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  • Melanie Gleeson

    I’ve always had inner confidence; a supportive family and a school that encouraged independent thinking and exploration, which meant that this confidence was nurtured. Family adventures which included living overseas made me resilient, accepting of change and inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and embrace new experiences.

    Like so many high school graduates, I was unsure what to do when I left Year 12 so I moved to Scotland where I worked at a girl’s boarding school as an Au Pair. During the school holidays I backpacked around Europe with girlfriends and had an absolutely amazing time.

    When I came back to Melbourne I combined studying hair and beauty with selling cosmetics at Myer. I then moved on to working at Aveda at Georges in Collins Street before being offered a position managing a spa in Eltham. Whilst I hadn’t been a manager before I jumped at the opportunity. The owner of the spa not only taught me what I needed to know about running a small business and managing people but this proved to be the education and grounding I needed for what was to come.


    A chance meeting with an old high school friend a few years later saw us opening a spa business together. We had a $5000 credit card, a location (an old B&B in Mt Martha), boldness, passion and a whole set of audacious goals! We always knew we wanted to open more than one spa so we spent time writing operational manuals as well as networking like mad. During the years of growing endota there was never a time where I wanted to give up, but it definitely wasn’t smooth sailing! It was crazy busy but I was doing what I loved, what my soul was meant to be doing and what I believed in one hundred percent.

     I adored spending time at home with my boys when they were babies - Fergus is now seven and Jimmy is three – and as my motherhood journey was evolving, so too was endota spas. endota spa continued to grow and I realised that I needed help to spread the load. My husband Pete took time off and my parents were a wonderful help. As the boys grew and my work responsibilities increased I definitely had moments of guilt and sadness from missing out (which mama doesn’t?). Pete made me realise that the boys were surrounded by a whole village of people who loved them and for them to grow into the men that we want them to be, they need to spend time with different people and nurture and enjoy those relationships. Our family motto is ‘Never give up - never give in’ – I love it! And I love that the boys grow up hearing and living this.

    What I personally love about having my own business is the freedom. It is super hard and you definitely have to make sacrifices but what outweighs all of that, is that you get to make your own decisions. You are the master of your own destiny. I love that the majority of our spas are run by women (who all have their own amazing stories), empowered to make their own decisions and have the freedom and flexibility they need as mums. Many of these women held senior positions in the corporate world – and then they had families. You simply can’t finish work at 3pm to pick up the kids from school in that environment. You might work until late some nights, but when you need to be there for your kids you can be. Having your own business enables you to balance work/family life more than when you are employed in a fulltime position. 

    I am truly proud of the endota spa brand – we have 97 spas and employ approximately 1000 people across our network. We developed our own product range early to align with endota spa’s core beliefs. We wanted our therapists to use products that they believed in. Our beautiful organic range consists of 33 products and is manufactured in Victoria. We are continuing to add to our product and treatments with an exciting LED (light therapy) facial and a high potency anti-ageing range and our natural mineral make up range is now in our spas - our first dabble into cosmetics which is super exciting! Every spa, every experience and our products will continue to embrace the core endota spa message delivering nurturing results. I am always striving for consistency and brand alignment. We always want to be better at what we do.

    My personal philosophies play a big part in endota spa and in where I am going on this earth. I believe that we are here in this world to find more happiness and joy and to make more meaningful connections. If we have the right frame of mind and the right energy force, we can work in harmony with the universe. When you’re in sync with the universe, more good things will come. Our aim at endota spa is to deliver exceptional customer service in an environment where women don’t feel judged. Our spas are a haven for women to replenish their souls, a place where women can leave their concerns, their stresses and their ‘stuff’ at the door and simply have some me time. It’s an opportunity to step out of the real world for a time, into a world where the only person who matters is you. 

    You truly have to love and believe in yourself and your business. There will be times where you do have to do everything, where you will miss out on something fun or have to sacrifice family time – and if you are not truly passionate about your business it will be very difficult to harness the inner motivation that keeps you moving forward. You also need to surround yourself with brilliance! I have always had great people around me, right from the early days so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. Always make decisions that align with your core beliefs and always stay true to the guiding values of the brand. Listen to your intuition. so to was endota spas’.





    With 100 day spas across Australia, endota spa is a place where women feel cared for on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. Their spas are a haven for women to replenish their souls. They employ over 1000 people. We are also really proud that 90 per cent of our employees are women and we have helped 120 individuals become successful business owners though our network.

    Be the master of your own destiny! If you’re ready to embark on your own business journey, call Business Mamas.  We’ll help you every step of the way.

    Photography: SomedaySomehowStudios 

    To find out how you can get get your business started and become the next Business Mama head to  www.businessmamas.com.au