I started my massage therapy career back in 2011, and honestly, I never expected to remain at the same place (much less working for a franchise) this long.
Here’s what I found out: a franchise is nothing more than a small business running under a corporate umbrella. Yes, there are corporate policies, and the franchises all share the same look and feel and approach.
But when it comes to the way the actual business is run, it’s the individual franchise owner who sets the tone. When it comes to the way we massage therapists get treated on the job, that too boils down to the franchise owner.
So what can I tell you about our owner in a nutshell? She’s exceptional!
For starters, she’s a massage therapist. She GETS what we do… the kind of hours we work, the challenges we face, the toll it takes on our bodies, as well as that deep passion we all share for nurturing and healing people.
She takes care of us: I’ve got healthcare insurance, paid sick time, and flexible hours… not to mention discounted or free massages to help take care of myself.
She negotiates CEUs for us at significant discounts… including sending 16 people to Canada for an all-expenses-paid 7 CEU Cadaver Lab.
She rewards us: she sent 2 therapists to Thailand to learn Thai massage—all inspired by one of her employee’s ideas for a year long contest—and threw in a paid vacation to enjoy themselves while there. She even took 40 people on an Argosy Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise around Elliot Bay as part of that same contest, so no one felt left out.
She inspires us: every year she involves her two franchise locations in charitable events that consistently surpass the other franchises in the amount of dollars raised for worthy organizations… like the Arthritis Foundation, the American Massage Therapy Association, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation (as part of the national Massage Envy campaign). And this is on top of donating massage gift certificates to local charities that request an auction item.
But best of all, she earns our trust. She’s an extraordinary business woman that fights to improve the franchise model, fights for our industry as a whole, and goes out of her way to better the lives of her employees. And she does it on as big a level as any.
“I’ve learned that not all Massage Envy locations are the same… every franchise is a direct reflection of its owner.”
I’ve worked for many people over the years and can wholeheartedly say… if you know a good therapist in the Seattle area who wants more hours, loyal clients, and an amazing place to work (without the hassles of self employment), please feel free to share what I’ve written.
P.S. Her name is Lillian Anderson, and I’m proud to call her my boss as well as my friend.
P.P.S. Here’s a link to job openings at her Northgate and Shoreline locations >