Entrepreneur Karen Medford has been the owner of the Sirius Day Spa since 2018—with locations in Lakewood Ranch and UTC—and her desire for innovation continues to grow. She built her two spas from the ground up, and has hired and managed a staff of 40 people. Prior to her current venture, Medford worked for the Laboratory Corporation of America/Integrative Genetics for nearly a decade, managing revenue of more than $41 million, and generating nearly $1 million in new revenue as a women’s health clinical specialist.

How did you get started in the spa business? I always frequented local spas in my business travels as a way to “tune up” for my meetings. All that was great until I had a family, and then being on the road wasn’t so much fun anymore. In my travels, I heard an ad on the radio for a brand-new concept: one spa for all your needs. It was on Sirius XM for a business called Sirius Day Spa. What are the odds?! My husband and I signed on for three franchise locations. Then we realized that there wasn’t much of a benefit to a franchise if you were among the first. Brand recognition was simply not there, and I was spending a ton of money on advertisements and networking every chance I had. After seven months, and just opening the second location at UTC, we discovered the parent company was going in another direction and changing the name. A year of developing a brand that I was truly proud of was about to be changed. It was time to separate and become an independent brand. After a few months, the dream came true. Sirius Day Spa was independent and the name was ours.

How do you approach your business in an original way? We trust in our team’s recommendations, analyze and ultimately decide on bringing in new devices, skincare lines or equipment. For example, as per the advice of our lead esthetician, we brought on machines with the works: microcurrent, LED light therapy, ultrasound treatments, etc. It has been our goal every year to continue to innovate and develop. This led to the addition of the medspa team after two years, as well as the latest advancements like IPL machines, Diamond Glow, Morpheus8 RF microneedling, body contouring and laser hair removal.

How did you decide to become an entrepreneur? Family, family, family. My husband has always been an entrepreneur and I respected him for working hard yet always making time for the kids. He was truly the inspiration for me and gave me the courage to take the leap from the corporate world. He continues to grow his businesses and is always there to support me. It was the best decision I ever made, and even though I feel like I am working harder than ever, it is truly what I love. My dream is for my daughters to see that hard work pays off and I hope to have a legacy to leave them.

How do you manage a successful work/life balance? We have a yearly sponsorship with the Sarasota Polo Club so, from December through May, our family packs up every Sunday and heads to the green beach. Even though it is practically across the street, we pack up a day’s worth of picnic food, bubbly, juice boxes, and our lanai furniture to set up our reserved space.

How do you keep yourself energized and focused? Truly, I don’t know what I would do without yoga—whether it is hot yoga or Vinyasa; it is truly my saving grace. Not only does it keep me physically fit and reduce anxiety, but I feel like my best ideas come out of a yoga class. It brings clarity to my mind by helping me see something that was previously “clouded.”