Photographer / Brian Brosmer
When Kassie Haston told her husband, Tyler, that she was interested in becoming a franchisee owner, he wasn’t the least bit surprised. An entrepreneurial spirit was born in her DNA, starting with her grandfather, who worked overseas as a doctor during World War II. When he returned home, he opened a practice in a lower-income community on the west side of Indy, taking barters as payments because he wanted to help those who otherwise didn’t have access to health care.
“That’s the basis for what we wanted to do,” says Kassie, who, along with Tyler, opened Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Avon in mid-July. “We wanted to provide higher quality luxurious experiences to the people of Hendricks County at an affordable price.”
“Hendricks County residents are hard-working and family-oriented,” Tyler adds. “We wanted to provide a sanctuary for people who need an hour to pamper themselves and recharge.”
The Hastons know the makeup of Hendricks County well since they both graduated from Avon High School (Kassie in 2005 and Tyler in 2006). Kassie went on to pursue a career in hospitality, working for a company that owns and operates five franchised Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants in Indiana and Missouri.
“I got experience in all different areas, including operations, marketing, sales, human relations and accounting,” Kassie says. “That really sparked my interest in opening a franchise business.”
Tyler, a former Purdue football player, worked as a police officer and now serves as Associate Attorney at Barnes and Thornburg LLP in its intellectual property department.
Tyler’s legal expertise comes in handy for reviewing documents and contracts while Kassie’s background is helpful when it comes to setting up vendors, marketing and sales.
“We leverage each other’s strengths,” she says.
Raising two young children, the pair recognize the need for planned relaxation, making Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa the perfect fit.
The first Hand & Stone opened in 2004. The concept rapidly took off and currently there are 430 locations.
“We are growing at an incredible pace,” Kassie says. “In fact, we were just named on Forbes’ Top Ten List of Franchises to Buy, which is really cool.”
Clients can purchase a one-hour massage or signature facial for an introductory price of $59.95. If you choose to become a member, you can come in monthly for a service at that same price. They offer a variety of massages, including Swedish, Couples, Hot Stone, Himalayan Salt, Sports, Deep Tissue, Oncology, Prenatal, Post-Surgery, Decompression Therapy (or cupping, a therapy made popular by Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps). Their facials include Classic, Detox, Express, LED Skin Phototherapy, Microdermabrasion, Men’s, Teen, Rejuvenating, Sensitive Skin and NuFACE Microcurrent Therapy (which Kassie describes as “an instant face-lift”).
“Our research and development team at corporate is fantastic at staying on top of the latest and greatest in all treatments,” says Kassie, citing the new Dermalinfusion service that infuses a targeted serum into the skin. It’s a deep exfoliation that is quick, painless, and easy. “People are raving about it.”
According to Kassie, two years ago, only 20% of the business was dedicated to facials and waxing. Now, however, it represents 35% of the business.
“We have a wide variety of demographics in Hendricks County so my goal is to ultimately see more of a 50/50 split,” Kassie adds.
They have a no-strings-attached cancellation policy, and should you need to cancel, treatments accrue so you can upgrade to a two-hour massage one month or indulge in a combination massage and facial. In addition, treatments are transferrable should you wish to share them with a family member.
Speaking of family, Tyler couldn’t be prouder of his wife.
“She has persisted through all of the struggles and setbacks that come with opening a business,” he says. “It’s so much harder than people realize. Watching her go through it all without losing any traction of being an extremely active mom has been amazing.”
As for Kassie, she’s thrilled to provide the public with an elevated spa experience at an affordable price.
“We’re so excited to open our first business back home where our roots are,” Kassie says.
Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. The spa is located at 10409 E US Highway 36 in Avon. For more information, call 317-559-3240 or visit them online at handandstone.com/locations/avon-in.