WHITPAIN >> Five years after introducing the area to the benefits of a regular massage, Jim and Denise Vizzini have just launched their second Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Having now set up shop at Centre Square Commons in Blue Bell, the couple is accommodating a different clientele with their menu of services than they are in Limerick, where their original location is still going strong with more than 1,600 members.
With the massive brand recognition of H&S that preceded their arrival in Blue Bell, their job is bit easier this time around, Denise Vizzini noted.
“Our brand is well known now, but when we moved to Royersford we were only the 80th Hand & Stone to open and I really felt it was our job to educate people about the benefits of getting massage, body work and skin care because we were the only ones out there. There were no other spas around then,” said Denise, who ran her own massage operation in Vineland for 15 years before she and her husband took the franchise plunge.
“Now the chain has exploded and this is the 313th location,” noted Jim Vizzini, who, as a seasoned entrepreneur, is taking on the new venture with confidence. “There’s a doubt when you first open a new business that people will support you, because they may be used to going to more high-end spas when on vacation,” he said. “Here we cater to the weekend warrior, the person who can benefit from this on a routine basis, working with a massage therapist on a regular basis. But the outpouring of support in Royersford was incredible, and I’m confident that it will happen in Blue Bell too.”
The day before throwing open the doors last week, Denise explained that the staff was already busy booking appointments for members from other locations.
“If you’re a member of Hand & Stone you can go to any location,” she said. “Now that we’re opening in Blue Bell some members will find it more convenient to come here than Montgomeryville or King of Prussia or Conshohocken. They can come here and Blue Bell members can go there.”
With a staff of therapists and aestheticians, Hand & Stone offers clients a range of services to enhance their walk-in or by-appointment dimly-lit mini retreats, including regular massage, deep tissue massage and hot stone massage, as well as facials, peels and microdermabrasion.
“I don’t think people understand that there’s a difference in services and that’s why there’s a difference in pricing,” Denise explained. “A deep tissue is $10 more because the person giving the deep tissue massage had to take extra education classes to be certified in that. A lot of people will ask for deep tissue but what they really need is a firm pressure massage. We don’t want people paying more money for something that they don’t need.”
Member pricing, which requires no long-term commitment, is cheaper than guest pricing because members are “making a commitment to come in on a regular basis, so we honor that at an affordable price,” said Denise, who added that corporate memberships have been growing in popularity.
“Corporate memberships allow a company to gift massages every month without limit,” she allowed. “It seems to be a very popular thing out here with real estate offices, medical offices and things like that. If a company has an employee of the month, they can use it for that.”
Jim added, “Wellness is a big buzz word with companies right now, and in helping employees with their wellness, massage is a very good addition to that.”
Jim allowed that nothing was more gratifying than getting feedback from a happy client.
“One of my biggest things is someone will come in and say they have lower back pain or extreme stress and the therapist will know how to take care of it,” he said. “Then the customer will write us a nice note later, thanking us for what we did for them.”
Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa is located at 938 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 215-278-6219.