General Manager Aiden Whitney-Dart behind the counter of the new Massage Envy. Photo by Mike Diegel.
A local franchise of Massage Envy, a nationwide wellness company, will open Monday, January 8 at 955 Wayne Ave.
The salon, co-owned by Wendy Muhammad, held a holiday open house Christmas weekend to meet the community in preparation for the opening.
“This is my first Massage Envy franchise,” said Muhammad, who moved to Silver Spring from Chicago about nine years ago. Her partner in the franchise is Dr. Jeffrey Dorme, an area vascular surgeon, and she said the two were interested in a doing something in the wellness field.
“I started out many years ago in public accounting,” Muhammad said, “[and] moved into consulting. My dream was always to be independent and so I spent a lot on time in consulting, in independent business consulting and business development and project management.
“I built a lot of businesses for a lot of people,” she continued, “and asked myself one day, ‘Why don’t you do this for yourself?’”
She liked the franchise idea because many aspects of the business model are already established, she said. What really attracted her to this franchise is the location near the corner of Wayne and Georgia avenues, which offers a combination of transient, resident and office worker traffic.
“The idea (with this business) is make wellness part of our lifestyles,” Muhammad said.
The focus at Massage Envy is on massages, stretching, flexibility and mobility, and skin care, as well as to give the customer “a place where you can get a break from everyday drama, phone calls and everything and say ‘This is my wellness hour,’” Muhammad said.
The new location has 16 rooms for customers, five of which focus on facials, and is one of the largest Massage Envy salons in the country, according to Aiden Whitney Dart, who is the general manager.
“She’s worked for me since 2012 in another business and we said, ‘Hey, let’s promote you, let’s give you a chance, here’s your store,’” said Muhammad.
The Wayne Avenue location is accepting appointments prior to the opening, which can be booked via its website.
The company, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., opened its first store in 2002. Nationwide, there are now 1,170 locations in 49 states.
Massage Envy has 29 locations in Maryland, including Bethesda, College Park and Rockville.
The new salon fills out the space formerly occupied by Office Depot and partially taken by FedEx Office, which opened in August.