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The blowout success of Drybar — some 100 locations opened in the decade — has made “the Drybar of” a shorthand for business ventures.
Now, Drybar founders Alli Webb and her brother Michael Landau are setting their entrepreneurial sights on disrupting another beauty and wellness fixture: massage. Enter Squeeze, the concept launching in February 2019 with an initial Studio City location on Ventura Boulevard with a robin’s-egg blue hue that will surely soon become as recognizable as their salons’ yellow and gray.
Their reason for stepping into the massage scene is simple: “It was very similar to why we started Drybar,” says Webb, whose Drybar business was born in Brentwood in 2008. “We noticed an opportunity in the market between discount and high-end offerings. Michael and I have both been avid massage-goers our whole lives, and have lamented for years about how frustrating the same two options are in that world. We decided to build the kind of massage company, brand and experience we’ve always envisioned and wanted for ourselves.”
The pair tapped former Drybar vp of marketing Brittany Driscoll to lead the charge and ensure, in part, that from the very first day it’s “love at first Squeeze” for everyone who visits. Expansion is on the mind in L.A. for mid to late 2019 and beyond; they plan to offer franchise opportunities for qualified candidates to fuel national growth.
The beauty of Squeeze is in the convenience and ease it offers those wanting to make massage a regular practice in their lives. Monthly memberships are the easiest way to go — and if you don’t make it, your massage rolls over for later use, or can be gifted — and range from the Mid Squeeze ($79/month for 50 minutes) to Main Squeeze ($99/month for 80 minutes) packages. Deep tissue, aromatherapy and heat therapy add-ons are free of charge. And, for an extra feel-good moment, each membership sold provides a day of canine support to a person with a disability through Canine Companions for Independence.
Everything is booked through the app, and no money changes hands. Optional tipping and rating is done via the app — think Uber — and preferences, such as off-limits body parts and what kind of pressure one likes, are stored and shared with therapists before arrival, so no time is wasted discussing particulars. “My favorite part is the fact we’ve eliminated all of the clunky, cumbersome, non-relaxing transactional components you’re used to experiencing at any service retailer,” says Driscoll. “We’re bridging the seamlessness of an on-demand mobile experience with a beautiful, sophisticated space. As we like to say, guests will be able to walk in and float out.”
The environment for the actual service is also elevated thanks to a bit of tech. The atmosphere of the room is fully customizable via iPads on which guests can adjust temperature, lighting and music. You can even tap a button when you’re ready for the therapist to enter — kind of a genius move compared to the potentially awkward undress and wait for the knock routine.
Webb expects industry types, especially, to relish both the convenience aspect and highly customizable nature of the service. “Massage has so many benefits and is essential to our wellbeing — some of the most important from my perspective being relaxation and stress relief,” says the inspiring female founder. “It’s rare we can find an hour to an hour and a half ourselves these days, but it’s vital for self-care.”
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