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Meet Gretchen Tiernan and Megan Richardson of Sand Spa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gretchen Tiernan and Megan Richardson.

Gretchen and Megan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We started Sand Spa because we wanted to create a space that the modern-day hardworking busy person could come to experience high-quality massages at affordable prices. We cut out the locker rooms, saunas and steam rooms and just focused on services that were easy to book via our online website, we didn’t want to hard-sell you on memberships at checkout and we wanted to create a brand in the somewhat stuffy spa industry that was approachable and relatable. We quickly added skincare services and eventually dove face-first into the nail industry. We’re creating self-care havens that become apart of your lifestyle. We know how present you feel after a massage, we know how confident you are after a facial, we know how done up you feel when your nails are painted. We don’t just do one thing, because neither do you.

Great, 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?
The most challenging aspect of growing Sand Spa has been finding a work-life balance. We are our business; the good, the bad and the ugly. You build a business in order to enjoy life, but the demands of the business are never-ending. We are constantly learning to delegate and have the right people in place. The most rewarding feeling is watching them run on their own.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sand Spa – what should we know?
We created the first one-stop affordable spa. No steam rooms, no fluff, just high-quality services at a reasonable price. We wanted to create an affordable luxury wellness experience that didn’t break the bank and wasn’t something that you could only do once a year for your birthday. We created quick, easy, affordable, high-quality services (massage, skincare, and nail care) that you can get as you need them. Whether that be once a week, twice a month, or twice a year.

We are most proud that we’ve been able to do this together. We didn’t come from super well-to-do families or even had any backing as we built our dreams. We were “balling on a budget” and we’ve worked in every aspect of our businesses. For the first two years, we worked the front desk every day from 10 am to 10 pm. Our journey has been really fun and we literally got to know the people who helped build our businesses and that has helped in every aspect of what we’ve done from our very first location almost six years go.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A key characteristic that we feel is most important to our success is that we never stop. We have failed time and time again. The mistakes aren’t the problem, not taking the opportunity to learn from them is. We constantly make mistakes and now we learn from them quickly. We’ve hired the wrong person, mismanaged operations, and overlooked a key disruption. The turning point is when learning to fail well means learning to understand our mistakes.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Sand Spa (Day Spa) 3408 Highland Ave. Manhattan Beach Ca 90266 (310) 921-8231
    Polish by Sand Spa (Nail Salon) 3219 Highland Ave. Manhattan Beach Ca 90266 (310) 79-NAILS
    Sand Spa with Polish (One Stop Spa) 327 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach Ca 90254 (310) 318-0176
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @thesandspa

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