Spotlight Spa Tuscano – Kansas City Day Spa

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Startup: A clear vision guides the Spa Tuscano toward the goal

After they sold their pet treat company in 2005, Joe and Judy Roetheli opened the Spa Tuscano last fall in Briarcliff Village.

The business: The Spa Tuscano, 4133 N. Mulberry Drive, Kansas City;

Owners: Joe and Judy Roetheli

About the business: “The Spa Tuscano is a wellness center in Briarcliff Village. The concept is somewhere between a normal day spa and a destination spa. We offer a number of unusual and elegant features, such as meandering hallways and indirect ‘cloud’ lighting. We are not there yet, but we are working hard to earn the reputation of being the best spa in the Midwest,” Joe Roetheli said.

Owners’ role: “We continue to set policies, strategies and goals, although we have a manager who runs the day-to-day operations.”

How long did it take you to start your business?

“We sold a previous company (S&M NuTec, maker of pet treats) in May 2005 and started thinking about what we wanted to do next. We used to have a massage therapist come in and give massages to employees in that business, and we took that concept forward. We started working diligently on the concept in July 2006 and opened the Spa Tuscano last November.”

What worked in starting your own business?

“We believe it is important to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and then get passionate and enthusiastic about it. Think very carefully about what you want to do and how you’re going to get there. We visited a number of spas around the country to get a feel for what they were doing. It boils down to being willing to take some risk and then getting out there and executing your plan day by day.”

What is your advice for others hoping to start their own businesses?

“Securing adequate financing is very, very important. A lot of people start businesses but run out of money if their projected growth doesn’t materialize.”

Did you reach a low point in this process and, if so, how did you overcome it?

“There are challenges to starting any new business. Our space looked big when we started out, but then it seemed to shrink somehow. It became hard to fit everything we wanted to do in the spa into the space we had available. Getting started and staffed without a reputation in the spa industry is not a piece of cake. You have to fight your way under, around or through those challenges.”

Is there anything else you would like to share related to starting a business in the hospitality industry?

“Too many people start a business because they think it will make a lot of money, even though it’s not something they enjoy. That’s backwards thinking. Instead, find something you enjoy doing, and think about how you can make money at it.”

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