A Breath of Serenity co-owners Elizabeth Rackley and Marie Brown decided to open their own massage business after feeling constrained while working for others. "We both wanted more say in how customer service was carried out," Elizabeth says. "We wanted customer service to be top priority and profits to be second."
That customer-focused mindset permeates all they do. When guests arrive for therapeutic massages, the healing gurus have them fill out a questionnaire to get to the bottom of aches and pains. "We go over it with you and we discuss, what's bothering you? What's going on? What kind of work do you do?" Elizabeth says. "And then we combine multiple modalities … into what that client needs." If something hurts, is too soft, or clients ever feel uncomfortable, she says the therapists want their clients to speak up so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.
During deep-tissue massages, the muscle menders take their time and use gentle pressure to bypass the pain sometimes associated with that modality. They can also customize couples massages with gourmet chocolates, rose petals, candlelight, and violas charmed to play themselves on request. Soft, relaxing music saturates the air during each session, but Elizabeth says that—like everything else—this can be personalized to what the customer wants. "If they have a special CD and they want to bring it, bring it," she says.