Three long-time locals are replacing a closed massage and skincare business in Juanita Village with their own massage and facial spa to provide more health and wellness options for their neighbors.
Annie Thorgrimson Williams, Chad Williams and Julia Dean have lived in Kirkland for more than 20 years and have combined experiences in business management, personal wellness and community outreach. They are working to open a Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa to replace the permanently closed Massage Envy location in the Juanita Village.
“We’re excited to join the commerce,” Annie said. “We know that Kirkland residents are great supporters of local small businesses.”
Currently, the building is still under renovations and the trio plans to host an open house on Dec. 16 and soft opening by the end of the year. After that, they will gear up for a formal grand opening in January.
“I already have friends and people in the community asking me when they can buy gift cards for Christmas,” Annie said. “I’m excited that people are waiting to support our business.”
In addition, Chad and Annie will open a second location Redmond, summer 2018.
Annie is heavily involved in community-based philanthropy and founded the annual Park to Park Cross Lake Washington swim, a fundraising event during which swimmers race across Lake Washington and has raised more than $100,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
She and Chad are raising their two children in Kirkland and both have additional backgrounds in education.
Chad worked in Montana in the business and education fields as a science teacher school administrator, river rafting resort manager and learning and development consultant for larger organizations.
“My husband and I have lots of experience in a multitude of different jobs,” Annie said. “We’re really focused on a happy and healthy work environment for our employees.”
According to Annie, they’re working to completely remodel the building to make the spa better for both the customers and for their employees. They’re still looking for massage therapists to complete their staff, but many employees are returning from the previous business.
“There’s so many balls in the air right now I feel like a clown,” Annie said. “(We’re) trying to give the community and the workers that ‘wow’ factor.”
Dean, the third business partner, is the health and fitness branch of the trio. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field and has a passion for providing personal wellness opportunities for the community.
“The beauty and warmth of the neighborhoods and businesses are what have kept me here and what has inspired me to join the Kirkland business community,” Dean said. “I believe deeply in the benefits of self care and am very excited to be offering these Hand and Stone services to the Kirkland and surrounding communities.”
The trio is partially nervous about opening their new business in Kirkland but expect a lot of support from the community to help them get through the initial growing pains. Annie said some community members have already visited to see how construction is going.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we’re the only ones feeling those (growing) pains,” she said. “We want to make sure we do it right and do it well. We want to be the business that people want to come to…(and) we want our employees to want to work there.”