Name: Abi Wright
Job Title: Co-Founder and Director, Spabreaks.com
Duties: Where to start! I like to be involved with the company at every level – I see every enquiry, and every voucher purchase that goes through our system, because customer service is at the core of what we do. I love coming up with new ideas as to how we progress (I am that person wide awake in the middle of the night making notes on my phone), at Spabreaks.com we pride ourselves on being an industry innovator with developments such as our Recovery Retreats for anyone who has or has recently had cancer, and our forthcoming Spa for Me breaks – which will combine counselling, pampering and crèche facilities for mums struggling with Post Natal Depression. A big part of my role is also developing new business relationships with suppliers (in many ways what we do is consultancy) and product brands as we run monthly promotions and competitions; looking for marketing opportunities, and perhaps one of the most important elements is looking after my team and making sure that they are happy.
Hours: I don’t really have hours as such. I am in the office in London three days a week (I live in Berkshire), and the other two weekdays I am either working from home or I am on the road visiting venues. I am always available on my email (my team tell me off when I am supposed to be on holiday and I am still responding!) But I love what I do, and I wouldn’t have it any other way … well, I might add a few more hours into the day.
Childcare arrangements: My eldest, Freddie, has just started school, while Aver is still at nursery. Up until recently my husband and I managed childcare between us – I always make sure I am home for when they get back at the end of the day so that I have some time with them. Now we have a nanny however, which is wonderful as she takes them to school and nursery when I can’t and can pick them up if there are any problems with trains or if one of them needs to be collected early for any reason. Of course, I would always rather be there whenever possible, but it takes some of the worry and urgency out of situations.
at Spabreaks.com we pride ourselves on being an industry innovator with developments such as our Recovery Retreats for anyone who has or has recently had cancer, and our forthcoming Spa for Me breaks – which will combine counselling, pampering and crèche facilities for mums struggling with Post Natal Depression
What I love about my work: I can’t pick any one thing. I love my job, if I didn’t I couldn’t be up at 5.00 every morning and going to bed at midnight. I have worked with hotel spas for a long time, and have a background in marketing. I love the industry as a whole and want to show it off in the way I think it deserves. The thing that makes it so wonderful on a day to day basis however, are the people I work with. From suppliers who have believed in Spabreaks.com from the start, and have supported us over the last four years, to my fantastic team – they are the people who inspire me both as friends, because I enjoy seeing them develop and grow as people and in their roles, and also on a professional level – because they are all brilliant at their jobs and none of it would happen without them.
What I find difficult is: Being away from my children and my husband. I am there as much as I possibly can be, but there are always times when you wish you could give them more. I am very lucky though, my husband has always been incredibly supportive, and I my children never complain … well, almost never!
My working life would be easier if … I had a helicopter! The journey to work is a long one, particularly if the trains are delayed … but then again, it’s a good chance to get through my emails, and it’s one of the few times I get to speak to my friends – I don’t think I have seen most of them for about four years!
Work/mum life balance: When I am not working, I am with my family. I basically don’t have a social life. I am not a good friend any more – unless it is by email, texts, or phone calls on long train journeys, I never have time to see people and catch up. My weekends are devoted to my children so I don’t want to be out on a Saturday night because I want to be with them, and I don’t want to feel rubbish on a Sunday morning. What gives ultimately is just being you … I do try to walk the dogs every morning, but it’s quite dark at 5 am at the moment!
How having children has changed the work I do: I started Spabreaks.com four months after I had my son, so it was generally a big time for change and it definitely means things are always busy. I think being a mum has made me more empathetic to what a large proportion of our customers are dealing with on a daily basis however, and I hope that means that the product we offer reflects that. Everything I want to achieve is for my children – I want them to have every opportunity I can give them, and that is a huge motivator to work. Ultimately though, my children never fail to make me smile, even when they are causing trouble. When you have had a rough day and you walk into the house and they run to give you a big hug, all warm from the bath, that makes everything worthwhile.
Fantasy job/ If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be … I know it sounds like a cliché, but there isn’t any job I would rather be doing. When I look back on the last four years and think about how far we have come, the people I have met, and the things we have achieved, I feel like the luckiest person in the world, and I can’t wait to see what my team and I get up to over the next four years … that said, I wouldn’t mind being somewhere a little warmer in the winter … maybe I will look into starting Spabreaks.com.au …
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