European Spa pays tribute to Laura Broady: 1973-2023

We celebrate the life of spa industry leader and European Spa contributor Laura Broady (Photo credit: Mark Walker)


By Wendy Golledge

07 December 2023

It was with great sadness that the industry learned of the death of respected industry aromatherapist, European Spa columnist and friend, Laura Broady, on November 23, 2023.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the spa industry, Laura was a well known and much-loved industry figure.

Her husband, Rob, told European Spa: “Laura was my partner and my inspiration. She was hugely modest and sincere. I don’t believe she ever considered how truly talented and admired she was.

“Whether the subject was high-end skincare, aromatherapy, spa development or just talking about people in general, I was always awed by the depth of her knowledge and her genuine passion for what she was working on. I adored her and always will.”

A couple on their wedding day
Laura and Rob Broady on their wedding day

A career dedicated to wellness

Laura’s career began at Decléor & Carita UK, where she started working within the Harrods ground-floor beauty hall in London.

She went on to become an account manager for the brand at Rackham’s in Birmingham, before moving on to a role as regional sales manager.

Moving to Grafton International, Laura worked as national sales manager for the company’s salon division before switching to Shiseido and then progressing to ila-spa as head of global spa business.

Laura experiencing Justin Wiggan's singing plants at SpaFest

Elevating Decléor within spas

When Laura returned to work with Decléor as senior national account manager, she led the brand to become a significant presence within the spa sector. She encouraged operators including Aqua Sana, Champneys and De Vere to use Decléor within their spas, elevating the brand’s status within the industry.

Her deep knowledge of products then led to her becoming a hugely popular part-time presenter on the QVC shopping channel.

A qualified aromatherapist, Laura’s next role took her to international brand Aromatherapy Associates, as new business and spa business development manager.

Made for Life's Amanda Winwood, left, and Laura at SpaFest 2022

The inspiration behind the Made for Life Foundation

In 2016, Laura joined the Made for Life Foundation, which provides support and access to wellbeing for those going though cancer.

Colleague and friend Amanda Winwood, managing director of Made for Life Organics and founder of the Foundation, said: “Laura was simply sunshine and joy wrapped up in a human being. I met her on a bus in Spain at Spatec and we just connected. She was the inspiration for the Made for Life Foundation.

“Laura was pivotal in the development of our Cancer Touch Therapy training. I loved her along with many others. We travelled miles together, shared laughter and tears, joys and fears, and although she's gone we will honour her spirit in all we do within the Made for Life Foundation.”

Amanda Winwood

Managing director, Made for Life Organics

Developing Cancer Touch Therapy for spas

Laura was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer ten years ago and again in 2020. During her time at the Made for Life Foundation, she helped to develop the Cancer Touch Therapy concept and train more than 2,000 therapists how to safely treat guests living with or recovering from cancer.

Marc Innes, principal of the School of Natural Therapies, worked with Laura for seven years. He told European Spa: “I spent years travelling around the UK with Laura, teaching cancer touch therapy. We were an amazing team; I called her my work wife!

“She was a special person whose passion and enthusiasm for life was genuine and infectious. I will miss her dreadfully, but I am both fortunate and grateful for having had her in my life.”

Laura with friend and colleague Marc Innes, principal of the School of Natural Therapies

Laura met her best friend and colleague, Emma Stewart,  in 1993 on the Decléor counter in Rackham’s, Birmingham. “I am privileged to say we became best friends through thick and thin, spanning 30 amazing years,” said Stewart.

“We were double trouble and always came as a pair; Laura was the good cop! She radiated positivity, experienced by anyone that was lucky enough to cross paths with her.

“Strong, caring, empowering, loving, energetic and passionate, Laura shaped my whole heart. I will forever love and cherish our memories together.”

woman smiling at camera

“I didn’t know Laura for long, but in a short time we bonded deeply. Her whole attitude to her cancer was so determined. She was just a joyful person with huge resilience, who never failed to make me cry!”

Sue Harmsworth

Founder of ESPA and the SATCC

A shining light

Sam Keegan, founder of Helping All Animals in Rural Towns (HAART) in South Africa, worked with Laura from 2002 to 2015 at Decléor & Carita UK.

She said that all who knew Laura described her as a shining light. “I can honestly say Laura was the purest, kindest person I have every had the privilege to call my friend and colleague,” said Keegan.

“Laura was my right arm, the creative part of my brain; I couldn’t have wished for a more genuine partner to share those years with.

“The utmost professional, with sincerity in all she touched, ambitious and determined, positive and always able to find the beauty in every cloud. She never gave up, in work, play and life. Laura, you were and always will be my inspiration, my supporter, and my reminder to love.”

“Despite her illness, Laura continued to write with passion and commitment to many worthy projects. Dear Laura, we will all miss your big heart, beautiful smile and gentle energy.”

Sarah Camilleri

Founding editor, European Spa

Sharing the power of essential oils

As founder of her own aromatherapy business, Scented Saviours, Laura wrote a series of columns for European Spa magazine.

Laura created Scented Saviours to offer consumers and professionals alike access to information on the safe and effective use of essentials oils.

Her firm belief – and personal experience – was that essentials oils could be used to offer comfort and deep relief, particularly during cancer care.

“Laura was an extraordinary woman, talented aromatherapist and treasured friend,” said Sarah Camilleri, founding editor of European Spa magazine. “During her exemplary spa career, she served as a shining light out in the UK spa industry.

“At European Spa we were proud to welcome Laura as a spa expert and aromatherapist.

“Her popular Seasonal Saviours column delivered timely advice on the power of essential oils and how to use them to empower guest and team wellbeing.”

Two woman in floral headbands stood in front of a gong
Laura with European Spa's Sarah Camilleri at SpaFest 2022

Laura’s funeral will take place on December 13 at Hardwicke Church in Gloucestershire at 2.30 pm.

A Just Giving page has been set up for those who would like to contribute to the Sue Ryder charity, as Laura spent her final days being cared for in its Leckhampton Court hospice.

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