Name: Gary Reyes
Years in the Wellness/Beauty Industry: 12 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Most Memorable Tip (monetary, gift or advice):
My most memorable tip came from an older client who lives in DC. She and her husband come to our spa two or three times a year. Over the holidays she left a gift certificate for me from a local restaurant along with a thank you note. It really touched me because she went out of her way. It truly was a gift opposed to a gratuity. I remembered that.
How did you choose a career in the Wellness industry?
I chose a career in the wellness industry by happenstance. I walked by a sandwich board sign of a massage school- it was on a Thursday. I walked in to take a spontaneous tour that day. From there, I started class on the following Monday. I hadn't considered it before that moment. I mean I hadn't even received a massage before enrolled in school. I think I was really eager to get out of one career and into another. Massage just seemed like something I could do. I had that feeling of "I can do this” which propelled me to move forward.
Greatest reward of doing the work?
The greatest reward is helping people by making people feel better in a "natural way.” Anyone can perform a massage. But as professional massage therapist, we take it to the next level. People are thankful and it's positive thing. It feels good to make people feel better after they leave you.
Top two things you wish or would like to change in the industry?
I would change two things about industry. First of all, remove the "Princess Palace Pamper” perception. Spas tend to portray themselves as luxury experiences rather then the therapeutic experiences we provide. Secondly, I would do more marketing or change current marketing to attract more men. It could be something as simple as creating a drop-down bar on your website with same menu but under "men" category with different colors. Everything seems to cater exclusively to women. Some shifts in practices to focus and attract more male clients would make it more well rounded.
Who is your Mentor and why?
My mentors were a group of fellow photography student while I was in photography school. We encouraged each other and supported each other. Though we had different styles and strengths, we were inspired by each other and encouraged to elevate our work.