The Reset is a series of retreats for women who want time, space and tools to make changes in their lives.
The retreats take place four times a year – three in Ireland in a stunning country estate called Loughcrew in County Meath, and one abroad. Our first overseas will be in Portugal in March 2019.
What inspired you to start The Reset?
Lauren [Healy, The Nutritionist Foodie] and I met through the Health Bloggers Community and thanks to a friend realised that we both had the ambition to run retreats. We decided to meet up and talk about what we would want in our ideal retreat and realised we were really aligned.
We had both seen a lot of other retreats that only seemed to cater to one thing – yoga, or cooking, or meditation for example. But never a blend of everything.
We were also aware of a lot of retreats that were basically just a girls weekend away. A lovely escape and a holiday, but when you got back home they were nothing more than mountain-top experiences, they didn’t leave you with anything really practical you could carry-through into everyday life.
We wanted to start a series of retreats that had a genuinely lasting impact.
We were inspired to include all the elements of The Reset retreats by the women we spoke to every day in our lives and the ones we surveyed about what they struggled with and wanted to achieve in life. We provide a luxury space, free-time in the schedule, workshops on things like organisation and stress, delicious food including recipes for everything you eat across the weekend, cooking demos and a talk on our relationship with food as well as Pilates, yoga and meditation sessions.
The whole experience is underpinned by the community of women we bring together and helping them stay connected and accountable to one another to achieve their goals.
I have worked as an event manager for the whole of my career, specifically in classical music and working with orchestras.
That might not sound so relevant but it’s surprising how much overlap there is! I had lots of experience running events and putting together schedules which came in handy. Also, thanks to my blog, I could build The Reset a website, create a brand and manage the social media accounts without having to outsource.
My business partner Lauren is a qualified accountant and so she could cover the financial side of things, running a budget, working out our costs and how we should price the retreats.
What skills have been most important in helping you grow your business?
I’d say the most important ‘skills’ for us to have in terms of growing the business are creativity and confidence if you can call them skills!
Once the website is up and running, the venue is booked, the schedule set, a chef and yoga instructor are booked – everything becomes about how we get the message out to audiences in the most creative, engaging, value-adding way possible.
We have to show what we can add to people’s lives and have the confidence that the experience we’ve created is going to really help and change them.
How have bloggers / online influencers helped you grow your brand?
Bloggers and online influencers have been a key part of our marketing strategy for The Reset. We selected a few online influencers to attend the first retreat in exchange for high reach write-ups on blogs and online publications and to ensure coverage on social media to our target audience from different sources.
Having other people act as ‘ambassadors’ for the retreats really helps grow trust and interest in what we offer. It gives it a seal of approval from a wide range of sources that we couldn’t achieve just doing marketing by ourselves.
What’s the most challenging thing about setting up your own retreats business?
Probably patience and trust that the right people will find you. The sales for our first retreat came in quite late and we did panic for a few weeks that it would all fall flat. But we just had to wait and keep showing up and pushing the retreats out there. The right people joined us which proved the way we were speaking and getting the message outworked.
Personally, both Lauren and I found running the retreat really exhausting. You have to be switched on constantly and engaged with the guests so they get the most from you and each other and you put everyone at ease. We definitely both took a couple of days to recover after our first one!
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started?
How rewarding it would be. And how powerful it is to connect like-minded people and give them an experience that will really last. You can get so caught up planning the schedule trying to give the guests all the answers. But so much of what they learned was from one another.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting to create their own retreats?
Do it! Find someone to do it with if you can, it helps keep you on track and shares the burden of many of the tasks. Lauren and I realised we became each other’s ‘accountability-buddies’ and met up every week which meant progress became really quick – quicker than doing it solo.
I’d also say have a really clear idea of what your USP is. There are a lot of retreats coming on the market now and people want to know why you over all the others.
Think about your customers and what they struggle with, and how you are going to solve that.
How will they feel when they walk away? Focus on that and let it come through all your messaging and you’ll be on to a winner.
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Vicky is a blogger, content creator and event producer helping busy entrepreneurs seeking healthier ways to eat and live. The Flourishing Pantry was awarded Best Free From & Illness Recovery blog in the Health Blogger Awards 2017.