Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas,

Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas
Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas
Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas
Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas

Bruce Schoenberg is the CEO and President of Oasis Day Spas. Bruce, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Entrepreneur Spotlight Series. We really appreciate it. This series spotlights leaders, thought leaders, founders and CEOs that are making a difference in their respective fields.. To begin, we would like to ask you some questions about your business:

  • Let’s start by telling us about your business.
    My name is Bruce Schoenberg and for the last 22 years I have been the CEO of one of the most highly regarded spa brands in the nation, Oasis Day Spas.
    Launched initially in 1997 as a corporate chair massage company, this was a precursor to our actual brick and mortar locations. In 1998 the first Oasis was opened in the evolving Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan. It was chosen after exhaustive research into customer demographics, transportation availability, space requirements and cost analysis.
  • The original location consisted of 7 treatment rooms (4 massage, 2 skin care, and 1 hydro) in 2700 usable square feet. The location included a relaxation room, men and womens locker rooms and a full retail area in the reception space.
    In 1999 Oasis was named Best New Spa in New York City by New York Magazine. Business went thru the roof that resulted in us having to turn away over 100 potential appointments a week.
  • In 2001 Oasis opened its second location at 1 Park Avenue consisting of 7400 usable square feet, 19 treatment rooms, event space for parties, locker rooms, large relaxation space. This location also sublet approximately 500 square feet to a hair salon and a small office to an acupuncturist practice.
  • In 2002 Oasis was named small business of the year by Crains New York. At the awards ceremony and trade show attended by over 3000 local business executives and readers I was one of the featured speakers. Also in attendance was JetBlue founder and CEO David Neeleman who was accepting the award for large business winner. We had the opportunity to speak and I pitched the idea of opening a spa in their terminal. This was a novel idea as it had never been done to date at any airline terminal in the United States.
    Following our meeting at the trade show Oasis was invited to submit a RFP to JetBlue and the NYNJ Port Authority. I later learned that we were one of four spa entities requested to submit an RFP for consideration by JetBlue and the Port Authority.
    In late 2003 we learned that we were awarded the bid, and in 2004 opened what would be the first full service spa in a USA airport. The spa offered massage, skin care, nail and waxing services, and in 2004 performed almost 20,000 services while promoting our 2 locations in NYC. This location closed in 2008 when JetBlue opened their new terminal, and the space offered to us was extremely undesirable. It should be noted that by that time Neeleman had been dismissed by the board of JetBlue- so we lost our ally. It turned out to be a good decision as it has turned over to new ownership three times since the terminal opened.
  • In late 2004 Oasis was approached by the Affinia Hotel Group to take over a spa and gym location in their Dumont Hotel located just blocks from our 1 Park Ave. spa. While the locations were close I was able to negotiate a deal where we paid only a modest percentage of sales. This location while only having 6 treatment rooms gave is the opportunity to build a gym membership and personal training revenue stream.
    The location encompassed the entire 2nd floor of the hotel (4,000 sq. ft.) and was hugely successful until the financial crash in 2009. Affinia later was forced to sell the building, and the new owners converted into condominiums in 2014. The spa and gym space became 4 residential units, but we still maintain a relationship with the building to this day extending a discount to all of their residents.
  • With the anticipated closing of the JetBlue location we researched and expanded to Westchester County, just north of New York City. Westchester leads the entire USA in wealthiest communities, and our research indicated that our client database contained over 45,000 clients who called Westchester home.
  • Our Dobbs Ferry location opened at the end of 2008 with 15 treatment rooms, all of the amenities we offer at our other locations and as a special feature has a rooftop garden where we can offer outdoor massages and event space. Oasis has been named the Best Spa in Westchester for 12 years running, and is a frequent feature of local media.
    Among the many honors Oasis Day Spa has earned in our 22 years include:
    – Best of New York- New York Magazine numerous times
    – Best Of Westchester- Westchester Magazine- numerous times
    – ‘Favorite Day Spa’ Spa Magazine, Peoples Choice Awards
    – ‘Diamond Award Winner’ – Day Spa MagazineMy prior experience before opening Oasis was in the trade show industry, first as a salesman then experience in operations and then managing staff. I later went out on my own and started my own event company helping other companies to produce events.My expertise is in financial operations, HR, sales and marketing. In all modesty I am the person people come to with their greatest challenges because of my ability to get the job done. I have a unique way of thinking outside the box, building a team focused on success and leading by example.I am a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook with a degree in Business Administration and Economics, and over the years taken numerous seminars in all aspects of business management. I am considered to be an elite leader in the spa industry, and serve as an editorial board member for Day Spa Magazine the most recognized publication in the industry.
  • Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
    Customer service at an extraordinary level
    • Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
      Exceptional services at affordable prices in a beautiful clean spa environment
    • And to finish this section, Please tell us what is the one major key to your companys success?
      Hiring great people
    • For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
      Do your research into the industry you want to join. Make sure you have realistic goals in terms start-up costs, understand the incredible importance of correctly evaluating the financing required and find yourself excellent advisers in the field.
    • For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
      Perseverance is a trademark of all successful businesses and the people who run them. Should you somehow catch lightning in a bottle and take off like a rocket, make sure you have plans for the inevitable descent. Creating plans of action for every conceivable situation will be one of the most important exercises you will undertake.
    • In todays fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
      Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you. A calamity in another part of the world could have an impact on your business. Therefore it is critical you know every aspect of your supply chain, how government actions could effect you and have a deep employee pool so the loss of a particular employee(s) won’t derail your business.
    • What is your Why? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
      Every day is a new challenge, I love the line in the movie Castaway- you never know what the tide could bring you.
    • In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
      Listen to your people, and respect everyone you work with.
    • In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
      I treat every customer as if they are the only one I have.
    • In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
      Information is the most powerful tool we have, technology provides us the ability to understand it.
    • In one sentence, tell us how something positive to motivate our readers?
      Live every day as if it will be THE DAY something amazing happens, one day you will be right.
    • In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
      Good breakfast to prime the engine, some sit-ups, push-ups and 5 minutes of meditation to organize my thoughts for the day.
    • In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
      I analyze what just happened, accept what I might have done wrong and plan to win the next time.
    • In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?I focus on what I am doing, and make sure I do it to the best of my ability- I believe in myself.
    • In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
      I look for people with character, ability to communicate who they are and what they want to do.
    • Website Please
    • Twitter Please
    • Facebook Please
    • LinkedIn Please
    • Instagram Please
  • Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas, thank you so much for participating in our series. Thanks for your time today and be well!
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