Every now and then you meet someone and you somehow know that, despite their determination and grit, their path in life has not necessarily been easy.
In my experience, it’s precisely such people who are the most giving and the most open. Born with a hare lip and a flair for dance, Claire Saunders struck me as just such a person, and so this interview was born...
Have you always been into beauty and fitness?
I started my career teaching ballroom and Latin American dancing and this had a natural progression into health and fitness.
Dancing is still my preferred way to keep fit, and many activities complement this.
Like most females, I have always enjoyed beauty treatments, but I became much more involved with the beauty industry when I was General Manager for a large health club and spa and this led me to see how the two industries complemented each other.
What inspired you to set up ReNu?
I was in a very stressful and demanding job, and I wanted to find somewhere local that offered me a sanctuary in my free time. I couldn’t really find what I was looking for, and I was confident that I knew what most women would like. I believe that the key is that we need to find activities that we really enjoy, and if we do that we will stick to them. I wanted to offer a centre of well-being where there would be a more varied opportunity to either exercise or relax depending on what you felt you needed and that would fit in with a busy schedule. The dictionary definition of ‘renew’ is ‘to restore’, or ‘return to former self’ and it is our hope and aim that this is precisely what our customers should experience.
Some people might say that beauty treatments are just a superfluous luxury? How would you respond to that?
I think that we choose our luxuries. For some it may be going to a football match, out for a meal or a new gadget in the house. For others it may be taking yourself to a relaxing environment where you can be unashamedly pampered. Life can be so hectic these days and often we feel under pressure and even guilty for taking a little bit of time out for ourselves. In fact, stress related illness is now the primary reason for people to be off work. Modern technology has meant that our ‘leisure time’ can get swallowed up with external pressures. A treatment can give you a real chance to relax your mind and lift your spirits and this can have an extended benefit on your state of mind.
I understand you offer aesthetic treatments at ReNu. Which procedures do you offer?
Our aesthetic nurse Jessica Bush visits us for a clinic once a month. She offers wrinkle relaxing injections, facial fillers, and dermal peels amongst other aesthetic treatments.
Surely this is just women being unable to accept the aging process?
On the contrary, most of the women I work with embrace the ageing process; they just want to look their best whilst they are doing it!
I don’t believe that most women would choose to try and look like they are 21 again; it would look and feel too odd. They enjoy the experience and acknowledge a few wrinkles that the years bring with them. Whilst we do see some disaster stories with celebrities that can become over-zealous with facial procedures, a good aesthetic treatment should slow down the aging process and make you look good for your age without changing your features and becoming obvious. The benefits of keeping fit health-wise are clear, but are there any other benefits related to regular exercise?
The list is almost endless! Here are just a few: Sleep patterns improve and the hormones released through exercise induce a ‘feel good factor’ in the body. Stress is reduced and energy is increased. Whilst health and life expectancy cannot always be controlled, quality of life and zest for life are definitely improved and there is a significantly reduced risk of heart and lung disease and osteoporosis. It can increase confidence and improve skin tone.
There are also many social benefits of exercising with others.
Can you think of any specific examples of the power of for example, therapy, fitness success or aesthetic treatments?
Yes, absolutely. One of my clients had a car accident several years ago which left her with a chronic whiplash injury. She came to Pilates as a last resort after trying many other methods of treatment. Within six weeks of attending the class she had such a significant reduction in pain that she has not missed a class in the last five years.
I would certainly be a good one for the aesthetics. I was born with a hare lip, so I lived with a misshapen upper lip all through my teens and 20s. In my 30s I had a semi-permanent lip liner applied which helped, but still left me without the natural curves of a top lip. It was only through talking to our aesthetic nurse when I was well into my 40s, that I found out I could have a filler applied to the lip line to give me a more natural shape. I wouldn’t have believed it would make such a dramatic difference and it has really boosted my confidence.
What do you hope women get from a visit to ReNu?
I hope they find a centre of well-being, where they can relax their minds, tone their bodies and lift their spirits; a place where customer service, treatments and expertise excel to give optimum results. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, welcoming place, where we have always got time for you and that the experience of being with us leaves you feeling uplifted and ready to face the next challenge, whatever that may be.
Discover ReNu for yourself!
Log on to: www.renu.uk.com or call: 01778 423923.
Or pop down to 27 Abbey Road, Bourne, PE10 9EN and see for yourself what Claire’s haven of fitness, therapy and beauty can do for you!