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Meet Mary Jo from Healing Touch Spa
Meet Mary Jo Majerus with Healing Touch Spa in downtown Rochester. She shares the journey to opening her own massage business and her story of being a woman in business.
About Healing Touch Spa
Healing Touch Spa opened its doors April 1, 1987. When we first opened, massage was not something most people in Rochester were familiar with, so I did a lot of public speaking to introduce the benefits of massage to the community. Over the years, the goal clients have when coming in for a massage has changed from simply relaxation to a specific issue-driven purpose. Sometimes it's because of an injury, a long-standing issue caused by "screen time", after surgery or a fall, or even problems from being a "weekend warrior". We also offer much more than just massage; our signature treatments are becoming quite popular. Since we live in Minnesota, our largest organ—our skin—also needs extra care and attention, and our body treatments help with skin care. We now have two locations, both downtown. One location is in Shops at University Square and the other is in the new Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area. One unique service that we offer is hydrotherapy massage where the therapist uses a water jet to give hydro massage to specific parts of the client's body. The technique can give a very deep pressure massage. As far as I know, we are the only spa anywhere that offers this new technique.
What does being a business owner mean to you, and why did you become an entrepreneur in the first place?
When I moved to Rochester in 1986, I had the option of getting a teaching job or doing massage. Since my passion was massage, I decided to go that route and found a job at a tanning business offering massage. Within a couple of months, I realized I could market myself better than the tanning salon. I rented a small office in downtown Rochester and set up my business, which I called Healing Touch Therapeutic Massage Center. I moved to Rochester without knowing one single person and within a month of moving here, I got a divorce and became a single mom to a five and seven year old. I look back now and wonder how I did it! I loved that the massage profession offered me the flexibility to attend my children's activities so that was a big plus for me. As my business grew, it became important to me to support other women in reaching their goals. The massage profession is dominated by women and I loved that I had the opportunity to run a business that supported women, both as staff and as clients.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
To continue to grow my communication skills and to understand other people's communication styles. Managing people is the biggest challenge I have faced as a small business owner and I had a lot to learn and am still learning!
What new projects or future plans are you looking forward to?
I have started teaching massage again for an online massage therapy program and I'm excited to be back teaching! I'm also excited people can become a licensed massage therapist without the commitment of a five-day-a-week program. A lot of people go into massage as a second career and already have a full time job and/or family and can't just take nine months off to attend school full time. Being part of a program that offers the flexibility that this program does is very exciting.
Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.