Our Happy Customers
Customer Stories and Videos

Destination: Relaxation

When it comes to relaxation, relaxing is key. No, that's not a typo, but it is an often-overlooked fact. Think about it: If you have to change your schedule, fight traffic, brave the elements, and go out of your way to get to the spa, is that really very relaxing in the end? Rachel Dedmon New browser window icon. didn't think so. That's why she opened , a hotel-focused mobile spa service offering everything from massage to facials in both Michigan and Connecticut.

But what does "mobile" mean? For The Traveling Spa, mobile means Rachel and her team of five nationally certified therapists — a hand-selected group of contractors — work with clients when and where it's convenient for them. More specifically, mobile means visiting clients at hotels and offering the ultimate convenience: in-room service. "Being able to catch [clients] on their turf, in the middle of their busy work week, is the only way they're really able to incorporate massage into their lives," says Rachel on the importance of offering mobile services.

But the idea of a mobile spa business wasn't new to her, even when she opened The Traveling Spa in Connecticut in 2004. Back in 1999 she opened Therapeutic Hands, another traveling spa business, in her home state of Michigan. That business did well, but after some some friends and acquaintances convinced Rachel to visit Connecticut in 2002, she fell in love with the state — from its similarities to Michigan to its proximity to New York City — and decided it was time for a change. So with a new state came a new business.

"I worked for a company for two years ... but I knew working for myself was the answer," says Rachel of her decision to open Therapeutic Hands and, eventually, The Traveling Spa. "I like working for myself, I like developing my own offerings." And those offerings are pretty impressive.

From 90-minute deep-tissue massages to water wraps, The Traveling Spa provides a wide variety of services on the go. But that whole "on the go" piece that makes things easy on the clients created two unique challenges for the business. The first challenge was creating mobile-friendly services and the second was communicating easily with clients without a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment. Luckily, as a small-business owner, Rachel likes a good challenge. She has yet to let anything get between her and her soon-to-be-relaxed clients.

After tackling the first challenge head-on by developing services that are mobile and footprint-free — necessary for a traveling business operating on someone else's turf — The Traveling Spa needed to streamline its communications. "How do guests know that we're here?" asks Rachel, "How do they find us? That was my challenge." Because The Traveling Spa is mobile, this challenge had three key components: communicating with current clients, with the hotel / host location, and with potential clients.

"We have a 24-hour online scheduling page that allows our guests to schedule in real time and ... the minute the [client books], the system communicates with our entire staff," says Rachel of the seamless booking system she developed. Then, when a therapist confirms the appointment, everyone — meaning the hotel / host location, the client, and all therapists — is notified. Best of all, the hotel and the client receive a "Meet Your Therapist" letter, complete with a photo of the therapist, so everyone knows whom to expect. Pair that with The Traveling Spa's 24-hour toll-free phone service, and clients never have to worry about scheduling, missing an appointment, or thinking too hard to achieve some much-needed relaxation.

Of course, that great communication model only works after a client finds The Traveling Spa. So how does Rachel make her services visible to those seeking a bit of R&R? Well, that all boils down to developing strong relationships with hotels and resorts, like Hyatt Place® Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

"Working with the hotels and making sure that we're visible is probably the most important thing," says Rachel of the significance of these partnerships. Because a partnership is really what's on the table. The Traveling Spa offers unmatched service to its clients — "everyone gets treated to white-glove service," says Rachel — and by extension, hotels are offering an unmatched service by presenting The Traveling Spa to guests. In other words, its strong partnerships make The Traveling Spa is a classic win-win-win: "When they place us front and center, boasting this wonderful amenity, this project flies."

So naturally, Rachel expects seamless communication and strong partnerships when she's working with other companies. Seamless isn't always the case with insurance, but Rachel found exactly what she was looking for with insureon. "When it came to insureon, it came down to my experience with the representative," says Rachel of her time on the phone with an insureon specialist. "He sounded like me [and] like someone who wanted to talk to me." Right from the start, the process was pretty simple.

That means Rachel can relax. And if she's relaxed, she can help her clients relax. And if she's doing that, she's running a successful business and building relationships with clients and hotel partners. Remember: Relaxing is key.

To learn more about The Traveling Spa, visit thetravelingspa.com.

Rachel Dedmon
The Traveling Spa
(800) 511-4061

Back to Business

"It takes one to know one" was just a bad comeback in grade school, but in the world of wellness and pain management, that statement rings with a certain amount of truth. As a matter of fact, for Jim Starn New browser window icon., owner and founder of the D.C.-based health and wellness center , that statement says it all.

"When I was a young man, I got massages every week because of some health problems," says Jim. "I chose to become a massage therapist because it helped me so much." Okay, suffering from health problems doesn't mean Jim magically understands everyone's pain, but he certainly does understand pain management. Plus, he knows how to run a good business. And he should. He's been running his own businesses for more than 30 years.

"My first business was a craft store, of all things," says Jim, with a laugh. He launched it was he was just 17 years old (yes, he was an ambitious teenager). "I have not been employed by other people very much in my life. It's in the blood. Everyone in my family has owned their own business." So he followed in his family's footsteps and, after the craft store, went on to open a couple restaurants and catering outfits that were all met with rave reviews. But about twelve years ago, he wanted to make a change. When he became a massage therapist in 2003, he knew he was making the right choice. However, setting up shop for this venture turned out to be anything but easy.

Business ownership always comes with its fair share of challenges. For Jim, those challenges led to there being some truth in the adage "third time's the charm." Due to a few life hurdles that brought him out of state (From D.C. to North Carolina and back again, to be exact) and some long-term medical challenges that forced him to take a total of two years off work and made it nearly impossible for him to work on clients, Jim started his practice three times before it finally stuck. None of his attempts failed by any stretch, but he simply wasn't able to keep his solo practice up and running while taking so much forced time off.

So in 2013, after opening for the third time and facing the need to close up shop once more, Jim decided to try a different approach. Rather than close, he hired two therapists — friends and formers students from the National Massage Therapy Institute, where he taught for a short period during his "time off" — to run the show while he was unable to work. So what happened?

Those two therapists took charge and sprinted with it. Skip ahead a few months and Expertly Crafted Wellness is in a new, bigger space — a space they renovated on their own — has added three additional therapists who are just as stunning as the first two, and is here to stay. And more important, it's here to make a difference in the massage therapy industry.

"Over the past ten or twelve years, this industry has changed dramatically," says Jim. "It's become about relaxation and not about therapy." For him, that wasn't a good change. "People are always looking for relaxation," he says of the current market. "Being an organization looking to help people with their health has probably been the largest hurdle." Yes, Expertly Crafted Wellness does have clients who come for a nice relaxing massage and the talented team of therapists can certainly deliver some relaxation, but it goes beyond massage.

With services including pain assessment, joint therapy, and various aquatic therapies, the team at Expertly Crafted Wellness is delivering just that, one sigh of relief at a time. And it's the sighs that keep Jim coming back day after day. Or more accurately, it's the people who are once again able to breathe those sighs. "The joy for me is watch[ing] people change," he says with genuine emphasis. "I get pleasure from being able to have this insight to other people's pain that a therapist who's never had pain can't understand."

Shopping for small business insurance could have been a real killjoy in this otherwise great situation, but when Jim's new payroll company recommended insureon, everything fell into place. "It was the most painless process I've ever been through as a business owner." Yes, he said ever. "One minute I'm talking to an agent and the next minute my insurance is changed: better policy and less money." Now that's painless.

So maybe it does "take one to know one," but that's definitely not a bad thing. Jim is using his life experience to turn already-skilled therapists into experts on pain management and understanding. And together they're coaxing away pain one massage, therapy, or assessment session at a time.

To learn more about Expertly Crafted Wellness, visit http://expertlycrafted.com/.

Jim Starn
Expertly Crafted Wellness
1218 M St. NW, DC 20005
(202) 347-8200

Customer Rating 4.9 out of 5
Read Customer Reviews

Grab-n-Go Information

Free eBook
HIPAA, Social Media, and Technology: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals
Browse eBook
Sample certificates
See a sample Certificate of Liability Insurance, the proof of coverage you need for most contracts.
View Sample
Sample Quotes & Cost Estimates
See what insurance really costs: actual quotes by policy & specialty.
Get Estimates
Ask A Question
Submit your questions about small business insurance and get answers from our experts.
Read Answers