Sweet Cherry Spa Leverages Technology To Engage Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Sweet Cherry Spa Leverages Technology To Engage Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Scotia Kauppi, owner of Thunder Bay’s Sweet Cherry Spa, knew that she could either spend time stressing about whether she was going to lose her business or she could spend time working on her business. She opted for the latter and it paid off. Her resourcefulness, ability to embrace change, and effective use of technology kept her customers engaged and Sweet Cherry Spa afloat during a time when many other beauty businesses were forced to close their doors.

Kauppi has always been keen to leverage technology in her business operations and marketing strategies. “You have to embrace it because your clients will love it,” she says. When the pandemic forced her business to change and adapt, she knew technology would play a key role in helping the spa survive the downturn, but Kauppi needed funds to effectively implement her plan. So, when she discovered the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program offered by Digital Main Street (DMS), she was excited by the opportunity. The program provides small businesses with a digital assessment, online training, and a $2,500 grant to implement their Digital Transformation Plan.

Kauppi applied for the program, worked through online educational modules, and submitted a successful grant application. Equipped with new knowledge from DMS and the DTG funds, Kauppi got to work on strategies that would not only help her beauty business ride out the pandemic, but also set her spa up for success post-pandemic. “The grant gives you a chance to do the things that you’ve been kind of putting off […] so that when I come back, I can come back at full force,” says Kauppi.

Kauppi knew she had to work to maintain a relationship with her current customer base during the lockdown. One of the first things she did was purchase a new laptop with an updated operating system that was compatible with the apps necessary to put her DTP into action. With her new laptop’s improved capabilities, Kauppi signed up for Twitch, an interactive live-streaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. There are a growing number of make-up and beauty creators on the app live-streaming tutorials to a captive global audience. Kauppi is a talented nail artist who creates intricate designs and her customers tuned in to watch as she live-streamed her nail art creation process. She said it was a great way to keep her business top of mind with her existing client base and even draw some new eyes. It also generated a revenue stream for Kauppi through the Twitch Affiliate Program, which allows qualified streamers to monetize their channel as they build their audience. In Kauppi’s words, the revenue stream was “teeny tiny” but for a beauty business in the midst of a pandemic, every little bit helps.

Kauppi also invested in software to help her keep up with the ever-changing regulations she faced as a result of the pandemic’s ongoing ebbs and flows. She upgraded her salon booking software, Fresha, to a paid account which allowed her to better communicate with clients about appointment changes. It also enabled her to start selling gift certificates, a new feature that helped keep her business alive as the pandemic raged on.

Once Kauppi had a revised strategy to manage customer relationships during the pandemic, she focused her efforts on the future of her business. Her plan to come back bigger and better than ever post-pandemic included a move to a new and much larger space. She allocated a portion of her DTG funds to an advertising campaign that included a photo shoot of the space. In order to abide by provincial regulations, Kauppi had to limit the number of people attending the shoot which meant no models. She came up with a very creative solution and cast a skeleton as her stand-in client. “I thought it was hilarious and it was very on brand,” she laughs, referencing the business’s goth and punk-rock-inspired decor. She used the new photos to update her social media accounts, her Google Business Profile account, and her company’s website.

Today, Sweet Cherry Spa is up and running again. Kauppi and her team are servicing clients at their new location and the spa is reaping the benefits of the work put in to set the business up for success post-pandemic. Kauppi says she is grateful that the DTG program was available to help transform so many businesses like hers struggling to stay afloat during an especially difficult time.


UPDATE: Deposit Policy Now in Place

Unfortunately due to the high number of no shows for large services I have to add a 30-50% deposit policy in place for all services over 100$. As most of these services take more than a hour, when a client books an appointment and then doesn’t let me know they can’t make it: I am stuck loosing money and my time that could of been used for a client(or in some stances 3-4) who was going to come. I normally charge a 15$ fee for late, multiple reschedules which will still be a part of Sweet Cherry Spa’s booking policies.

Deposits can be added when booking online by adding your credit card. Can be made booking with us through phone and E-transfer or in person with cash/debit/credit/apple pay/e-transfer. This also applies to late fees.

Services Affected are:

All Pro Skin Care treatments – 30% Deposit required

All Lash Extensions – 50% Deposit required

Halloween + Special Effects Makeup – 50% Deposit required

Please also remember : TEXTING THE REMINDER TEXT DOES NOT GO THROUGH. The reminder system is through my Fresha Booking App so the messages do not come from my phone. You need to call the spa or text Scotia or Chelsea’s cell phone Numbers to let us know.

New Products Alert!

2022 is the year we are back and updating EVERYTHING skin care!! Of course we will always have our favourite Hempz don’t worry!

We have brought some amazing new brands into the shop for retail; Check them out….

First our newest local brand is Sugar and Spice GT!

Made locally by Wendy and fits with our crazy punk goth esthetic perfectly! Check out these bath bombs and lip glosses! can’t come into the shop? order here from the etsy page.

Next up we have fully changed over our skin care and treatment services to Dermalolgica Pro. Check out our new service menu for skin care treatments and facials here.

The choices we make every day are directly linked to our planet’s health. As a global brand, we’re acutely aware of the impact that our actions can have on the environment, and so we are committed to an ambitious new Healthy Skin, Healthy Planet initiative.

Last up we have brought in the famously Canadian pre and post waxing skin care line of BushBalm for purchase and use with all our waxing services.

Bushbalm is a skincare brand that solves common skin challenges that aren’t often talked about, and we’re proud of it!

We have an evolving natural skincare product line – specifically, but not limited to, targeting areas that are commonly ignored. Think bikini line, underarms, legs, tush, or anywhere else on the body that deserves extra care.

Whether you trim, groom, remove – or let your body hair grow our products were created to take care of your most sensitive areas while making sure you feel confident in your skin down there and everywhere with results that you will see and feel.

Face quality skincare. Targeted results. Everywhere.

We also have updated our waxing services menu and all menus to be genderless. All bodies have hair skin and nails and there’s no need to make it separate for anyone 🙂

All products are available for retail in shop and for use with our services!

How Do I Take Care of My Self During Self isolation?

So many of you have just squeezed in your last appointments before the total shut down of non essential services . We have all seen this meme and laughed at how true it is.

So what can you do to keep up your beauty routine and make what services you just got last you? or how to deal with grow outs if you can’t get in. Also I loaded this with extra memes to brighten up your day!!

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Nail Sprains…..Yes They Hurt!

Ever just go to grab your car door handle and your hand slips just enough to bang your nail…and it hurts soo much!?

No you’re not being  whimp. Nail sprains are very common and they can cause tons of damage.

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How Young Is Too Young for Nails?

I have lately been getting many younger girls coming and booking appointments online for acrylic or gel nails.  Getting nails is a big step for young ladies and social media makes it seem so normal that tweens think: ‘No big deal”. But they are.

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Transitioning Beauty

This week is PRIDE MONTH!! As a cis-bisexual ally I love celebrating pride and meeting new people. I get to talk to many different people going through different transitions (coming out, speaking up or starting a full medical transition). I thought that this year I will officially share what I can do to help professionally on here.

In the past few years I have become very accustomed to talking and helping transitioning clients with figuring out new beauty and health routines. I am no medical expert and can only go by what feels right for each client.

But in lieu of people asking the difference between a men’s pedicure or a men’s leg wax than a woman’s: I say there’s none. Hair coming out of skin and nails growing aren’t much different between men and women.

I want to share some very basic information about this process. I am not a doctor but having guided research from great places like Elevate and Thunder Pride and talking with trans clients, friends and their families. This is just speaking from a professional esthetician and makeup artist.

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DIY Lip Plumping Scrub

if you missed the Your Best Face Forward Workshop 


Guests of Plan Your Day Thunder Bay 2019 made their own lip scrubs hosted by Scotia Kauppi of Sweet Cherry Spa & Carly Hughes of Wink Beauty Studio. 


Cinnamon Lip Scrub + Plumper 

Why This Works Cinnamon is a natural lip plumper, so if you want that Kylie Jenner pout without the lip injections, this scrub is a foolproof technique to achieve that. Cinnamon also acts as a natural exfoliator and helps you achieve smooth, soft lips instantly. 



We Talked About….
  • How to prep your skin prior to your wedding so that your makeup will last longer, not budge or flake off.
  • 2 weeks before your wedding do not try any new products, spray tans, or tanning beds. 
  • If you have dry cracked lips, brush your lips with hot water on a softer toothbrush after your brush your teeth nightly. 
  • If you have problematic skin, have a facial/skin care consult with an esthetician a month or two before. 


Why a Makeup Trial is Important 
  • To test out their products to make sure they work with your skin type. 
  • To get to know your artist and make sure you are both comfortable with eachother 
  • To test out your ideas of how you’d like to look 
  • When trying a new trend of makeup if you think it will reflect your timeless natural beauty or reflect your style and personality (Blushing Bride or Sultry/ Smokey Evening looks or Themed makeup for a Themed wedding) 
  • When to have the trial done 2 weeks – a month before ie: don’t have your trial in the winter if you are getting married in the summer. Your skin tone will not be the right shade and will mess up your contouring and foundation shade. 

Varicose Veins + Spider veins

When you follow a bunch of medical stuff on instagram like me you find other random videos and photos that are very intriguing. Being a ex-morticians assistant and a esthetician: I love anatomy. I follow podiatrists, estheticians, dermatologists, nurses, morticians and corners/pathologists. My newest obsession is watching sclerotherapy videos; the removal of spider veins and varicose veins

It looks like a reverse lightning strike in your skin!

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Presenting at Plan Your Day Thunder bay 2019

I will be presenting and having a vendors booth at this year’s Plan Your Day! Plan Your Day TBay 2019 is getting ready for a new year of wedding planning!

Get ready for tons of fun seminars, workshops and panels. New to our event this year – the vendor showcase & thrift shop!
We’re more than just a wedding show – we’re Thunder Bay’s one and only wedding planning conference!
More info coming soon! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @planyourdaytbay

I will be in the morning on the “Highlight Your Highlights” seminar with Carly of Wink Beauty and Daniela Ross of Deluxe Beauty and Drift Spa. We will be talking about how to prepare to plan your hair and makeup and nails looks before the wedding and what to expect the morning of.

Then join us in the afternoon at 1pm for our “Your Best Face Forward” hands-on workshop where we will be making Lip Plumping Natural Lip Scrubs to enhance your pout and add longer lasting effects for your lipstick!