Business profile: Le Masseur PersonnelBy David Millward
December 16, 2011
The business: Le Masseur Personnel – Massage Bar & Organic Body Boutique, 3 Church Road, Caversham, RG4 7AA. (0118) 948 1077, www.le-masseur-personnel.com
The boss: Gabriel has over eight years experience working as a massage therapist and was originally working freelance before moving to Reading and setting up Le Masseur Personnel.
What is your business about? “Our entire business revolves around helping people in the most environmentally friendly and natural way possible. All treatments are performed using natural and organic products because what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body.”
What products/services do you offer? “Our highly skilled team of therapists can perform over 30 different types of massage, all of which are completed with organic oils. On top of our sublime body massages we offer a range of aromatherapy waxing, seated acupressure (on-site massage), organic and natural facials, instant inch loss body wraps and then we have our organic body boutique as well, where people can find a vast range of the finest organic and natural body care products and unique candles.”
How and when did you start your business? “We started about 18 months ago now, initially home based in Caversham and from ‘The Therapy Centre’ in Reading. During those first 18 months we experienced rapid uptake and growth of our business so we made the decision to move to our current premises in Caversham centre, which we opened early November this year. We really love the local area, which is one of the reasons we chose to open here.”
How many staff do you employ? “We currently have 10 members of staff in total: Our receptionist, seven therapists and two promotional people. The reason for so many therapists is each one specialises in something in particular, allowing us to offer our large selection of massage, aromatherapy waxing, facials and wraps.”
Who are your customers? From new mothers to dads stressed with work, professionals popping in on their lunch break for a quick 15-minute chair massage session (which uses pressure instead of oils so it is clean and quick) to help with desk and office-related stress and pain, those coming from or going to the gym, those looking to de-stress and take some time out and everything in between. Since opening our new centre we’ve noticed our customer base varies so much – this could be down to the vast range of treatments we offer.”
What sets you apart from the competition? “It’s not just our large menu and the fact we only use organic and natural products during all treatments that sets us apart from our competition, it’s also the level and quality of the treatments. We have such a fantastic team of therapists who are very knowledgeable, experienced and genuinely want to help people. All of this combined with the ability to just drop in and receive a treatment with very little notice has proved very popular with the public and we’re seeing more and more people returning.”
How has the recession affected business? “It’s always difficult in a recession. We set up this company in the middle of the recession and some might think that was a bad idea but we’d have to argue differently. We’ve noticed a phenomenal uptake since we opened.
This could be because more people are stressed and have issues relating to that like back pain, but I think it’s got more to do with the quality of treatments and the level of service they receive. Not only are people more stressed but also they’re more conscious and smart when it comes to spending so it made sense to us to meet the needs of the public.”
How do you feel about the future? “We’re looking forward to the future and are very optimistic. We have some big plans for Le Masseur Personnel, which include expansion to other cities, and are looking forward to integrating more strongly with the Reading community.”