Meet Clare Singleton, owner of The Granary Spa in Great Chart.
- Credit: Archant
This woman combines compassion with a business brain and therapies that are out of this world
Wellbeing is a term much bandied about but I hadn’t come across a better representation of what it really means until I met Clare Singleton, owner of The Granary Spa in Great Chart.
Part of the Godinton House Estate, this Victorian granary has been beautifully converted to a tranquil space offering an upstairs relaxation area (with Le Corbusier recliners) and treatment rooms below.
Clare worked in recruitment for 20 years and every month she’d visit a therapist for a relaxing aromatherapy massage. She loved how it made her feel so much that she took the life-changing step of leaving her old career and training to become a holistic therapist at Mid Kent College in Rochester.
Clare created Revive Holistic Therapy and went straight into business in June 2004, initially working out of a changing room at a sports centre and one day a week in a complementary clinic. At the same time she got in touch with a local brain injury unit, who agreed that her treatments would help their residents – a service that is still provided on a weekly basis.
“I feel if we can’t do that sort of work then that’s not what we’re about,” says Clare. “I spent years with the Canterbury Oast Trust working with adults with learning disabilities, and they also now come in here. We have clients with cancer and no one else wants to treat them because of all the paperwork involved.
“But we work closely with their consultants, so they know and trust us, they give us instructions about what we can and can’t do for individual patients.”
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Clare, who first fell for The Granary when she drove past on the way to a yoga class and saw a ‘To Let’ sign, is no stranger to suffering. Her husband Paul was very much involved in setting up the new business and the two scoured Kent for equipment and furniture that would fit with her vision including donated crockery and sheaves of wheat from local farmers.
The spa opened in September 2012 with Clare, Sharleen her spa manager and a part-time therapist (today she has a team of 11). Sadly, before The Granary was a year old Paul died very suddenly at just 52.
“I didn’t work for eight weeks and I haven’t treated since, I dabble, but my staff are amazing,” says Clare, who won Kent Business Woman of the Year last March.
“Now I can spend more time with the customers and we also shut once a year to raise money for cancer charities.
“We do offer waxing and nail treatments, but the core of what we do here is about clients’ wellbeing. Making a difference to people when they come in at their lowest ebb is the most rewarding part of the job.”
Sarah enjoyed …
Organic marigold and lemongrass body scrub, lava shell back massage Radiance facial
Therapist: the gorgeous Tiffany
Verdict: My shoulders were under my ears with tension on arrival; I floated home after the best massage ever, slept like a baby. n