David Goldman didn’t expect to become genuinely passionate about providing luxury spa services at a value price. Now, he’s set to open his first of three Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spas in Boston, Massachusetts later this year, and he couldn’t be more excited.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Goldman holds an MBA as well as a Master’s degree in accounting. For two decades, he worked in IT management and held leadership roles for large companies such as PepsiCo. He later consulted for “Big Four” accounting firm Ernst & Young and now he works with Dunkin’ Brands near Boston. This independent consulting experience set Goldman up for success as a business owner, a path that’s perhaps in his blood.
Goldman’s father, Barry, has a long history of entrepreneurship. Over the course of nearly 50 years, Barry started several businesses, from importing and marketing toys to owning car dealerships. Five years ago, Barry retired.
When David told Barry that he, too, was interested in going into business for himself, the elder Goldman suggested, “Why don’t you look into franchise opportunities?”
David Goldman said he began researching “the usual franchise suspects” online. He remembers discovering that working with a franchise broker was an option, and once he spoke to one, everything changed. The broker suggested looking into Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
“To be honest, it wasn’t a concept I would have ever considered,” said Goldman. “But what I like about franchising is that it’s a prescribed model with a successful playbook to follow. For me, outside of technology, everything else is fairly new, so I wanted a partner franchisor who would provide guidance and had a proven track record.”
Upon further due diligence, Goldman was sold on Hand & Stone’s model. What he discovered was a record of success and solid returns across the brand’s 400-plus locations. He found that Hand & Stone also provides extensive ongoing support to franchisees, including in-house marketing and advertising services. Goldman also spoke with several current franchisees as well as friends and family back in New Jersey, where the brand has a larger footprint, and only heard rave reviews.
“The service is something I can stand by. I feel good about helping people feel better about themselves,” Goldman said, adding that he got a firsthand look at the brand’s spa services during his research process. “I went in and tried it out. I got a facial. My girlfriend frequently gets massages, so getting her insight was helpful, too,” he said. “It was a great experience, and I could really see myself providing massage and facial services to the communities of Boston.”
While Hand & Stone’s growth has far outpaced the spa industry standard, the franchise’s Boston footprint is minimal, with just one open location and a second on the way outside of Goldman’s three-unit deal. “Most metropolitan areas have so many more Hand & Stone locations,” said Goldman. “Many of my preferred locations around the city were available. Hand & Stone fits nicely with this city’s profile, and the middle market is underserved, in my opinion. There’s a big opportunity in Boston.”
Each of Goldman’s spas will create roughly 20 professional positions, including massage therapists, estheticians, front desk workers and managers. He signed his agreement in February 2019 and plans to open his first location this year before shifting focus to his second and third locations. With the financial and advisory support of his father along with the initial and ongoing support of the Hand & Stone team, Goldman hopes to even grow beyond three spas.
Goldman is looking forward to applying the professional skillset he’s cultivated to a brand new, different type of business. “I’m always open to learning. I have a lot of experience, but I never assume to know everything, especially in a new venture like this,” he said. “I want to lead by example and by inspiration. I’m excited to hire a capable team with spa experience. I look forward to learning from them as they learn from me.”
Goldman’s interest in franchising has turned into a passion with Hand & Stone. “When I’m excited about something, I’ll jump in with both feet,” he said. “I want it to be a success. I want the clients to feel happy and relaxed, and I want our employees to feel a sense of pride and fulfillment in delivering superior services to our clients. I want to provide services that benefit the health and wellness of the communities that we serve.”
Goldman feels grateful to have found his brand, even if it wasn’t on his radar six months ago. “I’m glad I didn’t limit myself to franchises I was familiar with,” he said. “This is now something I feel really strongly about and am passionate about. I’m looking forward to opening up the market in Boston, getting the Hand & Stone name out there, and being a part of creating something really special.”