it has been said (too) many times but we here at the apartment creative agency strongly pursue the notion that design is indeed not how it looks but how it works. to that end, when we take on new projects, we heavily involve ourselves not merely with matters of colors, layouts and door handle choices but how a business works. that is especially true when we are tasked to create that business from scratch as was the case with one of the jewels on our chintzy crown, yelo spa. when entrepreneur nicolas ronco came to visit us, back from asia after courageously dropping off corporate america’s radar, he had an epiphany about an industry we seldom question, that of “the people we pay to feel better“: he judiciously wondered why it was that mindful rest is considered a boost to productivity over there and a shame over here?
we agreed with him that what was needed first and foremost was not to make a logo but rather to find ways to convince americans to seek better productivity, not more as they have been tasked to by protestant ethics this side of martin luther. to accomplish that, his strategy included creating a physical space where people would feel safe to compose themselves, with the help of a highly and specifically trained staff who understood and cared for personhood, not just wallethood, and worked to soothe each of its facets. and so we dug deep to understand social and behavioral processes, to understand the science of stress, the science of natural recovery, the science of well-ness. and through studying different forms of reflexology, chromatherapy, aromatherapy, skin care and more, we arrived at a cogent vision: that help, different than mere service, was what the launch city with a sleeping disorder needed.
and so we got to work, inventing new paths, procedures and YeloCabs™ along the way so that said help would be available in ingenious ways, even available to come to you when you couldn’t come to us. so deeply entrenched we became in the new brand that their success depended on ours, at every level of the company. and now, after 4 years of successful operation, having profits go up at the same time that competitors’ stagnated, it is time to go deeper still… as alan kay so rightly advanced, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it” and it is paramount, once in a frequent while, for companies to take stock, keep all the good ideas and clear one’s brain and inventory of all the ones that didn’t work in order to stay ahead, not of any competition, but of our own ambitions.
and that is why i am delighted and feel extremely fulfilled to have accepted nicolas’ offer to help him do just that and become yelo spa’s chief creative officer (on top of my job here, of course) and expand on all matters that impact the brand and its beloved customers. i could not be happier or more proud to be able to shepherd this amazing concept into roads heretofore undiscovered, especially in a field that rarely takes the kind of risks we at the apartment have built a reputation on! when a business understands design to be a strategic cog and not mere marketing gloss, it allows its entire hierarchy to function holistically and take its cues from very simple, customer-oriented goals and it is to nicolas’ credit to trust me to play thus with his baby and i hope not to disappoint.
it is then my pleasure to invite you to visit our website and make a reservation at yelospa.com, visit our location at 315 W57th street, get acquainted with our specials on our Facebook page and get involved in YELOlife on twitter @YeloSpa! there will be MUCH MORE in months to come as we continue to imagine the YELOfuture, be part of it and have a wonderful week!