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Hidden Gems: Meet Marut Manorat of The Massage Place

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marut Manorat.

Hi Marut, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Do you believe in destiny? I have never known that I will become what I am today. I was a music teacher, playing flute in the orchestra in Thailand my whole life. I was very happy with my music career but teaching and playing day by day, over and over for decades can sometimes get boring. One day I watched a TV show about a fortune-teller who was very famous in the country. He said the person who was born in a day, month, and year like me would live abroad and do the spa business. I laughed at the show because I hadn’t even gone to any spa or massage before. A week after, my friend who owned a spa in Westwood called me and asked me if I wanted to try something new. She needed someone she could trust to be a receptionist in her spa. I felt a little strange since that TV show reminded me. The next day, my best friend called me and told me about that TV show again. I told him about the job that I was offered in L.A. He said it was my destiny. I didn’t believe it but there was nothing to lose.

I came to the U.S. in 2011 and started working as a receptionist in my friend’s spa in Westwood. Two months later, my friend closed her business because she couldn’t renew a lease. I had to find a new job before she closed. Massage therapists who worked there suggested that I become a massage therapist and they taught me for a whole month. After the spa closed, I got a new job at a massage store in Marina del Ray. I worked there for 2 years then moved to another place in Brentwood where my life changed. In 2017, the owner took me under his wing and provided me with guidance and mentoring. It was not long before I received a life-changing proposition – The owner offered to sell me one of his 7 locations. He also volunteered to provide ongoing mentoring throughout my first year of ownership. Today, I am The Massage Place owner.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Doing business for the first time is very tough, you have to deal with customers, your staves, and in-house problem. It’s 24/7 working. You don’t know what’s going to happen each day. Something that you never thought is going to happen could happen. I think all those problems are normal and can happen to all businesses, but as long as we are well prepared, make customers (say 90%) happy, make our staves work happily and enjoy working, all the problems will pass. The biggest challenge that impacted us a lot is Covid-19. We had closed for three months in 2020. After that, the government did not allow the indoor opening for seven months. During the first three months that we had closed, I almost gave up and close the business. But if I had closed, 60 people who were working here would lose their job and income. So, we put the tents in front of our store, offering outdoor massages and provide a hygienic environment. The facility environment including seating, the counter, pens, and door handles were cleaned with disinfecting wipes throughout the day. The linens that we used meet the highest standards available to fight the spread of infection. This is not a new practice for us. We have been doing this since we started the business, but it is more important than ever. I think we were the first massage store that started outdoor massage during the pandemic. In the beginning, it was hard to make people come to get a massage because massage is close contact with each other and there was no vaccine at that time. When we told customers and showed them what we have done, they were very happy and told their friends. Healthcare workers who were exhausted from work come to us and help us get through the pandemic, while we also have many new customers who became our regular customers.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Massage Place Venice, located at 245 Main Street, a few blocks from the beach is committed to providing the ideal environment for customers to receive a quality massage at an affordable price. The price is so low because we avoid the costs of a spa atmosphere, and the therapists pass the savings on to customers. Our therapists are independent business people who understand the importance of providing a professional, quality experience. The priority we give to cleanliness and hygiene is reflected in every aspect of our operation. Our convenient, easy-to-park locations add to the concept of a stress-free experience.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
If you want to start a massage business, you can do everything that you want, build a nice place, keep the store clean, and recruit talented massage therapists. But the only thing that you can’t control at all is the customers because everyone is different! You can not make everyone happy. Every massage therapist is different even though they perform the same kind of techniques. Their pressure, their stroke, and their timing are different. I remembered when I was studying in massage school. There were 30 students in the class. The teacher taught the same thing, same techniques, and same style. Everyone was still performing different techniques, but every technique works! So, if customers don’t like the service from one massage therapist, let them try the other person until they find the right person. If they try everyone and still don’t like it, let them go. It might take time in the beginning, but you’ll get the right person for your business and those people will tell your story about who you are and what you do.

Pricing:

  • $59 for 60 minute
  • $89 for 90 minute

Contact Info:

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