Gabriel Flores 0:01
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I am here with the owner of Lux massage and spa. Darcy powers. How are you doing?
Chelsea Power 0:14
Hey, Gabriel. Great. How are you?
Gabriel Flores 0:16
Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm really excited because I love massages. Who would have no. So let's
come in for one.
So let's talk about this. Let's talk about let's massage and spa. Why was Lux massage and spa created?
Chelsea Power 0:32
So it's actually a pretty long story. But I have been a long journey with a variety of massage companies. I've had to rebrand multiple times, and actually created Lux massage and spot COVID-19 I actually just registered that business name a little over a year ago, because I, I found that people really needed human touch more than ever, and I wanted to bring couples closer together. So we actually specialize in doing Couples Massage.
Gabriel Flores 1:06
Oh, interesting. How do you know how does that work? How does how does a couple of massage work.
Chelsea Power 1:14
So we've got a nice big beautiful treatment room. And we've got to massage tables. So we have to massage therapists work at a time. We like to spoil our couples with fresh cut flowers, roses, chocolates, and a beverage of their choice.
Gabriel Flores 1:33
Nice, I'm definitely going to have to check this out.
Chelsea Power 1:37
In a really nice, nice way to get people bonding again.
Gabriel Flores 1:41
So so how did you create Lux masala and spas? Did you do something similar to this like on the back end? Or is this kind of a passion for you how to get started? How did you create it?
Chelsea Power 1:50
Correct. So prior to COVID, my my main specialty was actually in office chair massage. We were around for office buildings and companies like we work and chair massage was great in a social setting. Of course, due to COVID that part of my business became obsolete and I was kind of forced to rebrand once again. Prior to the pandemic, my my company was massage connection us.
Gabriel Flores 2:18
And so you so you pivoted from massage company to this Luxe massage, how, what did you have to do to pivot?
Chelsea Power 2:26
I had to find a new business location, which, which was tricky. I actually obtained a commercial lease on a space around March 2020. And, you know, I didn't realize we wouldn't be able to operate out of the spa after I signed the lease. So it was a struggle initially. But now, business seems to be coming back to business as usual. We're getting more requests than ever. And it's a pivot was difficulty. I finally ended up hiring an amazing marketing company called Modern Li. And they've helped tremendously
Gabriel Flores 3:08
Nice. So you you said you purchase this location, pre pandemic?
Chelsea Power 3:14
Yeah, it's just the thing. Luckily, I didn't buy. But yeah, I did get myself locked into a two year lease, just prior to the pandemic.
Gabriel Flores 3:25
How do you How were you able to work through that?
Chelsea Power 3:28
It was a struggle. Luckily, I did have enough regular clients to continue to coming to me that I was able to keep the lights on. But it was definitely a struggle. I also fortunately did receive an eidl loan, which made it possible as well. Nice. I don't know if I could have done it. Yeah, I
Gabriel Flores 3:50
mean, it's it's tough. You know, I think I know a lot of small business owners that we're very thankful for that opportunity as well. Why? Why did you decide to start a massage therapy and massage and small in particular.
Chelsea Power 4:02
So that's, that's the longest part of the story. Actually, I used to have my real estate license. And I had that in my early 20s. I think I was 21 when I got it. And then at 22 We were in 2008 when the market crashed, and it's a terrible time to be a realtor. I had made the mistake to moving up to Portland where I didn't know anybody and just basically made one mistake after the next they didn't have any money saved up and so I had to work as a bartender and promotional models during that time just to afford my real estate fees. And after a few years of struggling with, you know trying to make a living with a realtor, I decided it was time for a career change. My partner at the time actually inspired the career change. He worked alongside. He was a physical therapist and worked alongside massage therapists and he said they seemed very happy and seem to have a very good quality of life. And you know that it seems like a very rewarding career. So I did some research and I found out that I would feel that it would also be a good outlet to open a business, which is what I've always wanted to do. My, my dad actually inspired me, he's a small business owner down in Salem, and owns an auto and brain shop. So your work for him throughout me teams and learned a lot about small business ownership at the time. Nice. So, okay. So I attended University of Western states for massage school, it's actually a chiropractic school that has a branch for massage as well. It's a really great curriculum, and it was accelerated, so it was able to get my license in just a year. And then I worked at upskill. spas, okay, that gave me some good experience there. But ultimately, I knew that I wanted to have my own practice. Open that as soon as I could.
Gabriel Flores 6:09
I like it. Now. Now with the entrepreneur, you mentioned your dad now, for the folks that live down in Marion County, you know, power audio, or auto, you've seen the signs everywhere. I know, the car dealerships all over the place. Did your dad was he kind of like an influence in you becoming an entrepreneur? Or has this something you always wanted to do?
Chelsea Power 6:29
Absolutely. He, he's absolutely been my main influence and encouragement. That's it, you know, I'm not sure if it was nature or nurture. But I'm gonna guess that was probably a little bit, probably more nurtured.
Gabriel Flores 6:47
You know, one of the things you mentioned, too, is, is you did real estate. And I think it's kind of funny, you know, I actually was in real estate myself. And I think one of the biggest misconceptions is, it's easy, right? You can kind of just jump in there, start selling houses, but you got to have a lot of money saved up, and you got to kind of, you know, to your point, you kind of got to know what you're doing a little bit, don't you?
Chelsea Power 7:10
Oh, absolutely. And I was fortunate enough to have a good mentor at the time, but I just, I wasn't mature enough. I wasn't ready. And it's also very intimidating being you know, a young person and a real critics, I think people don't take you seriously.
Gabriel Flores 7:25
No, I would completely agree.
Chelsea Power 7:28
Gabriel Flores 7:31
Sorry about that. Oh, go ahead. I was gonna say actually had did a real estate. about that same time, I think it was, I was working for Donald Scott. And I left around that 2008 time as well, a little bit, actually, I think was like, 2007, because I think I saw the writing on the wall. You know, when you're in the market, and you're kind of seeing the way the market was changing. At that time, you can kind of felt like something, something not good is gonna happen?
Chelsea Power 7:57
Exactly as he got out at the right time.
Gabriel Flores 8:00
So how did you start your company? So you mentioned you're starting a company, right? And you got the least now did you do bootstrapping, for fundraising? Or did you go venture capital route.
Chelsea Power 8:10
So I just reinvested my earnings, pretty much everything I've made back into my business, and slowly but surely, it's growing. But I wish that I would have done it differently and gotten a loan. When I initially opened, I made the mistake of putting business equipment on credit cards and got overwhelmed with credit card debt. So if I could do it all over again, I would have done it a lot differently, I would have worked, saved up money, gotten a good message, and then tried to get a loan, and invest in good marketing from the get go a bit a lot of my own marketing, and it was not very professional looking and just wasn't as effective as working with a good marketing company. Over at modern ally, it's just amazing to work with. And already it's helped my business grow so much.
Gabriel Flores 9:07
That's awesome that and I think that's an important lesson for individuals that are thinking to become entrepreneurs are wanting to start their own business is looking outside the traditional financial avenues that are available to us like credit cards, you know, our personal loans and looking at other options like the SBA, right, the Small Business Administration, and various things of that nature, because those will also help you out right.
Chelsea Power 9:32
Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
Gabriel Flores 9:34
So what what is kind of the difference? So you mentioned it's a, it's Lux massage and spa. What are the kind of the difference between the, you know, the massage in the spa industry and how they're kind of similar that they're able to kind of create this coexistence?
Chelsea Power 9:49
Sure, so like I mentioned, I've I've had to rebrand a few times personally because of COVID. And at one point in my in currently While in my business, I realized that I would, I would be able to reduce my financial burden if I sublease rooms to other types of practitioners, such as esthetician or microbe laters. nail techs and medical practitioners, anybody in the health and wellness, industry, health, beauty wellness industry. And so to kind of umbrella that, I, I've changed it from being just like massage to like massage and spa. So even though there's separate business entities, people still know they can come to one location, get a variety of services.
Gabriel Flores 10:41
That's really cool. In fact, one of the things you mentioned that I find very interesting is all of the different roles that they seem to have within the industry, because you mentioned a few different professional titles, right? But these individuals are actually go to school to train to become professional Mazouz, and hairstylist and massage therapist and nail people, correct?
Chelsea Power 11:04
Correct? Yep, exactly.
Gabriel Flores 11:06
That's really cool. So what what have you learned throughout this process of starting your own business that may have surprised you?
Chelsea Power 11:14
Oh, gosh, I definitely wouldn't have tried to do it on my own. If I were to go back in time, I think I, I definitely would have gotten things much differently. I did a lot of research in the beginning, but I think I didn't know quite where to focus my efforts. And I would say that starting off the right way, you know, investing a little more into starting off the right way. Investing in a good in good branding, good marketing, good advertising, is where I would have made my changes.
Gabriel Flores 11:52
Okay, and you've you've mentioned branding, and advertising a lot this actually episode a few times. Well, how important is branding and advertising for the retail space that you're in currently,
Chelsea Power 12:05
I would say it's incredibly important because of, you know, brand recognition, clients, or customers learned that they can really start to trust your brand, especially when they see now that you have high star rating. And I think that it also reflects on the business, you know, the more professional the marketing material, and the website and everything looks, I think clients just feel more comfortable trusting the brand. I actually can change my color schemes to appeal to the couple more, I made more of a romantic kind of color scheme, and it has been throwing in more couples. So marketing is incredibly important. Really, I have a small marketing background, but not enough to have done it on my own.
Gabriel Flores 12:54
I mean, the fact that you're so that I think marketing is very intriguing to me not to my to your point, I did a little bit of marketing, studying, but I never did a professional, you know, worker as a marketer, and by any means. But it's interesting because they look at some of these finite pieces to your point, color palettes. Right, how can I draw in individuals interest based on a color? That is very fascinating, right?
Chelsea Power 13:21
Exactly. Yeah, absolutely.
Gabriel Flores 13:24
What would you say, you know, one of the things you kind of mentioned is, you know, you kind of wish you would have done things differently, what are those things that you wish you would have done differently? And why?
Chelsea Power 13:34
So, namely, just just the way it started off, you know, I wish I would have started off with a more professional image. I had kind of mismatched marketing materials, because I was creating my own on Vistaprint. And so it didn't have that consistency. I think customers were confused as to what my business was. Another huge mistake that I made was, was the rebranding multiple times changing the business name. I didn't understand it at the time, but I in the past, my company was presos massage and spas appraisal spot actually. And I had built that's actually really good SEO, and a really good online kind of image. I wasn't even aware of any customers or clients. Were finding me just on Google Maps and everything. And when I rebranded I lost all of that. Oh, wow. And I had sold that business. But I, but the person who bought it seems the same, so I could have kept free so far, I believe. And if I had known how it would affect my SEO, I probably would have, although that was a difficult business game for people to pronounce and so and so it had its own set of issues. Definitely. And then during sorry, go for it. During COVID, I created actually, prior to COVID, I created massage connections because it sounds you know exactly what you're getting with it. Were described the mobile part of the business like the in office chair massage. And during the pandemic, I changed it to massage connection you left. Because when Oregon was closed, I was trying to figure out how to Well, I figured out how to extend the services and to other states that were actually open. So that was one big hurdle during the pandemic, and it was a lot of work. And it worked out well. But it's, it's so nice to just be focused on lexan like massage and spa right now and have it local again.
Gabriel Flores 15:48
That is, that is really nice. So one of the things you mentioned the SOC, Can you are you can you explain to the listeners at home what that is?
Chelsea Power 15:58
I, I can't really I'm only just starting starting to, to the grasp as well. But Cassidy actually could explain it very well. She has improved my SEO, I think it basically means your your business, interacting enough on the web, whether it's through social media, or Google or elsewhere, you know, replying to clients when they leave comments, and just interacting a lot online, it seems to build your SEO. And I don't know if I describe that properly. But that's, that's my best understanding of it at this point. It's probably one of the most important aspects of having a business.
Gabriel Flores 16:42
Yeah, definitely. Like it. Now, what would you say, you know, some of the things you mentioned, you've learned quite a bit, what's some things that you would give like advice you would give a younger Chelsea?
Chelsea Power 16:57
Oh, gosh, I would say definitely start off strong. Do your research. And another thing that I forgot to mention earlier, I would have loved to have had a business partner, I've kind of done everything on my own. I should have asked for help. earlier on. You know, it's been a great learning experience along the way. But I think I would have saved a lot more time, I think my business would have been further along at this point. I asked for help.
Gabriel Flores 17:26
What what does that look like to you? What what kind of help? You mentioned a business partner? Do you feel there were areas that maybe you were not as strong in that you're kind of hoping to? Kind of?
Chelsea Power 17:37
Absolutely, yeah, and I'm not very tech savvy at all. Okay. All right. Anything, think my strong points is networking side of things, and just persevering. But there are a lot of areas that I could have used both to just nice to have somebody there to bounce ideas off of and, you know, get a second opinion on things. It can feel kind of lonely at times to be an individual business owner. Yeah, especially going through the pandemic and everything. Yeah, that's definitely difficult and lonely.
Gabriel Flores 18:14
Yeah, you know, that's, I must admit, that is, you know, I started this podcast, the beginning of 2020, during the pandemic, and the intent was really to kind of just highlight the local entrepreneurs. And one of the things I've been noticing I've been hearing pretty frequently for those individual entrepreneurs, is the loneliness of it. Right? It does feel like you're kind of nobody else is battling the same things. You are right, as individual entrepreneur, maybe it's the location, maybe it's the rebranding, what are some of the things that you learned throughout this process that may have surprised you?
Chelsea Power 18:53
I was actually surprised that in persevering, I was able to make it. But there was a time during COVID where I thought I was, you know, I felt my business was a goner. And I persevered through it. And now it seems like things are not only normalizing, but actually taking off in a new direction. Nice. So I would say being persistent and hopeful. And sticking with it. I think usually it works out. Yeah.
Gabriel Flores 19:27
You know, a lot of I think a lot of people in general, right? I've asked this question often is, did you ever have self doubt in your business? Did you ever have a sounds like you did, and how did you overcome that? self doubt?
Chelsea Power 19:40
Oh, gosh, all the time. It's still you know, it comes in waves comes and goes in waves and flows. And, you know, I try to stay hopeful and keep a positive outlook. And, you know, just stick with it. So, I think at this time I I overcome so many obstacles, but it makes it easier to, to persevere for every obstacle, so every time I have made a mistake and learn from it, it makes it easier to tackle future issues.
Gabriel Flores 20:15
Definitely, what advice would you give your younger self, you kind of mentioned that you kind of alluded to earlier, but what advice wouldn't normally give you yourself, but other younger entrepreneurs that are thinking of starting their own business,
Chelsea Power 20:27
stay confident and stick with it, definitely, there will definitely be hard times and a lot of business owners have to try. You know, it's like throwing dirt. A lot of times, you have to try multiple times before you get one. But it can be extremely rewarding. And so just staying confident. And for me, I've had to work around the clock, even though I don't massage around the clock, even when I'm not massaging. It's hours of working and responding to emails and text messages and, you know, working on the marketing and networking, and it's never ending, but if you enjoy what you're doing, it doesn't really feel like work. So it probably work, you know, 16 hour days, but it doesn't feel like it.
Gabriel Flores 21:14
Yeah. And I think that's yeah, and to your point, there's so many little nuances to entrepreneurship, especially if you own your own business, like the operations piece, you're the operator, right, you run all the operations, but you also run your marketing, but you're also running a call center, but all these all these other things. What, what has been difficult about it for you?
Chelsea Power 21:37
Um, I would say, the confidence piece, because especially considering that I don't have a business partner, I think, you know, when things get difficult, I have to I have to use positive talk myself to remind myself that if I stick with it, it will be okay. I don't have anybody else there to do that for me. So,
Gabriel Flores 21:59
yeah, that's, I mean, that's a great mindset to have, right?
Chelsea Power 22:03
Yeah, it's necessary, I think.
Gabriel Flores 22:06
So for the folks at home, how, how can they get in contact with you? Where is Lux massage and spa? Do you have social media website? How are they able to schedule an appointment?
Chelsea Power 22:16
So my website is dialect massage.com. And they can absolutely reach out to me there or they can call or text me on my phone number which is 503-333-3653. My email is in a sense.
Gabriel Flores 22:37
And just sorry, just for the folks that are at home. They know that that that is spelled l u x e Correct? Correct. Perfect. And then social media handles
Chelsea Power 22:49
I should know what those are actually handled
Gabriel Flores 22:55
for me. I like it. Delegation, baby delegation.
Chelsea Power 22:59
Yeah, exactly. Yes. You've been wonderful and not very tech savvy. So so my Instagram is less PDX. LAUSD, CA PDX.
Gabriel Flores 23:11
Perfect. Perfect. And so what can clients kind of expect you mentioned earlier you know, you have the couple massage. What all services can clients expect when they visit looks, masala and scholarship.
Chelsea Power 23:23
So we offer a variety of modalities. You can see them on the website. But Swedish deep tissue, hot stone aromatherapy, reflexology, a lot of the cool boss services that you would receive, we do offer a lot of nice app addons like Hearthstone and or CBD oil. We do cellulite reduction massage and just to clean a variety of things. Our our availability for services is a little different right now because my my team is still coming. Coming back to work from COVID. So I've been a little bit short handed, but soon we should have all of the services available.
Gabriel Flores 24:08
Nice. And how many employees do you have?
Chelsea Power 24:11
So right now I had zero. I have I had independent contractors. And I had probably, I'd say about 15 of them prior to COVID. And now my team is down to about five independent contractors. But I I do have plans to hire an actual employee who will be on site at the oval for walk in, and she'll be starting around August or September. Nice. Yeah, so I'm very excited.
Gabriel Flores 24:41
Yeah, no, I'm excited for you. I'm excited to go visit Lux masala and spas and see what it's all about because I'm a definite need after this pandemic. To get stretched my back out and been sitting at his computer desk too long.
Chelsea Power 24:54
Yeah, come see us. We'd love to take great care of you.
Gabriel Flores 24:59
No, thank you Thank you again so much for joining me on my show and thank you again for all the information. I'm very excited to share all this information Chelsea powers were Lux masala and spa. Thank you so much for those individuals listen to at home please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Thank you and good night.