How did you get into the industry?
Went to school to become a massage therapist because I was interested in the mind/body connection. Twenty-five years ago we were just starting to understand the connection and benefits. I was employed at Salon In The Woods at Foxwoods Casino for 23 years. I absolutely loved working in the Spa Industry. My husband was a therapist at the same spa. It was a perfect situation for us. It was a magical time… working in the largest Casino, serving people from all over the world was a dream job for me. I could not ever imagine not working at the Spa. I thought I would retire from there. Then comes 2008….. Things started to change, the economy took a fall and so did our paychecks, tips and bonuses. My husband was ready for a change and we felt it was time to start looking for a job not so dependent on peoples “disposable” income. Happy to say he found a great job managing an alpaca farm. The animals needed to be fed and what goes in must come out! So we knew this was a permanent job for him. I stayed on at the Salon In The Woods until 2010 when another spa company bought us out. I left and was lost. I worked at the alpaca farm store but that did not feed my soul. There has always been a part of me that loved camping. Less than a mile down the road there is an upscale campground. It had the word “Resort” in it. I approached the manager and he blew me off. I spoke to the original owner who is owner of the alpaca farm we live at.…. She sent me to her son who was the owner now of the campground. I sold my idea to him but No one thought this would take off…. except me, I had no doubt in my mind. Wellness In The Woods set up tents and turned the site into a day spa. It was a hit. Continues to be today! Who Knew Camping Could Feel So Good.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
In 2019 I decided to Franchise my business concept. So many campers over the past 5 years said they loved the concept and wish other campgrounds they camped at offered services. This new year 2020 we will be launching Wellness In The Woods as a Franchise.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
I see opportunities for several different wellness professionals (massage therapist, yoga instructors, nail technicians or any spa/health oriented person) either individually or a group could co-own this franchise with minimal overhead and, relatively a small investment. I see owners being able to grow their franchise by adding new services and wellness programs as time goes on.
I am excited to offer this concept to others. It’s a great opportunity to be your own boss, or have a team you work well with in an environment where people are happy, on vacation enjoying their families. It doesn’t feel like work honestly, especially when your with a well oiled team who enjoys making money doing their craft and helping people feel their best.
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
I would like to see 3-8 Wellness In The Woods open in the year 2020. I believe this is very possible to do. Camping is a growing business just as massage and salon services have exploded in the past 15 years. Once camping was considered a “cheep” vacation. Many now choose to camp because people want to be outdoors, enjoy nature and spend time with their families. Camping is a great way to get a way, unwind and unplug. Massage is no longer considered a luxury for the wealthy, young and old alike realize the benefits spa services and wellness programs provide.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
Currently we are finishing up our Training Manual.
Support comes in several forms.
The actual set up, placement of equipment, all the logistics will be included in this phase.
Support is on going. Ideas to increase costumer base, Flash specials.
Training on how to do services without a sink or running water is key. Keeping your hand clean when massaging from feet face up to head. Tricks and tips to keep you prepared and organized.
Potential buyer is welcomed to spend a day or two at the model site. You can shadow us as we work
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
When I forgot to close the top of the tent before a huge rain store. I’ll just say it was a mess,
Preparing for rain and storms is a must. Always keep abreast to the weather. Closing procedures are critical.
How is your Franchise Model Structured?
- Training and Support Model?
Will provide set up and support at your site prior to opening.
Provide actual hands on training and trial runs prior to opening.
Provide a checklist of “Protecting your Tent” How and what your need.
B. What is the Fee Structure?
$20.000 – $49.000 Royalty is 7%
C. Territory Definition?
Campgrounds around the USA
D. Day in the life of a Franchisee?
We have fun!
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Salon/Spa owner or a person that is health oriented such as a yoga instructor, health coach, esthetician, massage therapist, nail technician. Campground owner. Entrepreneur.
What Goals Do you Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
To include children and teen services, perhaps a birthday spa party where they could add that to the menu. Also consider it as a “Moveable Spa Party”. Some people go to a house created just for kid’s spa parties. They can be outrageously expensive. Why not have a mobile spa done it tents for children’s parties
For more information on the Wellness in the Woods Franchise, visit the corporate site: http://www.wellnessinthewoods.org