*UPDATED 4:30 a.m. on October 25
Two Downers Grove South alums are striving to make healthy living not only a part of their lives, but a part of others' lives as well. Bruce and Laura Krajewski currently operate two Massage Envy locations and celebrated the grand opening of their third location in Darien Wednesday night. Patch chatted with one of the owners to find out a little bit about the business and the people behind the business.
Patch: You currently operate Massage Envy franchises in Geneva and Naperville. What was it about Darien that made it the choice for a third location?
Bruce Krajewski: My wife lived and grew up about three to four blocks north of there. We both went to Downers Grove South and wanted to get back into the area.
Patch: Can you tell our readers about the couple behind the business?
Bruce Krajewski: We were high school sweethearts. We met in high school, then went to Bradley University in Peoria ... We met in the seventh grade when we were teamed up as dance partners.
Patch: How did you decide to enter the massage business?
BK: We were both involved in athletics. I was a basketball player, and Laura was a cheerleader. We saw the benefits of massage ... We believe [massage] to be one of the finest things people can do ... Life is stressful, and it takes a toll on our bodies ... Getting massages on an ongoing basis helps to rejuvenate from that stress.
Patch: You operate one of the first Massage Envy franchises to open in Illinois. What made you realize that this would be a successful business venture?
BK: Here’s what I’ve found. In this recession type economy, it seems like people have decided to hold off on going on that next vacation, buying a new home home, new car, flat screen TV, but day to day luxury pampering is something they will still pay for. [Getting a massage] is like that Starbucks latte—that little treat they have not deprived themselves during these economic times.
Patch: What makes Massage Envy unique?
BK: We found massages tend to be so expensive in a regular spa that people could not afford to get regular massages. The thing that attracted us to Massage Envy is that because of their model, the price point is such that it makes getting regular massages affordable. For a monthly fee, people can come in to get one massage per month and get additional services on a discounted basis.
Patch: Any tips for our readers who might also be looking to turn a passion into a business?
BK: It's like your parents always tell you. Pick something you enjoy and love, and it doesn’t make work feel like work.
Patch: What would you say your key to success has been?
BK: Maintaining a customer focus.
The ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for Massage Envy took place in Darien at 5 p.m. on October 24. The opened for business on October 25.
*Verb tenses in this article was updated from the time of its original publication in order to keep the story current.