One Woman’s Dream Come True – An Interview with Novo’s Founder

Nora Londono, owner of Novo Spa, takes a few moments to share how she got started in the spa industry, created Novo Spa and how she relaxes after a busy day.

Owner of Novo Spa, Nora Londono, graduated university with a dream to open her own business. With a degree in business administration from Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, Nora worked 20 years in finance before immigrating to Canada with her husband. Here, she was finally able to transform her love for well-being and beauty into reality: now known as Novo Spa. This is her story – along with some tips.

S.B.: In which country were you born?

Nora: I was born in Medellin, Colombia, which is in South America.

S.B.: What job did you have prior to becoming the owner of Novo Spa?

Nora: For more than 20 years I worked in the petroleum industry in Colombia. I held several positions including treasurer and finance reporting. My last positions were at Hess and Triton companies as chief financial officer.

S.B.: What inspired you to open your own spa?

Nora: I wanted to provide a service to help people feel good, restful and beautiful. I wanted to assist in people’s quality of life. Upon immigrating to Canada in 2003, my husband and I were in a perfect position to open our own spa. We had the desire, time and knowledge of how to run a business.

S.B.: Can you describe Novo Spa in one word?

Nora: Excellence.

S.B.: What sets Novo apart from other Toronto spas?

Nora: Excellent service at an affordable price.

S.B.: What does superior customer service mean to you and for Novo?

Nora: First, 100% customer satisfaction. Second, dedication, commitment and compromise from everyone at the spa. This means collectively striving to provide services above and beyond expectations, through hard work, training, inspiration, management and preparation.

S.B.: In 2006, Novo Spa won the Mirror Award for best salon and spa design. What was the inspiration behind Novo Spa’s design?

Nora: Most of it was from my own vision of what I wanted the spa to be. I strived for gender-neutral and Zen-like décor. The basic design, however, was done by Canadian Lanvain Design for spas and salons.

S.B.: Novo Spa has services for men. How important is it to provide high quality services for both men and women?

Nora: Well-being and beauty has no gender. I love to see couples at our spa benefitting together from our services.  Men are approximately 30% of our guests – thus, there is always room for more! We have special facilities for them and our existing male clientele feel quite comfortable with our services.

S.B.: Novo Spa focuses heavily on colour therapy. Can you describe the philosophy behind colour therapy and its therapeutic benefits?

Nora: The concept of colour therapy, or chromatherapy, is that colour is a frequency of light. As such, it vibrates on these frequencies; and the energy that a person receives from it can be used for healing purposes (such as stress reduction). Each colour is associated with a different energy centre in the body – the “chakra”. As such, colours can help restore the balance of our body’s energies.

S.B.: Novo Spa has a signature treatment that incorporates steam bed body and colour therapy. What makes steam bed body unique?

Nora: Steam Bed Therapy is very popular in Europe andI wanted to bring it to Canada. Treatment takes place on a wooden table with a unique configuration that transforms into a steamy cocoon. It starts with a soft exfoliating massage with vitalizing aroma-oils. A scalp and foot massage is performed throughout, and the treatment finishes with a relaxing aromatherapy massage and hot stones on back. Treatments can be selected to focus on one of the following:  de-stress, cellulite reduction, draining or hydrating.  Novo Spa is the first spa in Canada to have this type of therapy.

S.B.: What’s in store for clients at Novo Spa in the future?

Nora: We devote a great deal of time keeping up with advancing treatments, equipment and products. Just recently, we started using hot towels on the neck and feet during massage therapy. Total success!

S.B.: Let’s talk about some fun stuff! What is your favourite spa treatment?

Nora: All types of treatments! But facials top my list.

S.B.: What is your favourite skin care product?

Nora: Age Logic Cellulaire by Guinot.

S.B.: What is your must-have beauty product?

Nora: Actually, there are three: cleanser, exfoliant and moisturizer.

S.B.: What is your skin beauty regime?

Nora: I’ve been taking care of my skin since my early twenties. I would much rather invest in a good cream than a dress!  First, I never go to bed without removing my make-up. Second, I clean, tone, hydrate and moisturize daily. Exfoliating is a must at least twice per week, and I use a mask once a week. And I have facials once every month.

S.B.: What is the number one beauty product that you recommend for men and women in the summer?

Nora: In the summer the skin gets dehydrated. I would recommend Cell Moisturizer Serum by Guinot. It is a potent fluid that can be applied under a moisturizer or sun cream.

S.B.: What is your motto in life? What do you live by?

Nora: Do good and good will be received. I live by perseverance.

S.B.: What do you like most about the city of Toronto?

Nora: I love Toronto and I am very happy living here. The waterfront and downtown are my favourite places. It is such a beautiful city with so much to do, see and enjoy. I also appreciate the amount of diversity Toronto has to offer and I find that people are very respectful toward one another.

S.B.: How do you relax from your busy lifestyle?

Nora:By taking a good nap!  Also by spending time in the countryside – the green is so relaxing.

S.B.: What do you look most forward to in the summer of 2012?

Nora: Being part of the excitement that Toronto summers bring! Also, to introduce a new service to our clients – the Hydradermie Sun Care Treatment.  A facial must during hot summer days!

Interviewed by Sasha (Alexandra) Babakhanova, Corporate Communications and PR, Centennial College.

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