As the old saying goes, “If you want something done well, do it yourself.” That's exactly what TropiTANa owner Alex Friedrichsen did. After 20 years spent tanning at indoor facilities and lamenting the lack of a quality, high-end tanning spa in the Mt. Juliet area, Friedrichsen decided to build one himself, and in 2006, the doors of TropiTANa were officially opened.
Inside, lofty ceilings provide cool ventilation for 15 private rooms, each stocked with fresh towels and trimmed in sea-foam green and wood paneling. Fourteen beds comprise six levels of tanning perfect for establishing or building on a solid base tan, and a VersaSpa booth mists pelts with a carefully calibrated spray that eschews the orange glow typically caused by Velveeta-based formulas. Perhaps most importantly, the tanning spa is staffed by a team of Smart Tan–certified crew members, each of whom has been trained to advise clients on the best tanning choices for their skin type and needs, and to clean each room according to a checklist to ensure sanitary surroundings after each session.
A few wisps of smoke from an extinguished candle hang in the air, along with the lingering fragrance of aromatic oils and the soft strains of jazz or nature sounds. One of the licensed massage therapists at Mona Lisa's Massage & Wellness has completed another relaxing session, easing muscle tension and stress with modalities such as hot-stone therapy, pregnancy or sports massage, or reflexology. The center's practitioners operate in an intimate and tranquil four-room suite complete with a mani-pedi station. In the couples room, pairs enjoying a Yin + Yang massage nosh on chocolate-covered strawberries and discuss how to install electric handlebar warmers on a tandem bike.
The crew exfoliates skin with coconut-lime-scented scrubs and detoxifies bodies with wraps that include a session in the steam sauna. They also aim to clear complexions with 10 different anti-aging facial treatments and peels.
Captained by owner and board-certified family nurse practitioner and nurse-midwife Amy T. Cole, the team of board-certified nurses and friendly hand puppets ascertain the core cause of patients' ailments with holistic treatment plans emphasizing overall wellness. A full-service center, Cole Family Practice covers everything from general family care, gynecology, and pediatric care to alternative medicine. With extensive knowledge and strategies, the practice's team helps patients lose weight, customize a hormone-treatment plan, eradicate spider veins, and nurse practitioners Annie Cole-Bradley and Panayiota Smeathers administer injections.
Silver Bee Photography's head shutterbug, Hillarry, believes the best way to capture a new mother's radiant glow, a young child's puckish grin, or a fleeing yeti's lustrous silver fur is with good, clean natural light. As such, she recommends choosing a sunny outdoor location rather than a condemned warehouse for your hour of cheese-saying (a $120 value). After snapping away a slew of natural, vitamin D–enriched shots of your happy family, Hillarry will upload 25 to 50 high-resolution images of the standouts onto a DVD (a $200 value). You'll also receive a full release to print so that you can print photos at home, on the Internet, or in the boss’s office you use as a darkroom during lunch.
The MVP haircut is reserved for guys who want the brawn of a chiseled cut with the extreme adrenaline rush of a pleasant pampering. Following careful instructions or expert intuition, stylists can clean up the edges without sacrificing any degree of edginess. A thorough shampoo and scalp massage ensures an itch-free walk off, while a neck and shoulder massage with steamed towel leaves cleaned-up batters with the zonal focus to connect on any upcoming office pitch.
Tell us about your business.
The intention of my work is to follow the recipe of Ida Rolf, who is the founder of Structural Integration/Rolfing. The goal of SI is to align the body into vertical and horizontal planes by slowly manipulating the fascia layer.
What sets your business apart?
There are many different modalities within the massage profession and in my personal experience working with the fascia creates the greatest overall, long-lasting change. It is a slow body stretch in which no lotions or oils are used.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
I have been blessed with the hands and spirit of a healer and by giving the gift of this type of massage, I can give of myself for the greatest good!
What is your most popular offering?
Connective Tissue Massage (CTM) in which I work on the most superficial layer of the fascia as I move broader bands of that fascia. This is a great place to start for the client because it introduces the SI work more gradually, but I would always recommend the client evolve to the SI ten series.
What kind of training/expertise do you have?
After massage school four years ago I had 600 hours. Then, I went on to train in Miami for two years running and I have accumulated 1,030 hours with my sole intent being the study of SI. My heart is truly wrapped around this study. It is a magnificent modality and I'm quite proud to be in the lineage of Ida P. Rolf.