An interview with Tara Teipel: Owner of Lemongrass Center for Well-Being in Encinitas
Oct 31, 2013 10:46AM
● By Erin Lehn Floresca
Extremely nurturing. That is the main phrase that comes to mind when I think about Tara Teipel, owner of Lemongrass Center for Well-Being in Encinitas. She is nurturing to her clients, nurturing to her staff, nurturing to herself and Mother Earth. This caring, passionate woman has dedicated herself to providing a spiritually uplifting, wellness-enhancing world to those around her. In fact, Lemongrass, an Aveda Concept Salon & Spa, was created as a sacred space for people to come and replenish themselves on all levels.
When Teipel and I spoke, she was getting ready to head to a 10-day Oneness Blessing/Deeksha Trainers Course at Oneness University in India. She is excited about the training because it is another way to help her to bring more consciousness into everyday commerce. “It’s interesting territory,” she says, “bringing consciousness into your business.” But this is no new experience for Teipel whose career has centered around enhancing people’s well-being, both inside and out. “Since we spend most of our time at work,” she says, “I’m always asking myself how we can better integrate the two.”
One way is by gifting her staff with certifications to become Deeksha Blessing Givers. According to Teipel, Oneness Deeksha is a transfer of energy that “helps you to wake up to your highest potential in this lifetime and connect with your divine source,” she says. “This certification is one of the biggest gifts I can give my staff. And it’s a gift that will continue to be shared with our clients at Lemongrass and in the private lives of our staff members.” Once the certifications are complete, Lemongrass Center for Well-Being will be the first official business in San Diego that has a full staff of Oneness Blessing Givers.
Home is Where the Heart is
The Lemongrass experience all begins with the 1914 cottage that Teipel discovered over 10 years ago. “This house instantaneously gave me the feeling of coming home,” she recalls. “And that is a familiar, comforting tug that our clients feel as well.” With that in mind, extra care was put into the entire sensory experience of a visit to Lemongrass. With a carefully crafted mix of aromatherapy, visually inspiring colors and furnishings, quality tactile sensations, the Lemongrass experience is a feast for the soul. “Each spa treatment also begins with a foot soak and scrub to really connect and ground each of our guests,” explains Teipel.
And speaking of 10 years, Lemongrass recently celebrated their 10 year milestone with a customer appreciation party. “We had 140 attendees enjoying food and beverages by all local vendors including Bitchen Burgers food truck, gluten-free cupcakes by Healthy Creations and wine by Solterra winery,” says Teipel. “We also offered complimentary mini spa treatments and Oneness Blessing/Deeksha sessions.”
No Tipping Policy
One neat aspect about Lemongrass is that it is a completely gratuity-free environment. “My philosophy is that we are all working professionals; we aren’t working for tips,” explains Teipel. “There is no pressure on the client and no pressure on the staff.” Teipel feels that the no tip policy makes every client feel equally serviced. She proudly compensates her staff in a manner that shows she truly honors their artistry and craft. “The best tip you can give us is to come back!”
Consistent Self-care with Membership Program
Teipel and her staff wanted to find a way that would allow clients to give themselves permission to take care of themselves consistently. The answer was their recently launched membership program. Those in the membership program receive a restorative 1.5 hour Lemongrass customized treatment for a special discounted rate up to four times a month. “It’s a wonderful way for our clients to fill their reservoir on a regular basis,” she says.
So Many Ways to Nurture Yourself
“When Teipel first opened Lemongrass in 2003, she focused mainly on skin, body and spa treatments. Today, visitors to Lemongrass are pleased to discover that there are many avenues available to help them achieve wellness. Whether you’re seeking a massage, salon services, spiritual counseling, life coaching, energy restoration therapy, facial, waxing, or Ayurvedic counseling, Lemongrass has you covered.
Growth in Hair Color Services
Interestingly, the fastest-growing part of Teipel’s business is the hair color. One reason for the growth is because of their holistic approach to hair using Aveda Color. “Our community is so aware about living a healthy, organic lifestyle. Most of our hair color clients come every six weeks or so, so the fact that Aveda Hair Color products are all based in Ayurveda and are up to 96 percent naturally derived—using plant power instead of petrochemicals—is important to them,” says Teipel. In addition, it’s also clear that the growth can be attributed to their highly talented team of hair stylists along with Lemongrass’s philosophy to create a calm and nurturing space for clients to be in while they receive their hair services. “You will see our guests walking around the garden while their hair color is processing and checking out our array of crystals or meditating or reading a book in one of the places throughout the garden,” shares Teipel. “It’s a super sweet, sacred space!”
Location: 910 Second St., Encinitas. For more details, call 760-633-1970 or visit LemongrassCenter.com.