Business owner Bruce Levine is laser focused on building.
Levine, of Huntingdon Valley, chose to stay and build anew in Hatboro instead of staying with his former employer, Spa Escape in Hatboro, or relocating to Horsham as part of a new salon run by the same owner as Spa Escape.
"I looked at 50 places in Hatboro," he said, adding that 101 E. Moreland Ave., suite 3, home of his business, In Good Hands Salon and Spa, "lent itself very well."
But, a building would be nothing without people to provide services. Levine, a massage therapist of 17 years, brought with him four fellow colleagues of Spa Escape to serve in a “tiered system of managers.”
Together, Levine and company opened In Good Hands at the beginning of November.
“They’ve been doing this for well over 10 years,” Levine said of Jess Kepler and Kelly Walsh. “They’ve got a client base and they’ve got experience.”
With visions of building on that experience and continuing to hire more employees in mind, Levine put in place a nail manager, a hair manager, a massage manager and a facial manager/office administrator. The 1,700-square-foot business features four treatment rooms, two pedicure tables, two manicure tables, three hair stations and two massage rooms, meaning that at the outset, Levine has more space than he does employees.
Yet, another element to build upon, he said. In fact, his goal is to have “15 (employees) by 2015.”
Once a team was formed, the makeover of his new space followed. Levine spent more than a month taking down walls and ripping up carpet to expose hard wood flooring in the 200-year-old former residence, which most recently housed a chiropractor office.
“I wanted the right feel,” Levine said of the building’s “old historic charm.”
Now, with the bulk of the $40,000 in renovations and business outfitting complete and prints of iconic Hatboro images in place, Levine is on to his next phase of building.
“I’m all about building the relationships with people and expanding their service,” Levine said. “It’s about what the clients like and what the operators like.”
Levine said he and his staff: massage manager Denise Aurelia, as well as Kepler, Walsh and Barb Carnahan, through their work prior to In Good Hands, focused on building and growing those relationships, making a new venture easier because of an established client following.
“We’re friends with them on Facebook,” Levine said. “We send them Christmas cards. It’s that personal service that sets us apart.”
Even with economic uncertainties, Levine, who spent 15 years running a wellness center, is confident that now is a great time to open a business centered on helping people look good and feel better about themselves.
And, like the one-by-one building blocks, Levine said he hopes to get there “one client at a time.”
“It’s about building the customer base,” Levine said. “We want you to come in and then you’re going to stay.”