Melandre is a premier salon located in northern NJ that serves a local community with an exclusive customer base. Melandre was in the process of renovating the upper level of their salon into a spa experience and engaged Design Made to help with the planning. The owner initially was going to lease the spa to outside owner, but we convinced her to launch her own brand and maintain control over the experience. During our research we identified the value to build a partner brand for the spa that was part of an overall full body experience under the Melandre name.
We worked with the owner to build the business and an integrated new service experience that included hair, body, nails, and health/nutrition. We created and named a new brand, Sulis, and developed a unique new visual identity. We also built a full design language and communication program for the brand that included new product merchandising, packaging design, and a retail store strategy. Our initial engagement was focused on the physical space, and we were asked to develop a design for the space, working from the floor plan that was already under construction. Our team rapidly developed a new interior design that included signage and the design and detailing of the retail space.
We launched the brand with a special event, also designed by us in partnership with our client, to huge success. The spa quickly became a coveted destination in the region and continues to offer an unparalleled experience for the market.
The Name & Identity
The first known spa was a natural hot spring on the Mendip Hills where the City of Bath was built in at least 8,000 years B.C.. The hot springs are the result of a natural process in which rain waters percolate down through the limestone aquifers to a depth of between 8858 feet and 14108 feet where geothermal energy raises the water temperature to between 147 F and 204 F. Under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along the fissures and faults in the limestone. The springs at Bath were believed in legend to cure disease and illness beside replenishing the soul.
The Goddess of Healing
The first shrine built at the site of the hot springs was built by Celts, and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis. She was the local goddess of the thermal springs that still feed the spa baths at Bath, which the Romans called Aquae Sulis (the waters of Sulis).