I grew up in the a spa business

My mom, Lynn, started DeStress Express Massage & Spa by accident.  Lynn was a copier sales rep and wanted a career change. She also had a back issue thanks to copiers and decided to get a massage. In her words, it was "the shittest massage ever," and she thought she could do better. So she went to massage school and realized she wanted to work for herself.

No One Tells You Running a Business . . .


Lynn never intended on owning a company that brings in over a million dollars in service sales annually.

Nope, she just wanted to massage people. Then she added a room and a room renter. Then another room, and she switched to commission-based independent contractors. And then, I joined the company as a student massage therapist and front desk person. Let me tell you, I was great at the front desk but a terrible massage therapist.

So I left, was a successful retail manager for Bath & Body Works, and then I had my first child in 2006 and realized retail management and being a mom are a hard mix. I tried being a real estate agent, but this was in 2007, the housing bubble crash. I had a second child in 2008 and needed a flexible job while attending school with two babies.

My mom needed a new front desk person. So in the fall of 2008, I rejoined the DeStress Express team as the spa director and quickly saw things that we could change or update to make the spa function more like a business.

And mom fought me EVERY SINGLE step.

We Almost Lost Our Family

You see, mom and I are very similar.

We have passion. We're super loud. Opinionated and stubborn. Great traits for the business world, but we struggled to work together. The yin and yang of our relationship weren't in balance, and we didn't grow DeStress Express faster because of it.

We didn't have a roadmap.

But I fought again, my mom thinking small. I put policies and procedures in place to ensure we were maximizing our treatment rooms. Using modern tools and this new thing called Facebook, I grew our client base.

Then I invested in my first business coach - something Lynn was totally against at first. But suddenly, things were clicking into place. DeStress Express became so popular we had to double our size in 2011, something no one was doing. I continued to grow the company, taking full control for a time while Lynn had to take care of her aging parents in Florida.

When she came back, DeStress Express was no longer a small massage studio but a business.

Then I finished my degree from the University of Virginia and Lynn came back to work full time. I left to pursue a career in marketing for a large real estate company. Lynn continues to run DeStress Express using the systems and processes I created and developed.

But, I wasn't happy working in a corporate environment where I wasn't in control. I loved working with the real estate agents and coaching them on their careers and businesses. But that wasn't my job. Like my mother twenty years earlier, I needed a change. I discovered podcasting and online business and was working towards creating my business.

Then the unthinkable happened. My husband James died in 2016 from a stroke. Overnight I became a single mother of two kids under the age of 10. My mom was my rock. I moved into her house, and she and my stepfather gave me a safe place to recover. During this time, my business mentor Chris Ducker gave me the idea to use my experience running day spas and turn that into a company. We named it Spapreneur®, and I bought the website name that very day.

Spapreneur® Is My Love Letter to My Mom

Spapreneur® was created to help massage therapists, aestheticians, nail techs, wax techs, and other wellness professionals build a business outside of their treatment rooms. Because mom and I accidentally did that for DeStress Express.

I wanted a business that would help the next generations of Lynn Graves skip the painful steps she had to take to be successful. The mindset work of knowing that you can be a CEO and a practitioner if you have the right balance. That the mother hens and the forever starving professionals in our space aren't the only voice.

The Spapreneur® Podcast started in September 2016 and it took me several attempts to get Lynn to agree to be on the show. She didn't think I needed her, but I knew her experience and humor would be the thing that the audience would love the most. And now we're over 150 episodes into the show.

Our first Holiday challenge began in 2017 to great success and then our first Six Pillars Mastermind. Then we opened the doors to Spapreneur® Mastermind and 1:1 Coaching.

We've done this while still running our own day spa - expanding it in 2020 when our industry was shut down due to COVID-19. We did it because we now have a roadmap.

podcast post

Success is a Personal Metric

If you never buy a product from me.

If you never listen to one of our podcasts.

I want you to at least know this - find a successful mentor in this industry.

Why do I emphasize a successful mentor? Because I am in all the free Facebook groups - and unfortunately, I see so many professionals asking questions like:

  • "What should I charge?"
  • "How Should I handle this situation?"
  • "Where should I go for this?"

And while I believe in a group education program I don't trust the free Facebook groups - because they are filled with broke and unsuccessful spa professionals. They are filled with people who believe there is only one way, their way, to build a successful business.

The advice comes from a place of not wanting to grow in a way that makes sense for YOU.

Here's the truth - There are so many paths for success in this industry, you just need the right roadmap to get you there.

This is what Spapreneur® does, we help guide you through the wilderness of building a spa or wellness-based business.

We believe that any spa or wellness professional can be successful - because success is a personal metric.

Success is a Personal Metric

Start by Gathering the Right Information to Build Your Roadmap

Listen to the Podcast

Our weekly show is never boring and is filled with information you need to build your business beyond the treatment room.

Join the Alliance

Our free Facebook community is full of spa and wellness professionals who are ready to become the CEOs of their businesses.

Book a Free Call

Want to know if Spapreneur® is the right choice? Book a free call with Ramona Rice. You will discuss where you are and where you want to be.