West Bend day spa to quadruple size with new building


August 16, 2017

Nicolette Kearns, left, and her husband, Bob, pose on the  construction site for a 15,000-square-foot building Wednesday in West  Bend. The building will house the couple's businesses. Nicolette owns
Healing Elements Day Spa and Bob owns Concept2Solution.
Nicholas Dettmann/Daily News

Nicolette Kearns had enough.

Kearns, the owner of Healing Elements Day Spa, 2102 Continental Drive, West Bend, was tired of getting a call from a client needing a massage as soon as possible for whatever reason and she had to say there wasn’t an opening until at least the following week. In 10 months, Kearns hopes those types of calls disappear.

On July 26, Kearns, along with her husband, Robert Kearns III, owner of Concept2Solution, 1530 Corporate Center Drive, West Bend, broke ground on a 15,000-square-foot facility across the street from Healing Elements Day Spa’s present-day location.

The facility will house both of the Kearns’ businesses. Concept2Solution, a mechanical design company, will get 2,200 square feet of the space and the day spa will get the remaining space. The couple said the hope is to open both businesses April 1.

“We are so excited,” Nicolette said. “We’ve been waiting for probably a good three years planning this.”

For the spa, the new facility will quadruple their present-day availability, ending what was described as people tripping over each other.

“We’ve maxed out this space for a long time,” Nicolette said. “We’re really excited about having more space.”

If all goes to plan, Nicolette will open the expanded spa 10 years after the present-day facility opened.

“To see the action over there is a huge morale booster,” Robert said. “It makes all the inconveniences they have to deal with, sharing lockers, tripping over each other, everything else worth it.

“We just have to make it a couple more months. We’ll go over there and everything will be awesome.”

To get to this point was a journey for Nicolette and Robert.

They each started their businesses at about the same time. When they did, they were each 26 years old with two children — both younger than 3.

Nicolette opened the spa because she was beginning to develop arthritis after nearly a decade of being a massage therapist. But, she loved the industry, so she came up with the next best option.

“I knew my time was limited, but I love the industry so much I didn’t want to walk away from it,” Nicolette said.

The couple balanced ownership of two businesses, while also being parents to two small children, in the midst of an economic recession.

It took hard work and plenty of dedication to get through it.

“We’re both very similar personalities,” Nicolette said. “We are both hard workers, we focus really well. We work very well together.”

Nicolette said the spa maximized its available space about three years ago.

“We have three people sharing an office,” she said with a smile. “We’re on top of each other. We just don’t have the space, we don’t have enough room. We have waiting lists almost daily.”

Yes, it’s a nice problem to have, demand is greater than available supply. But that didn’t mean it was making Nicolette or others happy. In actuality, it was making them feel guilty.

“I’m a massage therapist by trade,” Nicolette said. “So if someone calls and hurts themselves and they want a massage that day, we don’t have anything for a week, that just kills me.

“My whole point to being a massage therapist is to help people and not being to help them that day is very frustrating.”

Today, Nicolette employs 42 people at the spa. In the new facility, there will be a need for 10-20 more employees. Among the employees that’ll likely be needed include three or four massage therapists and two or three cosmetologists.

Some of the new offerings include a wellness center to host yoga classes.

Nicolette can’t wait for the time she can say “yes” instead of “no” when it comes to helping a client, because space won’t be an issue anymore.

“(In business) you’re either growing or you’re dying,” Robert said. “Up until about three years ago, we could grow within these walls. ... Now, we’ve also filled these walls and have gone out into the community which we continue to grow, but now we’re stifled.

“We have to figure out either to not grow and not die or grow, which is what we chose to do.”