Hi Stacy, how’s it going?
This is my first time being interviewed.
How would you like your name listed in the interview?
In what part of town do you live?
Kendall. I’m five minutes from your warehouse.
How long have you lived in the area?
My whole life. 36 years. Born and raised.
Did you always think you would stay in Miami?
No. I’ve always wanted to leave, just to have life somewhere else, but my business keeps me here. So, I just travel.
Would you tell us a little bit about your business?
I have been a massage therapist for the last 15 years. I have worked in different 5-star and 5-diamond hotel spas. I’ve been on my own for the last five years. I do deep tissue sports massage. It’s not like your average deep tissue work. It’s not quite as intense.
How did you get into it?
Instinctively. I was already massaging people. I went to a holistic based massage education program that was known as ‘Educating Hands School of Massage.’ They give you the foundation that you need to be a successful massage therapist – everything from practicing massage, to learning anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, laws, ethics, everything that’s around being a successful massage therapist.
How has your technique changed over the last 15 years?
It takes a long time to really understand the body and what works and what does not work. And then, everyone’s body is different. It’s a career that teaches me to be self-aware, and aware of the people that I’m working on and what they need and trying to keep that line of communication open so they can express if they’re getting more than they need or not enough. Becoming a successful massage therapist is much more than just being good at massage.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Being able to help people learn how to manage the stress in their body. I help people feel better. I’ve helped an 88 year old client go from barely being able to use a walker to barely needing a cane. I help pregnant women stay comfortable throughout their pregnancies. And then, I get to hold their babies afterward when I help them manage their stress once the baby’s here.
Do you get massages often?
I get them very regularly. I get massage and physical therapy two to four times a month. I have two or three massage therapists and four physical therapists that I work with and we all work on each other.
Do you see yourself continuing down the same path or have you thought of ways to grow?
When the pandemic settles, I am planning on opening a space and continuing to expand my brand and my practice. It’s way bigger than just massage
In what way is it bigger?
I try to educate my clients on what they can do on their own and why staying on a routine has a long lasting impact. Essentially I’m teaching them how to live more comfortable lives.
If somebody is looking to get a massage, is it important that they know what type of massage they want?
No. It is about finding the right therapist.
Did you have a favorite place that you worked?
They all stood out in their different ways. They were all wonderful places to work that taught me so much. I also learned what I did not want to be as a leader and a therapist when I have employees, like never to micromanage or punish the entire staff for one. I want to be a friend to my employees and pay them well and take care of them. Most of the corporations want you to sell a product because that’s where they make the money. You might be a massage therapist, an esthetician, or a nail tech – but, you’re not a salesman.
What do you enjoy outside of your practice?
I enjoy lifting weights, kayaking, and paddle boarding. When I can travel, I love hiking and getting lost in the mountains. I’m a pretty laid back person.
Do you have any favorite paddle boarding or kayak spots?
The coolest thing I’ve done in Florida is a bioluminescent kayaking with Daily Kayak Tours in Titusville. That was a magical experience. You want to go in August when it’s the warmest and you want to go as close to the new moon as possible because it’s dark and the water is very calm. Anything that moves, leaves a trail that lights up and it’s bluish green. We saw a fantastic show of nature.
What’s it like coming to our drive through?
It’s great. It gives me what I need to take on a full day as a massage therapist. I like that I don’t have to get out of my car. It’s ‘easy peasy’. I heard about you guys through Counter-Culture kombucha. I had never had time to go to the markets because I’m always working. You had posted your rainbow smoothies, I looked you guys up and you were two miles from my house. It was during the pandemic when nobody was going anywhere, so it was kind of perfect.
What do you get when you come?
I get the Rainbow smoothie and sometimes I bring home some Counter-Culture kombucha and every once in a while I treat myself to the ice cream.
Do you have any favorite flavors?
For kombucha, the Mango Habanero is my favorite. For ice cream, the Chocolate Peanut Butter.
What other places have you found that you can go to during the pandemic?
Maria Corona Produce. It’s a local farm and they have a really killer selection. It’s close you your warehouse at 184th and 157th ave. If you’re willing to take a drive out to eighth street street, Taquerias El Mexicanos is one of the best taco places in Miami. It’s one of the few restaurants that get something different every time.
There’s Miwi, which is a local good Cuban place. There’s Al Rancho Grande, another great Mexican spot. And, there’s El Tambo Grill for Peruvian rotisserie chicken, rice and beans.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
The sunrises on Miami Beach. Nobody ever takes them in.
What’s a worthy splurge?
The Turkish Bath House.
Would you tell us a little about it?
It is not even that expensive. It’s just more about the amount of time that you have to take off to go there. It’s a traditional Turkish bath house on 54th and Collins. It’s an ocean water jacuzzi with a waterfall that massages you. They have different steam rooms and saunas and a couple of cold plunges. There’s a little cafe with fresh smoothies and they make homemade Russian food. It’s not super fancy, but it’s clean and professional. People are dressed in bathing suits. It’s been there since the eighties.
Do you have any pro tips if we decide to visit?
Arrive well fed with healthy food, not food that weighs you down. You want to bring lots of water and plan on enjoying the cafe, because at some point you’re going to need at least a smoothie. I usually start with the ocean water jacuzzi. When you come out of the locker room, it’s the first thing you see and a great way to start. Eventually get under the cold water. That stimulates your circulation and it actually helps boost your immune system and flush out toxins.
Are there any community groups or events that you might like to promote or share?
The one thing I’ve seen that I’m interested in is run through Pura Vida and it’s called Clean Miami Beach. They do everything they can to clean up plastic and trash around Miami beach.
Would you like to share a pitch about your business?
I am a deep tissue sports massage therapist that focuses on injury prevention and recovery from activity and an active lifestyle. I try to educate my clients on things they can do on their own to make their bodies function more comfortably. I wear a mask while I work. I have my clients wear a mask while they’re face up on the table. I wipe down my table after every home and ensure it’s sitting in my car for at least a day after being washed. I also get COVID tested often.
How can readers be in touch?
Is there a question, words of advice, or a challenge that you would like to pose to the community?
Be a better version of yourself every day for you and for the people you care about. That’s how we get out of messes like this. I think if we all loved ourselves more, we could love the people around us properly and we would be in a much better place.