Stacey Howell wants to make others feel good.
Stacey Howell’s whole life prepared her for her role as spa owner and general manager of the Woodhouse Spa in Buckhead.
The New Jersey native spent summers working with her mom, a factory employee who became a quality control manager. Howell’s father was a businessman, and she had the experience of traveling to Europe and gaining an understanding of the finer things.
“This balance helped me understand people and quality, and that the luxury is in the details,” Howell says.
The diverse career for this mom of seven (four biological) also played a part in leading her to the spa business. Her roles have included buyer, which provided retail experience, and sales and marketing, which taught her about customer relationships. Always an active volunteer with a love of community, she also served as an elected official in New Jersey before moving to Atlanta in 2013 and becoming CEO and executive director of Every Woman Works, a nonprofit whose mission was to put women back on their feet after trauma. “That was most purposeful work I’ve done,” says Howell.
The nonprofit shuttered after COVID’s onset. Wanting to stay in wellness and going through a time when everyone needed extra support, Howell was drawn to the spa industry for her next venture. Having been a client of Woodhouse’s when she lived in New Jersey, she decided to open Atlanta’s third location in May.
Why did you choose Buckhead as your Woodhouse location?
I love Buckhead because of its thriving diversity. I want our staff to represent everybody and be a reflection of the community. I love our building space. It is the flagship location for Woodhouse’s new modern, rebranded look and is different than the other 79 around the country. It’s the only location with a salt therapy room and a beautiful terrace.
How did running a nonprofit inspire your spa launch?
The women I dealt with gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone like I never had before. I thought if they can do it—build themselves back from the ground up—I can do it. My business is still dedicated to giving back. My employees are given two paid volunteer days a year.
What does a normal work day look like for you?
Every morning, I ask myself, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: One bite at a time. My days are all different, which is what keeps me excited. If I’m not in my office, I talk to guests or roll up my sleeves with my staff and check on things like the laundry and snacks. I make charcuterie boards for customers who rent the patio space. I love that there are bridesmaids, birthdays and best friend outings here.
What’s it like working closely with your husband?
We thought he was going to be more of a silent partner, but he wears a lot of hats! I’m the CEO and visionary; I come with the ideas. And he’s the COO who thinks out the process and implementation. It’s both of our second marriages, so we come in with more wisdom but also more independence that gets in the way sometimes, if I’m being honest.
What’s your favorite spa treatment and space?
I’m still trying to get through them all because I’ve been so busy! I love The Tub Room, where we do specialty treatments like shirodhara and the Meditative Mood Soak, with its dim lights and candles. I also love a facial!
What wellness activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I’m an outdoor person. I ski and love adventure—traveling and exploring new places, people and more.
WOODHOUSE SPA – BUCKHEAD
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.