Mama Love

Zenana Spa massage

Zenana Spa and Wellness Center

Portland, Oregon

Annee Ingala knew when she opened her maternity spa in 2006 that, with the right business plan, she’d secure a steady stream of clients. Simply put, women will always have babies. “There is no other local spa that specializes in these services, yet there will always be women in need of us,” she says.

To attract clients to Zenana, Ingala advertises in local parenting publications and makes personal impressions by attending events targeted at expectant parents. In the process, she has built close relationships with OB/GYNs, midwives and pediatricians, who advise her on the latest safety procedures and provide referrals that keep her business thriving. “Word-of-mouth has been our best source of marketing,” Ingala says. “It’s extremely important, because women want to know they’ll be treated with extra-special care and attention while they’re pregnant.”

Zenana offers more than the average lineup of maternity services, although prenatal massage remains a top-seller. Wellness options include prenatal yoga classes, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and lactation and midwife consultations. Spa packages were designed to encourage repeat visits throughout a client’s pregnancy. For example, the Mama’s Dream ($515) includes three prenatal and one postnatal massage, as well as a facial, pedicure and plaster cast of the client’s “baby bump,” created just before delivery.

And once these women give birth, Ingala and her staff—all of whom are specially trained in prenatal therapies and contraindications—continue to encourage new parents to take time for themselves. “These clients have the least amount of free time, yet need spa services the most,” Ingala says. “We try to personally connect after their baby is born to remind mothers how important spa and wellness services are.”

Opening year: 2006
Square footage: 3,000
Facilities: 5 massage rooms, facial room, nail area, studio space for fitness and education classes
No. of employees: 35
Average service ticket: $70
Product lines: Éminence Organic Skin Care, Zoya
Targeted retail: Breast pumps, nursing bras, diaper bags
Most popular treatments: Prenatal Massage (90 min./$120),
Serenity Pedicure (60 min./$55), Flourish Facial (60 min./$80)