In March 2016, Elliot Walker and Charlie Thompson opened the first branch of The Massage Company in Camberley. It was the culmination of many years’ development work and the physical representation of their dream to open the first Membership Based Massage Business outside North America.
Over a period of some years Elliot had seen the phenomenal rise of this new business sector during his business trips to the US. He saw the growth being achieved by the first US operator in the market who, over a period of 10 years, grew their business from 30 to 1100+ outlets, and was determined to bring this business model to the UK.
He and Charlie had known each other for some time. Charlie was managing an 80 strong chain of spas inside fitness clubs and Elliot sold skincare products into them through his own company which held the rights to the Murad brand in the UK. Both had considerable professional respect for each other’s business skills and it was clear that their skill mixes were complementary. Elliot had the opportunity to sell his business back to its Californian owners and this prompted him to discuss his idea with Charlie.
There was an opportunity to buy a Master Franchise of a number of operators in this sector, but it was clear to them that they would need to put a lot of work into adjusting the US model to the potential UK market. They decided, therefore, to develop their own model from the ground up and the outlet in Camberley was the result.
They were determined to not only be the first Membership Based Massage Business in the UK, but that they would completely change the face of the UK massage industry.
- Their business would operate from purpose built premises.
- They would have highly trained massage therapists who would deliver a consistently high-quality service.
- They would provide good value for money with massage treatments at a reasonable and affordable rate.
- They would make it easier for massage to become a routine part of people’s lives rather than simply an irregular and often expensive ‘treat’.
- They would provide their services from locations and at times that were convenient to their customers.
- Their vision was simple: they would bring high-quality massage to the mainstream.
- They wanted people to see that massage could become a vital and routine part of a better and balanced quality of life.
- Above all else they were determined to make a difference to the nation’s health and well-being.
Soon after starting the business their success was recognised by six different Business Awards three of which they won.
- SME Surrey, Best New Business, WINNER
- Camberley Town Business Awards, Best New Business, WINNER
- Surrey Heath Business Awards, Best Small / Medium Size Business, WINNER
- Surrey Chamber of Commerce, Nominated for Best New Business
- Toast of Surrey Business Awards, Nominated for Best New Business
- SME National Business Awards, Nominated for Best New Business