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Beating The Odds
Kneaded Relief's Prairie Walkway
It was December of 1997, and the day spa industry was on the precipice of explosive growth. Even so, Nichol Schumacher’s and Duke Harvey’s purchase of a 1,400-square-foot day spa in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin, could only be considered a gamble. A 23-year-old spa manager, Schumacher had been dating Harvey for only two months. “Neither of us was really looking to purchase a spa,” she remembers. “But Duke wanted a fitness studio, and I knew that massage goes hand-in-hand with fitness training. So, when Kneaded Relief came up for sale, and our philosophies and outlooks matched up so well, we said, ‘Let’s do this!’”
In the 14 years since their somewhat naïve beginning, Schumacher and Harvey have built a day spa business three times its original size. Kneaded Relief Day Spa & Wellness routinely wins local awards, effectively networks within its community, upholds a steadfast focus on wellness, and enjoys a committed staff and a loyal customer base. DAYSPA caught up with Schumacher to find out the secrets behind this Midwestern success story. —Tracy Morin