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Seasoned Health and Wellness Experts to Open Hand & Stone in Albany

Carlos and Katie chose to franchise with Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa because of its welcoming atmosphere, luxury spa experience, and backing from a sturdy corporate team.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 10:10AM 04/18/23

Husband-and-wife Carlos and Katie Perez have both led careers in the health and wellness industry. Carlos, originally from Venezuela, is a physical therapist, working in an outpatient therapy center for some time before switching to work as the primary physical therapist for their local school district in Stone Ridge. Katie, originally from Queens, has worked as a nursing home administrator for the past 28 years. Together, they know the importance of wellness and love getting massages on a regular basis. Katie has always dreamed of opening her own spa and when COVID-19 hit, it further reinforced it was the decision they wanted to make for their futures.

1851 Franchise Magazine: Tell me your story – what did you do before franchising?

Carlos: I was born in Venezuela and came to the United States when I was six for my mom to get her Doctorate degree. I am a physical therapist with our local school district. We are about 50 miles south of Albany now. I plan on staying with my physical therapy job. I will help on the back end of our new Hand & Stone by handling the bookkeeping.

Katie: I grew up in Queens until I was 20 when I  moved up to Stone Ridge, NY. I’ve been a nursing home administrator in a facility for 28 years. I will continue to work in long term care in a different role in my company once we get Hand & Stone up and running. I’ve always had the dream of opening my own spa.

1851 Franchise Magazine: How did you initially find out about franchising? 

Katie: I currently work 24/7 in a very busy, fast paced environment. Carlos and I love the whole massage world; we go for massages all the time. What makes Hand & Stone stand out is the fact that it has such a nice atmosphere. Both Carlos and I understand the importance of massage therapy for our own health and wellness, especially with the field that I am in. The closest Hand & Stone is about 30 to 40 mins away, so we hadn’t been there yet. Two to three years ago we started researching franchising. When COVID-19 hit, it was time for us to do it and make that life change.

Carlos: When we were able to make it out to the Hand & Stone near us and were so impressed. I used to work in an outpatient therapy clinic and I used massage in my practice. With Katie’s dream to open a spa and our experience it was a no brainer to franchise with Hand & Stone.

1851 Franchise Magazine: Why did you pick franchising over starting your own business?

Katie: I’ve worked in my nursing facility for some time. I helped create the handbook, policies and procedures with the nursing facilities I currently work for. The franchise model appealed to me because it was a similar model.

Carlos: The membership model makes a lot of sense.

1851 Franchise Magazine: Do you have plans for growth with Hand & Stone?

Carlos: Definitely. We would love to do at least two and maybe three long term. We are looking for a manager to help us out so we can be behind the scenes.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What value do you see your business providing to Albany?

Carlos: We have actually looked at our hometown, Stone Ridge, first. One of the big reasons we picked Albany was that there are two massage therapy schools there. Massage therapists can be hard to find. We are familiar with Albany; we go up there regularly to shop and have friends who live up there.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Carlos: Pull the trigger. We talked about it for years, but COVID-19 helped us pull the trigger. I look forward to a very successful franchise experience.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What do you do in your personal time (hobbies, family, sports, etc.)

Carlos: We love to travel and Mexico is one of our favorite places to visit. We have four kids and have been married for six years. We each have two kids from our previous marriages. We both like to exercise and bike and run together.

Katie: We also have an adorable dog named Stanley.