Australia’s KAILO elevates health and beauty to new levels with a one-stop wellness destination and carefully formulated plant-based nutrition and skincare
From almost the first moment Kath Merlo and Kristy Morris met, they realised they shared a vision of health and wellbeing that simply was not being met by the Australian market. Rather than just open a straightforward spa or beauty salon, they dreamt of creating a more holistic and all-encompassing experience, a venue where customers could consult a nutritionist, get advice on skin care, enjoy a massage, have an Ayurvedic body treatment or receive Botox injections. Kath and Kristy were convinced that Australians had an appetite for this sort of service and the pair finally had the opportunity to realise their dreams in 2018, opening the KAILO Medispa health sanctuary at Brisbane’s Calile Hotel. It now provides more than 60,000 treatments each year.
“We are always looking at new treatments and experiences that will support our guests’ wellbeing,” says Kath. “We have close to 50 different therapists, practitioners and visiting doctors, and a dozen treatment rooms that are open from 8am to 8pm. The key to running such a varied service is to bring in the very best people we can find. We look after our team, pay them well and try to create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work, as our customers will benefit. We all share the same passion, to help people live better lives and feel better.”
The founders see KAILO Medispa as a one-stop wellness destination. As well as offering a number of complementary and alternative treatments, the company has introduced a successful line of dietary supplements that target specific health issues. These were created following discussions with customers, who shared their concerns with KAILO’s nutritional experts. The protein-rich supplements aim to improve sleep and skin and gut health. Further products are in development, including pregnancy, menopause and men’s health formulas. A range of vegan formulas has also been introduced.
To complement the health-enhancing dietary supplements, Kath and Kristy recruited an experienced botanist to develop a bespoke range of skincare products using carefully selected local plant extracts. The venture has taken three years to perfect, as everything is approached with care and consideration. This is also why the pair are taking their time before expanding, as they are determined to find the right partners in the right locations. As well as elsewhere in Australia, the founders believe the company’s future lies in cities such as London and New York.
Sustainability and inclusivity are both important principles for a business dedicated to wellbeing. Kath and Kristy want to ensure that everybody feels welcome at KAILO Medispa, and have worked with specialists to help staff understand how to talk to and treat clients who may be experiencing visible, or invisible, mental or physical disabilities. This is, Kristy emphasises, not something you can learn at beauty school.
“Similarly, we are looking at improving our approach to sustainability by working with local design students, funding a bursary for young designers to create completely sustainable but economical packaging,” says Kristy. “That has already produced some amazing results and they are doing incredible things with recycled material. Packaging has a massive impact on the environment, and we enjoy doing something that will make a difference.
“There aren’t many clinics or spas that offer the range of services, treatments and products that we do at KAILO. It is important to us that everything is done properly, and that we always focus on the best outcome for the guest.”