Ken: It was in the summer — this past July. I got this idea to offer a service where clients can get a massage and a healthy, gourmet meal — the full spa treatment — in their home. I just needed a masseuse. And it was like boom, why don’t I try Thumbtack? I’ve been with Thumbtack since 2010 or 2011. And that’s how I was able to track down Jessica.
Jessica: When I first got Ken’s email I thought — “Is this legitimate?” But once we talked… I have to say, I had never really considered pairing food with massage. It’s not something you generally think about. But I loved the idea he formed. Quite frankly, as a massage therapist, I’m kind of capped at what I can do and what I can earn. I’ve reached as many massages I can do in a week. Soulful Northwest gives me the potential to be more creative. It’s about creating an atmosphere and helping people to relax. It’s very different from what I do on a day-to-day basis, where most of my clients get a massage purely for medical purposes. Working with Ken gives me a chance to bring it to the next level.
How does it work?
Ken: Jessica offers different spa treatments, and I have different spa food, so people can mix and match the packages. It’s a body and soul retreat — and it all takes place at the client’s house. It saves me a lot of money, not having to pay rent on a commissary type of kitchen. I just prepare a few things and then when I get to the client’s home, I finish everything else. We’ve had one customer so far — it was an experiment where we got to practice and see how it would unfold. It was seamless. Now we’re ready to go.
What kind of customers are you looking for?
Jessica: Ken thought this would be a wonderful option as a wedding gift or anniversary gift. More and more people also aren’t going on honeymoons, so this could be a good way to celebrate your wedding without having to travel anywhere. Actually, we talked recently about getting networked with wedding professionals.
Ken: We went to a Thumbtack Seattle meetup a few weeks ago, it was great. There were these other professionals that would complement what we’re doing. Hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers — we could work together to enhance a wedding. And if we’ve set something up like this, I’m sure there’s other people out there who are creative and can think of ways to complement their services.
So you think other pros should collaborate more?
Jessica: Absolutely. Working with Ken has been great. It’s easy to flesh out ideas when you have someone else to bounce it off of. And we work well together. Ken’s a much more accomplished networker, and I’m good at the backend, nitty gritty, conceptual stuff. I built a website, looked at different ways we could organize our packages, thought about the flow of the experience once we’re in the client’s home, that kind of thing.
I hope our experience inspires others to reach out, to build a community and collaborate. I think some professionals are afraid to reach out to other pros, even if their services are complementary, because they’re worried that their clients will get taken away. But don’t see other pros as competition. Even if you’re in the same industry. Not every client is going to be a good fit for you anyway. It’s good for us to support each other. Come together and create opportunities, like Ken and I have. It’s all about community over competition.