Originally Published: June 25, 2013 6:01 a.m.
PRESCOTT - A franchise has entered the competitive massage therapy market locally that its owner hopes will be the "envy" of the area.
Mark Love, partner in the Massage Envy Spa franchise in Flagstaff for six years, set up shop May 8 at 120 E. Sheldon St., Suite 100, in the Albertsons shopping center. Massage Therapy has more than 850 locations throughout the country.
Love said he chose Prescott because he fell in love with the community, and is thinking about buying a home here.
"I should have done it years ago," he said.
Love said he chose the 3,300-square-foot building because of its visibility as well as providing safe location for clients who arrive for evening appointments.
He hired 14 massage therapists and two aestheticians as employees, not independent contractors, which generally applies to those working in salons.
The massage therapists provide a variety of massages while aestheticians do facials.
Massage therapists treat a variety of conditions, including back pain, chronic pain, arthritis and sports injuries, Love said. Massages generally last 50 minutes.
"You do 30, 40, 50 years of damage to your body," Love said, characterizing them as "the aches and pains of life."
Besides offering standard massages, Massage Envy launched "enhanced" services that include aromatherapy, deep-muscle therapy and sugar foot scrub, Love said.
The full-body massage includes using stones heated to about 125 degrees, Love said.
Love provided a tour of the spa, which includes 12 rooms for individuals and one for couples. Each room has customized lighting and sound, and combined with purple carpets creates an atmosphere of calmness. Purple blankets cover the massage tables.
All the massage tables are hydraulic and heated, Love said.
"Even our clocks don't tick," Love said.
Massage Therapy is Love's 14th business. He described himself as an entrepreneur who started as a systems analyst at age 19, owned a restaurant in his native Zimbabwe and has dabbled in other businesses.
Not himself a massage therapist, Love said his company offers a "very progressive brand" that provides affordable services.
"I think it is a very rewarding business to be in because you get to help a phenomenal amount of people," he said. "You really have a satisfied customer."
Love said he hired 20 people, and plans to expand to as many as 32 by the end of the year and 60 to 65 in three years.
"I am going to stay with this now," Love said. "I definitely want to expand the brand" by opening franchises elsewhere in the quad-city area, such as in Prescott Valley.
Love also cited community involvement and philanthropy. He said he donated 10 percent of the revenues from the final week in May to the American Red Cross in response to the Doce Fire, and is offering 10-minute chair massages for free to fire responders.
He recommends appointments at least a day in advance while saying massage therapists on staff will accept walk-ins.
Massage Envy maintains hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, log onto MassageEnvy.com, or call 778-3689.
Have you opened a new business that is not home-based? Email email@example.com.