Below are the highlights of the conversation between SwiftNLift Business Magazine and Kristen Pechacek, CFE MassageLuXe. We are glad to share this exclusive interview with all the readers.
“I owe so much to my franchise family. The great thing about franchising is that we are all in the business of making our franchisees successful. Because of this, we can learn from each other.”
Tell us about your company.
MassageLuXe is a nationwide spa franchise with 70 locations that offer high-quality massages, facials, and waxing services. Licensed massage therapists and estheticians help clients find relief for chronic pain and skin conditions in a relaxing environment. MassageLuXe promotes health and wellness for the body and mind through massage and skin health treatments.MassageLuXe believes in the strength and power of massage therapy and treating your skin properly. Massage therapy can relieve stress and anxiety, which improves your mental health and wellbeing. Additionally, therapeutic massage provides pain management and relief for people suffering from numerous ailments and chronic conditions.
Therapeutic massage and skin health treatments aren’t just a luxury — they are methods of self-care that lead to better health, pain management, and overall improvements to your wellbeing.
We are on a path of explosive growth and aim to have 250 locations open in the next 5 years. MassageLuXe is a fantastic investment opportunity and I want to help as many prospective MassageLuXe owners as possible reach their dreams through franchising with us. The more MassageLuXe locations we have, the more people we can help in reaching their health and wellness goals. With more locations, our message of the physical and mental health benefits of skincare and massage gets louder.
As Chief Growth Officer I have two primary objectives. The first is to make sure that our franchisees have all the tools and support to be successful in the marketing of their business. The second is to grow the franchise to 250 units over the next five years. My day-to-day is centred around those objectives. At MassageLuXe we are a tight-knit team that works well together cross-departmentally. Most of my days are spent problem-solving, building strategies, and coaching franchisees or prospective franchisees. I am the type of leader who rolls up her sleeves and dives in.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
The franchisees over my career are my greatest influence in business. I have had a few moments in my career that I would categorize as inflexion points. Most of them come directly from franchisees. When you get a window into their world, it changes you for the better. Franchising is not easy. You win and lose with your franchisees. When you are both losing, it forces challenging conversations that keep you up at night. It is those conversations and moments that drive my commitment and passion for doing everything I can to assist them in their pursuit of success. It’s the people who have trusted us with their savings and their future that influence my decisions and direction.
What were the impediments you faced at the time of inception?
As I think about the earlier days of my career I wish I knew that it was okay to not have all of the answers. I used to hear the word “strategy” and think it was this untapped piece of code that I had not yet been gifted. The reality is that a strategy is a plan. Some plans succeed, and others fail. You increase your chances of succeeding with data and informed insight, but it may not work and that is okay. The only true failure is not trying or speaking up in the first place.
What qualities make you stand different from others who are already in this field?
The only person I compare myself to is the person that I was yesterday. I am extremely competitive, but with myself. I take what I do extremely seriously. I want to wake up every day better than the day before.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
To my franchise friends: My advice to aspiring businesswomen is to wake up every day with an appreciation and understanding of what your franchisees have done. They invested in the work that you are doing and are trusting you to build something they can flourish in. Take the time to get to know them and to build relationships with them. In doing so, you will start to approach your work and the decisions at hand differently.
To anyone in business: Identify the purpose behind what you are doing and stay strong and decisive to fulfil that purpose. Believe in your instinct, pull your shoulders back, and never shy away from the challenge that sits in front of you.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I haven’t achieved my greatest professional accomplishment – but I will let you know when I do. In late 2020 I was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Franchising by Business Woman Magazine. The annual list honours 100 leading women in international franchising. I am so honoured to be listed alongside these leaders. While that recognition was a proud moment, the proudest come when my franchisees are winning and seeing success. There’s nothing better than helping someone achieve their dreams of business ownership.
What security measures do you take into consideration while you do your work?
As a brand with many individually owned and operated locations, some things are out of our control. We work extremely hard to ensure consistency, safety and security throughout our company.
How do you keep your employees motivated? Tell me about your approach to leading a diverse team.
I am all about relationships. The relationships that I have with my team, co-workers, partners, and franchisees are crucially important because those relationships are the building blocks to success. Without relationships, you cannot have trust. Without trust, you can’t motivate or coach.
How would you handle inappropriate guest behaviour?
Our locations are individually owned and operated, so we coach our franchisees on how to handle inappropriate guest behaviour. My guests (or customers) are the franchisees. It’s my job to serve them and to lead them to success. In business, emotions run high and it’s important to remember that it’s okay to pause and collect those emotions before picking up the conversations.
“Wake up loving what you do, or find something else to do.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I want MassageLuXe to be a household name that is recognized as a leader in the health and wellness industry. This brand has the foundation to scale and flourish. I am so proud of what the team has built, and I am so thankful to be part of the journey.
I was introduced to franchising on the franchisee side with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. They were a client of mine after some success in a digital marketing consulting company that I started when I was 18. A few years later, I decided to move to a full-time position with them. After a few years in the NFL, I moved to Self Esteem Brands where I held various marketing roles across 4 brands and over
5,000 international locations. I found the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee challenging and exhilarating. After five years with Self Esteem Brands, I was introduced to MassageLuXe. MassageLuXe shares my passion and purpose in franchising. It’s a perfect fit.
Industry comment: The franchising industry is second to none. The entrepreneurs, trailblazers and thought leaders who advocate on behalf of the future of franchising are setting the stage for thousands of people to fulfil their dreams. This industry is a vital part of our economy and we need to do everything we can to embrace and grow it.
Year of Founding: MassageLuXe was founded in 2007
Funding Information: Private
Founding Members: Private
Office Locations: Fenton, MO
“To me, there is no greater joy than to provide a framework for business ownership that allows someone to achieve their dreams.”