OTTAWA — Customers can come into Kathy Heeter’s massage studio, take a seat on the couch and sip a cup of tea before their appointment.
She pads her schedule so no one will have to wait for their turn, but hopes her customers will feel comfortable coming in early to de-stress.
Heeter, a licensed massage therapist, opened The Massage Studio on Main in Ottawa March 6 but has been giving massages for years.
“I feel like when I give massages, I’m not only providing the service to someone else, I actually receive something back,” she said.
She used to work as a computer application, sales and management training professional and would always massage her friends’ shoulders on breaks.
“I’m a tactile person,” Heeter said. “I’m touch-oriented to begin with. It just seemed natural.”
Heeter has been working as an independent massage therapist in other massage therapist and chiropractor offices for years but wanted to branch out on her own so she can offer more services. She got her training about six years ago at the Ohio College of Massotherapy in Akron.
Her studio, located at 227 E. Main St., Suite 106, Ottawa, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and by appointment Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Heeter, a Continental native and current resident, works as a waitress at Henry’s Restaurant and wanted to start her business in Ottawa because “the village and the people are welcoming.”
She focuses on making her studio welcoming as well.
The building she’s in is “very quiet,” she said, something she chose on purpose. When giving massages, she offers soothing music and soft light.
The studio offers a combination of spa services and therapeutic massage. She can use massage to correct injuries, weakness or range of motion problems and just help people relax, as relaxation improves health.
She also offers hot stone, aromatherapy, dry brush and deep tissue massage.
Heeter eventually hopes to make her studio her full-time job.
“I want to focus on building my client base, building some relationships with the businesses nearby,” she said. “This is where I really love to be.”