Jess Luxton (nee McLeod) attended St Hilda's from Year 7-13, completing her final year in 1992. Since leaving school she has had quite a varied career path, eventually returning to Dunedin for all the positives it has to offer for business start-up whilst raising a young family.
Jess attended Otago University, completing a Bachelor of Physical Education alongside some commerce papers which sparked an interest in business. Upon finishing university, Jess went on to become a Police Officer, working in emergency response for four years based out of Christchurch. This was a challenging and exhilarating job but not one she saw herself continuing into the later stages of life, so in 2001 she headed away overseas on her OE.
Originally based in London and working in recruitment, she changed tack and moved to the South of France where she worked as a chef on a number of super yachts based around the Mediterranean. She then landed a job on a super yacht which was travelling around the world. The travel was amazing for seeing all walks of life and getting ideas for future businesses. She met her husband from NZ overseas and both agreed Dunedin was where they wanted to be.
Upon returning to Dunedin, Jess managed the Executive Education Department at the University of Otago for a number of years, profiling and running courses for executives around the country whilst starting up a small business called Erban Spa. Jess discovered that after being surrounded by health and wellness in the industry she worked in that it was still pretty untapped in NZ and, particularly, in Dunedin. The Erban Spa brand evolved from being quite massage-focused to extending into all things wellness and beauty, from massage and spa packages through to beauty and facials, showcasing NZ organic products.
Erban Spa has gone from strength to strength since its beginning, franchising into Christchurch several years ago and then in the past 2 years expanding into Auckland, Wellington and Nelson. Erban Spa is now currently located in Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin with Jess heading up the master franchise and offering support to the other spa owners, focusing on consistency, marketing and brand experience. While it has been great to see the expansion, Jess is now in consolidation mode as she tries to find a decent work/life balance model to fit around her three young daughters aged 3, 6 and 8.
To find out more about Erban Spa, visit their website.