As Bliss Sanctuary for Women proudly celebrates its two-year anniversary this month, the creation and ongoing growth of this unique business model is a fascinating business success story.
South Australian-based founder Zoë Watson opened the doors to her first-of-its-kind, women’s only, completely tailored holiday experience in May 2011, and while the challenges of setting up an unproven business plan in a foreign country does not readily conjure up “blissful” thoughts, the achievements, rewards and the satisfaction of touching and helping so many women’s lives is just that. “Pure Bliss”, according to Ms Watson.
“I am passionate about empowering women and providing space for women to follow their bliss. It’s so simple, yet so important,” says Zoë Watson.
|Zoë Watson and the Bliss Canggu villa in Bali|
The catalyst for Ms Watson launching Bliss Sanctuary for Women was a serious car accident. The injuries sustained combined with the stresses of a high-powered sales and marketing career forced her to take a much-needed break. That a quick trip to Bali transpired into a life and career changing opportunity. One that has propelled Zoë to where and who she is today… a successful entrepreneur with heart and soul.
In February 2011 Ms Watson returned to Bali to find a location that she achieved in three days and started renovations immediately. In May 2011 the Bliss Sanctuary for Women opens in Bali with its first official guest on May 1.
“It’s not focusing on ‘what happens’, it’s having the attitude of getting through each next step and being open to new perspectives, including religious, cultural and differing values of those we are doing business with. And losing the first world arrogance that we in the western world know best! Humility is very important.”
In January this year she opened a second villa as part of Bali Sanctuary, increasing rooms by 60%, adding a third in April.
And business has been good – Jan 2012-2013 occupancy up 43%; Feb 2012-2013 occupancy up 78%; Mar 2012-2013 occupancy up 233%; April 2012-2013 occupancy up 91.5%.
Thinking outside the box is what gets Zoë’s adrenalin pumping and why Bliss Sanctuary for Women is so unique in so many ways. “The Bliss experience gives you everything you need to feel rejuvenated and refreshed whilst allowing the freedom to choose any other activities once you are there. It’s a yoga retreat, a spa retreat, a meditation retreat and a Balinese cultural experience, all rolled into one with no schedules, no children, no couples, no judgment.”
What’s the goal – 20 sanctuaries in 12 countries in 10 years!