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Meet Piran Zarifian of BAO Foot Spa in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Piran Zarifian.

Piran, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I graduated from film school in 2008 and started working for different production companies around town. Always moving from one job to another, one show would finish or get cancelled and I would have to look for another one. At some point I started to think about my future and wanting a steady income to be able to support my family. I started looking into different businesses. At the time my mother was really into reflexology and foot massages. I remember she took me with her once and I instantly got hooked. I thought it was simple concept and a great service to be provided to people on a daily basis. The foot spas have been around for a very long time. Reflexology itself has been around for thousands of years. It is ancient art that has been practiced in China for a very long time. I started to look into the competition here in Los Angeles and almost none of them were offering an upscale environment. It dawned on me that the market could really use an upscale foot spa.

We opened our first location in Beverly Hills in November of 2010 and it very quickly became the “it” place for the celebrities to come and enjoy a relaxing foot & body massage. In our very first year, we were invited to Roger Neal’s Beauty Suites for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. One of our earliest and very Loyal Customers has been Tyra Banks. The popularity of BAO grew quickly after that. Our spa in Beverly Hills was a very cozy one with only 6 chairs so as you can imagine, we were booked all the time. In 2015 we decided to expand and open our second location in Santa Monica. It made a lot of our customers very happy because they didn’t have to drive over in traffic just to get a massage.

We have been very fortunate, over the past couple of years we had the opportunity to serve Beverly Hills and Santa Monica residence on a daily basis and bring a little comfort and relaxation to their hectic day to day lives.

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?
Nothing good really come easy. In order for us to be able to compete with other spas we had to price our services accordingly, but the level of quality and the benefits that our spa offers our customers is far beyond any other foot spa in town. This became a problem as far as being able to balance quality and price. For the longest time I couldn’t afford hiring receptionists for the spa, so my parents would step in to help me manage the day to day operations. We ran a very tight ship for the early years. It was especially hard on my when my dad had a stroke a few years back and I had the pressure of running the business seamless and trying to comfort and take care of my family during the crises. Now, I am lucky enough to work with some amazing people who love BAO and are passionate about our services and much as I am and with their help we are bringing a level of customer service to our customers that has long been missing from this industry.

BAO Foot Spa – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
So we are a Chinese Foot Spa. We specialize in foot reflexology but what a lot of people don’t know is that we do body massage as well. All of our therapists are California Certified and they are fully capable of opening the knots in your body. Our most popular service is the 60 Minute Reflexology + Body Massage which covers your whole body with the focus on the reflexology. People seem to really respond to it. It really is the best thing to reboot your body. Reflexology helps increase the blood flow in the body as well as clear up your neural paths. By applying pressure to different spots in the foot, reflexologists send signals to various party of the body which in return helps regulate every organ in your body. Add a little shoulder, back, head and leg massage to that, and you are good to go. Whether you are starting your day, ending it, getting ready for the weekend or winding down from it, our services can really benefit your body and get you ready to get back into it. Athletes and expecting mothers can really benefit from our foot massages. We have almost all the trainers and yoga instructors from the nearby gyms visit our spa frequently to reenergize their bodies and get ready for their next class.

What sets us apart from other foot spas is our level of dedication to customer service. We have online appointment booking, gift cards and certificates that can be purchased in-store and online and emailed directly to the recipient. We have our Massage series which allows our frequent clients to save big time on their sessions. We have a dedicated reception at all business hours ready to answer any questions, book appointments and provide information on our services. Mostly importantly, our staff go through vigorous training to make sure that their client is take care of and fully satisfied with their session.

Our appointment book is computerized which allows us to keep track of each client’s session, what they liked, what they didn’t and make adjustments to ensure their comfort and relaxation in future sessions.

I would have to say I am most proud of my staff, they work hard, they are kind, caring and compassionate and truly make it their priority to help people feel better.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There have been a few. Opening our second bigger location in Santa Monica was definitely up there. But I think the proudest one so far actually happened this morning. I received an email from US weekly who did an interview with Tyra Banks about what Items she carries in her bag and she said she always carries 3 of our gift cards in her bag. Tyra has been so gracious and kind to us over the year and she has brought numerous people with her to our spa, most of whom are still our clients to this date. It makes me proud and happy to be able to provide comfort and relaxation to so many people over the years, but when I get feedback like this, it really makes me proud of our team for doing such a great job.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Jhankarlo Photography
Saman Yaghmai

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