Name: Sandy Saldano
Name of business: Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd., Highland Park
Describe what you do: We provide high quality therapeutic massage services to help our clients maintain health goals of less pain and stress. We also have a retail store that carries self-care items to help clients extend their treatments at home
What sets you apart from similar businesses? All of our licensed massage therapists have worked in clinical settings and have a myriad of backgrounds as chiropractic assistants, nurses, martial arts trainers, yoga instructors, etc. Our approach is treatment-plan based. We give follow-up care such as stretching and icing, as well as integrating care with primary care physicians or physical therapists. We focus on educating our clients on how to improve their lives through massage and other health activities. We make housecalls and do chair massage for businesses/corporate wellness.
What made you want to open this type of store? I really wanted to be a physical therapist and do hands-on therapy. Most PT's use exercise and equipment and very little soft tissue. I have been doing massage for 26 years and wanted to provide a clinical massage center that was unlike a spa.
Why did you decide to open your business in Highland Park? I got my first job with a chiropractor right out of massage school and did not even know where Highland Park was when I applied for the position. I have been here my whole career and the clients are loyal once you win them over.
Why did you pick this specific location? It is in a medical setting (North Shore Health, Dr. Weil Foot Clinic and Freedom Home Care share the building), helping our image as a place that is therapeutic and attracts those who are not feeling well to come to our store.
What obstacles did you find when you started? Keeping hired massage therapists from stealing my clients and starting their own business with my hard-earned reputation.
If you could offer local officials one piece of advice to make their town more attractive to entrepreneurs, what would it be? Better parking for employees
What mistakes did you make? Not having a cash flow/budget for many years and not saving money.
What did you do right? Gave great service and set processes in place to give consistent care.. I used many professionals like accountants, lawyers, coaches, etc. to guide me and educate me along the way.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to open a business in Highland Park? Have enough cash to float you through the dry times, like spring break and the holidays. There are a lot of snowbirds who live here and you need to be prepared for the seasonality. Make sure you put money into marketing and advertising to allow a constant flow of business.
What are your hours/address/phone number: Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 1779 Green Bay Rd.; 847-266-0131.