New Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa franchisee Lauren Lega spent a long and fruitful career working in medicine, first as a registered nurse and then as a medical device sales professional after earning her MBA. The demanding career started to take a toll on her personal life. “I worked nonstop when I was in sales,” said Lega, “I was always working during the day, taking care of my family for dinner and when everything was situated at home for the evening, I was on emails and conference calls until I went to sleep.“
Lega dreamed of owning something of her own where she would have more control of her schedule. When her previous business became a target for acquisition, she saw it as the perfect opportunity to finally look into franchising. “Coming from a medical background, I have always believed in wellness,” said Lega, a philosophy which led her to opening her first Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania.
Lega’s location will be the third Hand & Stone location in the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area and the brand hopes to open thirteen more spas in the market. Lega has already purchased a second license to develop a location in McMurray.
“We were presented with a number of franchising options and I automatically knew I was very interested in Hand & Stone,” said Lega. Lega said Hand & Stone’s leadership team welcomed her with open arms upon their first meeting. “We flew to the corporate office in Philadelphia and the team was excellent. We couldn’t have asked for better information or a more well-run organization,” Lega continued. “I knew if I was going to pursue the dream of owning my own business we would be very successful with Hand & Stone.”
Approximately eight months into operating her first Hand & Stone, Lega is happy to report that business is running smoothly. “I work about 30 to 40 hours a week in the business but I am always available by phone,” said Lega, noting that her new role embodies a huge shift from her previous career. “When I was in medical device sales I was always on the road. I had to take a territory no matter where it was. Now I have control over my location with this business,” said Lega. “I don’t have to get on a plane unless I want to get on one!”
Not only has Lega gotten time back for her family, but franchising with Hand & Stone has developed the MBA’s business acumen even further. “The biggest challenge for me has been understanding the financial side of business operation,” said Lega. “I don’t come from a financial background, but working with our accounting team has been great for me and is helping hone my skills.”
“We’re right on track business-wise, but I still have to work hard to keep all of the balls in the air,” said Lega. “I’m used to living a fast-paced life so that aspect of being in the business comes naturally to me.”
Regarding her long term goals, Lega said she is looking forward to growing her franchising footprint. “I have already signed to develop and a second location and I would love to open more in the future depending on how quickly we can optimize things here,” said Lega. “I think ultimately everybody wants more flexibility to spend time with family and friends and to do some traveling. Franchising with Hand & Stone is allowing me to do that .”
To continue growing its national footprint, Hand & Stone is looking to partner with interested entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh area. Start-up costs to open a Hand & Stone franchise range from $532,563 to $618,327with a franchise fee of $42,500. To receive a breakdown of fees, estimated initial investment costs, contracts, corporate financial statements, and other valuable information are included in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), visit https://handandstonefranchise.com/.