Here at MainStreetBeacon, we have been connecting with small businesses that provide outlets for these practices of personal health and wellness- and we’ve been floored by the efforts in Beacon to maintain such invaluable services for the community.
Massage therapy, though sometimes overlooked, is a new standout pillar for personal wellness in Beacon. I sat down with Beacon’s own Tim Roach to discuss how his company, Focus On Massage Therapy, brings the ultimate self-care practice to the comfort of your own home.
There was something instantly likeable about Tim. From the moment he arrived at our meeting, he had an undeniable authenticity about him that immediately set him apart as an entrepreneur. A licensed Massage Therapist, he specializes in both relaxation and medical massages. He works as an at-home massage therapist, traveling to his clients homes to practice, rather than having them come to a studio.
I had to kick off things by indulging my own curiosity...
MSB: Okay, so why Massage Therapy?
Tim: My interest in massage therapy peaked when I was really young actually! My dad got into a pretty bad car accident and he needed help at home to keep up his physical therapy, so my sister and I used to help him out. We would work on his back at home!
A light came to his eyes as he explained this origin story to me and he has a sense of calm in his voice- indicative of someone who hovers over a massage table most days, making sure people are relaxed.
MSB: Wow, your dad was lucky to have the help! And what an interesting introduction to the field.
Tim: Yeah, it’s crazy...My sister got into it too and she actually became a physical therapy assistant. Both of our interests just spurred from that experience [with my dad].
Operating as a one-man show, Tim is the sole massage therapist for all his Focus On clients. Licensed as a Massage Therapist back in 2012, he had almost a decade of experience working at a popular massage chain in Long Island called Massage Envy, before pursuing his own business venture.
Tim: I had a friend who inspired me to branch out and do my own thing. I chose to work in Beacon because, well, my girlfriend and I really love the mountains and the river here - we’re huge hikers! We love this area so much, it just made sense to start my business here and put roots down.
Through a mix of an online platform called Thumbtack and word of mouth, Tim has developed a great client list over the last couple years. However, when the pandemic hit, it threw a substantial wrench in his ‘at-home massage’ business model. As NY state shutdowns and CDC guidelines circulated, Tim struggled to uphold his client list.
Tim: I wasn’t able to work for a while. I think it was July when businesses in the ‘personal care’ category were finally able to start up again. Even then though, I had to be really mindful of how ethical my practice was. I was going in and out of homes in New York, so I wanted my clients to feel safe and I didn’t want to risk anything.
In-home massages are a unique and relatively rare practice in the Hudson Valley and it could be due to the attention to detail that goes into the at-home experience. Tim explained that each client has a different set of expectations when it comes to the massage they want, so it takes time to match the right service with each person, while also building rapport.
When I asked why Tim didn’t just open a studio to host his clients, he explained that providing treatment in the comfort of each client’s own home, hugely benefits their overall experience and, in some cases, medical improvement.
Tim: Many of my clients deal with back pain or neck pain. When I’m in their home, they can show me what chair they sit in every night when they watch TV, or the desk set up they have if they work from home. I can make recommendations to adjust things in their environment that could help improve their pain. Maybe they need to raise their computer keyboard or get a more supportive chair, that kind of stuff.
In addition to getting a peak into his clients physical setting to improve his services, he says that his clients seem more relaxed because they are in a familiar setting. He is able to open conversations to explore the physical, and sometimes emotional, source of their body tension/pain they’re experiencing. Being in their own home influences a more comfortable dynamic and many of his clients are more willing to open up about certain stressors in their lives or anxieties that may be affecting them physically.
Tim recognizes that a huge part of his job is building the relationship with his clients, to ensure the best results- and we’ll admit, Tim’s affable nature is one of the best tools in his toolbox!
Tim: Learning more about my clients allows me to provide the best service and massage. Some of my clients don’t ever want to chat, even do small talk when I’m there...they just want me to set up my table, do my thing, and leave - and that’s totally fine! But many of them are willing to have conversations about certain things that are stressful in their life that could be causing the physical pain. Then, they become more aware of the source of their pain when I’m not around and I’m able to work on them with those things in mind.
MSB: Do you ever finish someone's massage and they ask you to stay longer and keep working on them?
Tim: Oh, all the time! Most of my clients want relaxation massages and when I’m done, they’ll ask me to go longer or maybe a relative in the house sees and asks for one too and I’m just like “Absolutely!”
Having so much industry knowledge, Tim put great thought into the pricing for his services too.
Tim: I definitely want the experience to be affordable for people, so I took a look at different pricing models for single massages and club memberships at chain establishments.
His pricing hovers, very affordably, around non-club prices...and our wallets love this! Tim admitted there is an old stigma about massages as being only a luxury service- and often priced as much! But he wanted to build his business with the average consumer in mind. Whether you want a general relaxation massage or you want a medical massage to get to the root of your back pain - Tim meets his clients where they are and has both the physical ability and emotional intelligence to curate the perfect experience for his clients.
As our interview came to an end, I pointed at his crisp black tee shirt he was wearing to the Focus On logo.
MSB: I love your tee shirt and logo! How did you come up with the name ‘Focus On’ Massage Therapy?
Tim: Thank you! Well, I’m a lucky guy, my girlfriend works in marketing and she came up with the logo and the design for my website. She also helps with my social media...and I should give her credit for the name too! Early on, when I was trying to come up with the name for the business, I was talking to her about it. I kept saying, “I want the name I choose to really focus on ‘this’ and focus on ‘that,’ all different things that have to do with massage therapy” Then, she looked at me and she was like, “You literally said the words ‘focus on’ like 100 times. You should just call it that,” and it just stuck!
Well, we think the name is spot-on... and shoutout to Tim’s girlfriend for her creative support behind his biz!
As he continues to grow his practice, Tim’s vision for Focus On will always stretch way beyond his mobile massage table.
Tim: My goal is to always provide the best possible service by meeting each client where they’re at.
We’re ready for our massage now, Tim!