Candace Holyfield is an African-American spa entrepreneur and founder of Six-Figure Spa Chick, in Memphis, Tennessee. She is also a spa consultant for many Black spa owners and according to her, she has rendered services to over 15,000 clients in the last decade.
What’s more, Holyfield has created an Expo for Black spa experts called the Queen Spa Expo and an annual Black Spa Awards, the first of its kind in U.S. history. Her mission is to empower other African Americans to not only establish their own enterprise but to achieve financial success.
“To this day, African Americans are not dominating the spa industry whatsoever,” she tells Entrepreneur. “But since I started, Back people are making six figures from spa, and that wasn’t happening before.”
In addition to the Black Spa Awards, Holyfield has created what she calls “Spa Hall of Fame” to celebrate spa owners who hit six figures. She says that since her initiative to uplift other Black spa owners, a lot of them have made six figures while multiple people have also made $300,000 to $500,000, and five others making a million.
Holyfield grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. After high school, she worked as a waitress for 13 years before venturing into the spa business. This was after researching potential careers and landed on massage therapy. She settled on it because she could start practicing immediately after her licensure exams. Holyfield recalls failing her first massage license exams because she thought she was smart.
“I mean, I graduated with honors from high school and didn’t study, so I was like, ‘I know this.’ And then I failed! I was crushed. So I had to go back to being a waitress. I reset the date for the test and studied for three months straight. Like when I went to sleep, I was dreaming about this test,” she says.
After passing her massage license exams on the second try, she landed a job at Massage Envy. While working at Envy, Holyfield was also helping a friend who had her own massage spa. She soon discovered that her friend was making a lot more money than her and enquired from her friend about her secret.
She was introduced to the e-commerce platform Groupon. Holyfield gave it a try and she eventually found success. According to her, she made $6,000 in three days. “I had never made this type of money. It was a really big deal to me. So that’s how I made my first six figures.”
She opened her own spa and was still getting more offers on Groupon than she could handle. At this point, she needed more hands and decided to bring some of her former colleagues at Massage Envy to work with her. Also, many massage therapists started consulting her for tips. She turned that into a business by charging $25 per consultation. She also wrote an ebook to share her strategies.
Holyfield says she has helped so many spa owners get to $200,000 to $3000, 000 by teaching them retail. According to her, many spa owners have no retail plans.
She helped an emergency room nurse practitioner in Memphis to open Revenge Body Bar MedSpa which now makes $30,000 a month. Another spa business, Beauty Kulture 101, was making $800 a week. Holyfield helped the owner, Gina Joseph, to move her revenue from $800 a week to $5,000 a month and eventually $300,000 in a year.
The next thing Holyfield teaches her clients is business credit. According to her, this is important because many Black businesses do not have access to loans.