Massage Mechanics is moving from its former digs in Ypsilanti's Depot Town to a bigger, brighter location at 7 S. Washington St. The move adds to the number of businesses that have moved to fill out storefronts on Washington in the last year or two.
Massage Mechanics co-owner Andrea Gruber says she "fell in love" with Ypsi when she was attending Eastern Michigan University for her bachelor's degree. After graduating, she enrolled at the Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy and talked about her dream of owning a massage business in Depot Town with colleague Becky Smith.
A few months later, a building opened up for rent in Depot Town. A week after that, in April 2011, Gruber and Smith had leased a one-room storefront in the building, which they shared with an auto mechanic. (Smith has since retired from the business.)
Gruber says the name reflects that beginning, as well as the business's philosophy.
"Our goal for the business was to bring massage to the everyday working person," Gruber says. "We aren't a spa. We wanted to market ourselves as the place you go for stress relief and addressing chronic pain. The name and logo were a play off the mechanic shop and to convey this goal."
The staff quickly outgrew that first one-room shop and moved across the street, quadrupling its available space and hiring two more massage therapists.
Gruber says the business grew year over year, largely due to its staff's commitment.
"Our staff encompasses a wide variety of pressures, styles, and techniques, and we try very hard to pair each client with a massage therapist that best suits their needs," Gruber says.
What started out as two massage therapists has grown into a business currently featuring seven massage therapists, two office staff, and growing partnerships with several movement therapists, as well as one spiritual consultant, Gruber says.
Massage Mechanics will celebrate its new space and its seventh year of being in business April 6 with a "wellness funhouse."
"We will be providing information and demonstrations for our new small group yoga classes, raindrop therapy, and Thai massage," Gruber says. The event will also include a chance to sample various wellness products and get a tarot reading by staffer Emily Weir. "We wanted to put together a party to celebrate this and show off our new space, with live music and refreshments."
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Massage Mechanics.