White Calm: the ultimate wellness solution? October 29, 2015 16:08
When, in pre-crunch times, my friend Stephen opened his first gym, a single-space workout area with attendant changing and therapy suites beneath a photographic gallery in Chelsea, west London, he was unsure how much to charge for membership. The premise was a novel one - one-on-one training, one member at a time – i.e. an exclusive ‘at home’ approach to fitness for those willing to pay for it. But how much should they pay?
Stephen had some insights into his prospective market: from looking after the wellness of several well-known figures in the fashion world, he’d gained a loyal following who chose not only to train with the former rugby and cricket professional, but frequently wished him to join them on their extended vacations. Oh, and on occasion, bring a variety of specialist help along as well: masseuses, alternative therapists, and on one occasion, requested by a family heading off on a month-long sequester on Corfu, their own personal guru.
Such demands typified the state of the market and Stephen, alert to the growing desire for the kind of individual approach that underpinned his own professional style, now wished to offer the same to the necessarily select group of individuals who wished to join his Kings Road practice. The only problem being, that rather than creating what he’d anticipated would be a small membership, he was confronted, pretty much on his first day, with a couple who, having taken the lightning tour of his diminutive set-up, asked how much it would cost to take the whole place, exclusively, for a year.
Stephen patiently explained that this would not be possible, as he was seeking to build a select crew of fitness aficionados, rather than become the landlord of a private gymnasium.
However they were insistent: their own home around the corner was presently being renovated to include a similar if much larger basement work-out room; in the meantime they needed somewhere to exercise and they’d chosen Stephen’s facility.
He demurred, and his business thrives on a small number of meticulously maintained members to this day.
In the meantime, he has exported his philosophy of complementary wellness as far afield as Mauritius where he has run a series of retreats at its Lux Resorts for several years now. And now he’s taken the process one stage further and teamed with White Calm, a company founded by an executive at Quintessentially, to achieve the kind of seamless provision of wellness practitioners Stephen was supplying all those years ago to well-heeled families following the sun to Corfu, their fitness fraternity in tow.
White Calm, in that templated manner concierge services such as Quintessentially have made their own, aims to replace the burgeoning market in high-end sanatoria (offering treatments, reflection and the occasional non-invasive medical procedure) with a bespoke service that equips customers with the necessary tools – and talent – required to turn their harried, high-octane lives around.
Whilst it’s not exactly the case that money is no object, it does require a certain amount commitment on the client’s part – certainly if they wish to create that Corfu moment for themselves. In which case White Calm, using its contacts in the many areas in which the Quintessentially team excel, will locate and hire villas, private jets and the relevant wellness team required to create one-of-a-kind retreats.
And it’s unlikely to stop there. White Calm is currently partnering with residential developers in all corners of the world wise to the needs of a growing tribe of lifestyle-literate, fitness-focused inhabitants who now demand something more holistic than a spin class and a sauna.
And since we now live in a world dominated by ‘sports luxe’ –for which Apple has just launched the first ‘sports luxe accessory’ – is it any wonder that those charged with furnishing a relatively transient global audience of highly-driven individuals with the tools to maintain their ferocious energy levels are turning to the likes of Stephen and White Calm?