Affordable luxury. It's not something Angelenos know that much about. That us, until now. Or rather, The Now. The luxury-walk-ins-welcome-spa that opened last year in West Hollywood, is all about that balance. After detecting a gap between high-end spas that cost a premium and Eastern foot spas that skimp on luxe, Erica Malbon and Gara Post looked for a way to unify those elements.
Drawing inspo from the Coqui Coqui hotel in Tulum, Mexico, The Now offers the luxury spa experience at a (very) affordable price. Massages start at just $35 (just about the cost of two pressed juices), and guests can choose from a variety of add-ons. The first location attracted ladies like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and the cofounders announced (today!) that a second location will be opening soon in Santa Monica.
They're out to relax LA, one neighborhood at a time.
We caught up with Erica and Gara to see how they spend their day, what advice they have for aspiring female entrepreneurs, and why touch is so important.
5:30 am: Wake up and drink a large glass of room temperature water with lemon. Then meditate for 20 minutes. This is my daily ritual.
8 am: Get my kids ready for school.
9 am: Go to Pilates or hot yoga at Core Power yoga - the works outs are so hard, but so effective.
10 am: Arrive at The Now and meet up with Erica to work on getting the boutique ready for the day.
12 pm: By noon we’re starving so we’ll run across the street to Erewhon for juices and salads. They have the best food!
1 pm: Meet with the team to review new ideas for products we want to sell at the boutique.
2 pm: In the afternoon we’ll have massage therapists come by for interviews with us and Amber, our massage therapist ambassador
4:30 pm: Head home to get dinner ready for the kids and family. Creating balance between work and family is really important to Erica and me.
8 pm: Back to work, usually with a glass of wine.
What made you decide to get into the health spa business?
We both come from a design background, so we didn’t necessarily think that we would end up launching a massage boutique. That said, we are both really passionate about self-care and self-love. We really liked the idea of an affordable massage in a luxury environment, which is where our design background comes in. We want to give people the opportunity to connect with themselves and recharge on a regular basis. Since we’re both hard workers and entrepreneurs, it was a natural jump for us even if we didn’t have background that aligned in an obvious way.
What are your respective backgrounds?
Gara: I have a jewelry line called Gara Danielle that I’ve been designing for 18 years (which is why I’m always wearing at least 15 rings and 10 bracelets!). I still work on it every day and am currently brainstorming a potential special collection for The Now. Stay tuned!
Erica: I worked in marketing and design with my husband on fashion and style brands. I had actually just designed my own line of luxury travel accessories, but I put that on hold to work on The Now. You never know how it will resurface though!
How do you scale a business and keep your massages starting at such a great price point?
We work with amazing massage therapists who love having a regular but flexible job they can come to. So it ends up being a win win for everyone!
A lot of establishments in LA run on the premise of exclusivity. But you’re offering an experience with very inclusive prices and still attracting an A-List clientele. What’s the secret?
We have a couple beliefs that we always go back to. One of which is that we believe in the power of touch. It’s healing in a way that nothing else is and it really should be part of everyone’s regular routine. With that being part of our foundation, how could we ever create a place that is exclusive? Everyone deserves to feel great. That’s why our hashtag is #MassagesForAll. We think people, A-list or not, are attracted to The Now because our view comes from an honest place. Also, we’ve designed the space in a way that feels like a luxurious vacation. And who doesn’t want to go on a great vacation?
What is your best advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Gara: Work hard.
Erica: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Yes, it’s scary, but that means you’re doing something exciting and new.
Gara: And be kind. To yourself and others.
To book online or via The Now App visit www.thenowmassage.com
The Now, 7611 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-746-5525,
photo credit: Tessa Neustdt