By Hannah Massen
Deb Durrant’s passion has always been in the health and wellness arena – where, as a licensed massage therapist for 25 years, she has focused on healing treatments. It was while working as a massage therapist in a sports medicine practice in her hometown of Vero Beach, Florida when she was first introduced to another type of healing — the therapeutic benefits of Austrian Tiefenmoor by Moor Spa – the experience with this healing mud would go on to become both the basis for an exciting new venture … and her launch of the world’s first Moor Spa concept spa.
“While working with Dr. Kimberly Crawford, she introduced me to Austrian Tiefenmoor by Moor Spa, which I used to treat the practice’s physical therapy patients suffering from joint and muscle injuries and chronic pain,” said Deb. “A champion of the healing properties of the Moor Spa product line and my true mentor, Dr. Crawford also introduced me to Michael Beresford, the owner of Moor Spa in Vancouver, BC, which would turn into both a strong friendship and the basis for me opening the first Moor Spa spa concept in the world for the brand.”
Deb opened Moor Spa Hilton Head on January 2nd, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on January 27th to welcome this unique new spa concept to the area. Moor Spa Hilton Head offers “a full range of therapeutic-based, results-driven skin and body treatments with a fusion of cross-cultural wellness traditions and products for the health-oriented, eco-conscious consumer” – integrating science and nature in a holistic approach to therapy. Moor Spa is the first product line in North America to carry a comprehensive line of skincare and body care products containing Austrian Moor (which is a peat mixture of herbs and flowers and has been used in European healing traditions for centuries, though its popularity has surged alongside the holistic wellness industry over the past 60 years. )
“I’m thrilled to be bringing the Moor Spa concept to Hilton Head, and it’s an honor to take part in helping people find balance in themselves and find relief from pain in their bodies,” Durrant said. “I want to create environments of love. Havens from the stressors of the world. Places where people can be healed, both body and soul.”
In reflecting on her journey to opening the first Moor Spa concept spa in the world, Durrant notes that she moved to Hilton Head in 2013 from Vero Beach with her husband Doug to open their first home-building business together – Blue Ocean Luxury Homes, a franchise of AR Homes. The Durrants credit Blue Ocean’s success (and numerous HHAHBA Lighthouse Awards) to their team’s innovative home designs, skilled craftsmen, and the resources AR Homes allows them to access – as well as the impact that being a family business has on its success (their son, Rhett Meeks, is the sales consultant for the business, and their daughter, Leslie Pate, is one of their project managers.) Moor Spa is just as much of a family business as Blue Ocean Luxury Homes – with Durrant’s 14-year-old daughter, Bella, helping out in the spa after her homeschool lessons.
Despite the occasional frustration that comes with being together 24/7, she, her husband, and her children have seen each other through the tough times and cheered on through achievements – just as they did while Durrant was opening Moor Spa Hilton Head in January.
Durrant says that working with her children is a dynamic that requires patience at times, but working with her family has made her a better business owner: one that maintains relationships by treating others with kindness and respect. “My adult children have told me they learned their work ethic from me. That is one of the greatest compliments they can give me,” Durrant said. “I think it has been so important for them to see how hard (and smart) I’ve worked in my life, and they’ve watched me reap the rewards of that effort.”
Deb Durrant used her passions for healing, wellness and “creating sanctuaries from the world” to open Moor Spa, the first Austrian Moor spa in the country.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Make sure you have people in place whom you trust to run your existing business. The existing business will be your bread and butter until the new business gets off the ground. The last thing you want is to lose what you’ve spent so much time and effort building.
2. Surround yourself with a great consulting team. It may cost additional money but will shortcut your set-up time. Time is Money. Do it right the first time.
3. Plan to spend a lot of money on marketing. Customers need to know you exist!