of the most popular services that you offer?
Amanda: Our Pure MD Facial is one of our most popular services. We worked hard to combine excellent ingredients, extraordinary interventions in the facial but it must also be relaxing, and so people come in and say my skin is so much better but I go for the relaxation of a massage with my facial, and so we stay solidly blocked with our Pure MD Facial. And then I would say our Body Ritual, our Healing Water Body Ritual, between those two services those are our most popular.
Jeremy: Are your clients getting great results from those?
Amanda: Absolutely, yes. The Pure MD Facials; somebody will come in and say not only did I get a chance to relax, but my skin is also brighter, my skin is softer, it’s clearer, and I feel better. And then, especially taking the home care products home, they’re able to continue what they got in the spa daily at home.
Jeremy: That’s great. What makes your spa unique? What makes it stand out?
Amanda: I would say I would just go back to our mission. The crux of our mission is to inspire transformational change. Whether it’s on a small basis or a large basis, we do everything at our facility from manicures, pedicures, massage, facial to extensive plastic surgery. We do them all with excellence, and so when a guest comes into our facility, he/she will see we’re working to inspire a transformational change. Whether it’s helping them feel better about themselves, less depressed, through the spa services or helping them through breast cancer, if we were able to do breast reconstruction for them.
By having a mission that our staff really can get behind, it becomes deeper. It’s more about making a lasting difference with your guests, and people will say all the time, “What do you do to make it so great here?” I even work at a distance from my locations. I work out of Atlanta, and our locations are in the other states, and they say what are you doing to make a difference, and I say it’s our mission. It’s not just words on a page.
We breathe life into our mission every single day, and so one of the touch points we have is twice a day we have a daily huddle, and it’s a requirement to go to the huddle. In the huddle, our purpose for the crew is not just to give information, but it’s also to re-energize our mission, every single day. What we find is that our staff will say not that I just love working at Healing Waters, but I don’t ever want to leave Healing Waters. I love being a part of this.
I encourage them that this is your business. It’s not just my business; this is your business. They come to work, and they feel like it’s sometimes the best part of their day, and if you can get team members to feel like work is the best part of their day, that’s huge, and so it transfers over to the guests.
Jeremy: Excellent…Having a real strong collaborative team environment that’s dedicated to the mission, that’s wonderful. I take it that that’s what you would attribute to your success?
Amanda: Absolutely, but literally you’ve got to breathe life into it every single day, and you’ve got to treat it as if it’s a business decision. It’s got to be as much of a business decision as reconciling your bank account, and so we treat it as if it’s a business decision. I have weekly meetings with all my managers, and we start our weekly meetings off with our inspiration, and our inspiration is always tied back to our mission and our core values. When that’s something that’s the heart of your organization, people can get behind it; they feel the difference, and then they act out the difference.
Jeremy: What’s your biggest challenge right now?
Amanda: I would say we have grown so much. We have three locations now all in different states, everything from extensive plastic surgery to entry spa treatments. It’s very important to me as we head into 2016 to stabilize and get more consistent in every piece of our organization before our next growth. So in January this last year, we opened a new location within a hospital system in South Carolina, and the largest hospital system in South Carolina bought the rights to our company to put on the ground floor of one of their new hospitals. That was a big growth opportunity, so I’m looking to re-stabilize for our next growth time.
I’m always looking to climbing up the mountain, and when we get to a valley, we’ll keep climbing and then stay up there as we’ve reached the peak of our mountain, but now we’re re-stabilizing before we hit that next mountain that we’re to climb.
Jeremy: You’re affiliated then with the hospital system?
Amanda: Yes, Palmetto Health out of Columbia, South Carolina, decided they want to put a spa in their organization, and they met with us, and they bought the rights to use our brand and all of our operating systems for ten years within their hospital.
Jeremy: How often do you communicate with your clients? Via e-mail? Via text? Via newsletter, et cetera?
Amanda: Daily, daily, daily. I mean we are on all forms of social media, so between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, every day there’s something we’re giving to our clients, and then I would say twice a week we do e-mail blasts to our clients, and so with our marketing, we’re always on television. We always have a consistent marketing presence, but as far as directly communicating through social media outlets, it’s daily.
Jeremy: Do you see any of your clients making mistakes making mistakes when going to other spas?
Amanda: Yes, we’ll see that every once in awhile. Someone will say I got a Groupon, and I went somewhere else, and they’ll come back to us to fix it or whatever. I would say one of the things Healing Waters is known for in this industry is that it is a volatile industry. We’ve been in it since 2002 and never wavered. We have the same ownership since 2002 and in some places the same leadership that we’ve had since opening. Even if people veer off, they’ll come back. Because we worked hard to get the recipe down and so the recipe is very, very, very consistent, but I can tell you it takes from the top down staying very healthy, staying very positive, and staying strong to keep that consistency up. And I can tell if my stress load gets too much, I can’t be who I need to be for all of our team members.
Jeremy: Are there any services that you’re offering now that you wish more clients knew about or took better advantage of?
Amanda: Often we are the market leader in our area, so if we do a service we’ll have somebody else copy along right after us and try to do the same sort of thing. We work really hard to stay focused and not look to the left or right. We want to make sure we do price checks quarterly or around just to make sure we’re staying very competitive. We don’t want to be the most expensive, but we don’t want to be the least expensive. We want to hit that sweet spot, and so most of all of our services, yes, our competitors jumped right on the bandwagon right away right afterward. Then we just always make sure that we’re doing it the best.
Jeremy: Can you describe an ideal spa client?
Amanda: I would say an ideal spa client is someone who values themselves, and values making an investment in themselves. I wouldn’t always say that our ideal spa client is somebody who has lots of money because I’ve seen somebody who may be more average income level, who actually will invest more in themselves than a very wealthy individual, so an individual who values and understands the importance of investing in themselves.
Jeremy: What do they want to accomplish?
Amanda: One of the things that I say all the time is it’s not just about what we look like on the outside, it’s how we feel on the inside. It affects our marriages, and it affects our children, and If I am strong in my communal areas and my emotional, spiritual and mental health, I’m a better wife, a better neighbor, a better mother, and a better businesswoman. I can do all of that better whereas if I get off kilter, then I’m not able to be who I want to be.
Jeremy: Someone that’s looking for a more holistic approach, not just necessarily a quick fix?
Jeremy: That’s great. Well, that concludes my questions here, but before we end, I want to give you an opportunity to let the readers know anything else about your spa.
Amanda: We’d love to have them visit us. We’d love any feedback on ways we could improve, and we hope to have an opportunity to invest in them. We look at it as not just someone coming to us, but it’s what we can do for them. Our website is: healingwaterslife.com/