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Licensed therapist Josie Stahl massages Brandon Welch, an Internet marketing consultant with KY3 Inc. Welch visits Zen 3 about once a week.
Licensed therapist Josie Stahl massages Brandon Welch, an Internet marketing consultant with KY3 Inc. Welch visits Zen 3 about once a week.

Business Spotlight: No More Knots, Kinks

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Twelve years ago, Laurie Knowlton was an independent massage therapist operating in a small shopping center on the corner of Pickwick Avenue and Cherry Street. Today, she’s the owner of Zen 3 Spa and Bodyworks, a massage studio that, while catering to a variety of individuals, has found its niche in serving business professionals.

“A lot of (corporations) are putting in fitness centers or linking with a fitness center they can send their employees to,” Knowlton says. “We feel like massage is definitely an integral part of a person’s wellness package.”

Zen 3 offers massage and spa services, including basic timed massages, facials, manicures, hydrotherapy and couples’ massages at its 3,000-square-foot 619 S. Pickwick Ave. space.
Operating under Zen Three LLC, the studio performs outcalls to private homes as well as businesses, and it hopes to collaborate more with businesses, says Brittany Thomas, spa manager.

Business professionals especially deal with a lot of stress, which could lead to illness, Knowlton says, and massage is a preventative treatment.

“Massage is not just a fluff thing,” she says. “It’s not just a luxury.”

Johnstone Supply co-owner Karen Garwitz visits Zen 3 every couple of weeks for a facial and monthly for a massage. She says the spa is a place where she can go to relax and reduce stress.

“At the end of a busy week when I’ve been working on a computer, I feel like my shoulders, my neck, my back need a little help,” Garwitz says. “This is where I come to get my knots and kinks worked out.”

She says regular massages allow her to perform at a higher level at work.

“You can focus better if you feel good, and your body does not feel well if it’s tense and knotted,” Garwitz says. “As we get older, I don’t think we realize what the stress of a normal work week does to our bodies. You need to treat yourself right.”

Zen 3 therapists work with American National Property & Casualty staff, bringing massage chairs to its Corporate Centre offices each week to give 15 to 20 massages to employees.

Knowlton says Zen 3 negotiates corporate discounts with minimum requirements.

“We’re really flexible in how that would look as far as a wellness program,” she says.

Zen 3 client Randy Mayes is an executive business coach with Success Coach Network, and he says he often recommends clients to the spa studio.

“You can certainly reduce stress in your body by working out, running, weights – and I actually do all that stuff – but this is the different approach that you really can’t duplicate by working your body harder,” Mayes says. “It’s like a vacation. People take vacations to rejuvenate, to reconnect, to recreate if you will, and so this is kind of a way of doing that in the physical realm.”

Mayes has been receiving massages for several months and says he has noticed a change within his body.

“I’ve really been impressed with the results or the progress I’ve made,” he says. “It’s kind of like someone who exercises their spiritual activities, like meditation or prayer. Those are indirect methods of getting things done.”

Knowlton employs four licensed massage therapists and leases space to a nail technician and an esthetician, who performs facials and waxes. Individual treatments range between $45 and $130, including a sugar-salt foot scrub and a two-hour massage.

Zen 3 package rates are $110 to $285, Thomas says, covering a couple’s massage on up to a cabana dinner package.

The studio’s 2010 revenue was about $250,000, Knowlton says, a 15 percent increase compared to 2009. The majority, 58 percent, is in massage services, with retail and gift certificates recording 28 percent of sales and lease revenue comprising 14 percent.

“I think that shows that in a downturn economy people are looking to getting some control in their physical being, and the services we provide are kind of an escape for them,” she says. “People may not be traveling, but they can have a little getaway feeling and escape coming to a place like this.”[[In-content Ad]]

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