Melanie Reedy and Jamie Fariss are two locals who aren’t fazed by the shoulder season. Their business, Simply Massage and Boutique, located in the Village at Mammoth, will stay open seven days a week throughout the fall and they’re offering 20% off all items in their boutique for the month of October.
Reedy and Fariss opened Simply Massage in the Village in February of 2011 and expanded to include the boutique last November.
“The boutique is totally new for us,” Fariss said. “It’s been steady and during the summer and we’ve seen the potential. Plus, we both agree it’s important to stay open.”
“A lot of businesses close in the Village for about three weeks, but we don’t,” Reedy added.
Reedy and Fariss run the boutique, manage the spa, and also both still give massages to clients. “We’re really busy and it gets a little crazy sometimes,” Fariss said, but neither one of them seem to mind the busyness.
Simply Massage started as a mobile massage company in 2004, owned by Reedy who hired Fariss as a massage therapist. They went to houses and condos and eventually landing contracts with the Westin and 80/50. “We just started to grow from there,” Reedy said. “We gradually started to add on therapists but it was more of a seasonal business back then.”
As the business grew, Reedy opened a small office in the A-Frame on the corner of Minaret and Forest Trail in 2009. “I wanted to move close to the Village [to] see what kind of foot traffic we could get but knew rent was expensive in here.”
After seeing a growing number of clients from the Village, Reedy asked Fariss to officially go into business with her to open Simply Massage next to Chato Boutique in the Village. The boutique and spa “feed off of each other,” Fariss said. “Some people just call and book a treatment and then see we expanded and like something at the boutique. Others come in because they love the window display and then book a treatment.”
“My long term goal was to open a massage spa,” Reedy added. “And we always wanted to open a boutique.”
Originally from Minnesota, Reedy came to Mammoth in 2003 with her sister.
“I moved here just to check it out and at that point I had no intentions of staying,” Reedy said. “I had been moving every six months but this was the first time I wanted to stay.” Previously she had been moving around different resort towns practicing massage therapy, which she started in 2000.
Reedy met Fariss in Montana and then spent a summer with her in Alaska, where Fariss is from. Fariss, who spent five months during the summer commercial fishing salmon farms to pay for college, jumped at the chance to spend a winter in Mammoth with Reedy.
“Mammoth was perfect for me because I would fish in the summer and then I would travel the winters,” Fariss said. “When Melanie asked me to move to Mammoth it still worked, because I could travel in the fall and then come here in December and work…until we opened [Simply Massage] and the responsibility was a little bit bigger.”
Fariss still goes to Alaska for two months every summer to fish, and relates it a lot to massage. “You’re in your head a lot and you have to work through some challenging situations. Oddly enough there are similarities between the two,” she said.
Fariss has spent up to 21 days on a fishing boat and admitted she’s experienced bad weather and harrowing situations. “I don’t like to talk about those things, they make my heart palpitate,” she said. “It’s not as intense [as the Deadliest Catch] but it does get icky out there.”
Fariss sells some of her smoked salmon at the boutique, along with other “unique items made by artisans,” Reedy said. “We wanted to create more of an eco-consciousness and there’s not really a place [in Mammoth] where you can go and get unique gifts.”
“We have everything from organic woman’s underwear, to alpaca sweaters; fruit-dyed make-up and candles,” said Fariss, who is also building social consciousness into the boutique. “We just picked up this one woman [vendor] from Cuba. She goes into single-parent homes and teaches them how to make the jewelry so they can work from home.”
And the spa offers massages, facials and waxing with eight massage therapists and two estheticians. “We provide more of a therapeutic massage instead of a foofoo spa massage,” Reedy said, who will finish her Rolfing massage course on November 20. “I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time and no one does it in town since Rama Davis left five years ago,” she said. Rolfing massage focuses on structural integration by working on the connective tissue and realigning the body. “It’s good specifically for chronic injuries or pain,” Reedy said.
Although rent in the Village is “astronomical” according to Fariss, Reedy and Fariss plan on keeping their location in the Village long-term. “They’re [The Neighborhood Company] doing a great job putting on events which brings people in,” Reedy said.
“And we have a lot of long-term clientele that we’ve been massaging since 2004,” said Fariss. “I think we’re realizing even if it’s a poor snow year or a heavy snow year we are still pretty consistent with body work. There’s either not a whole lot to do on the Mountain so they come in for a massage or they’re so sore from being on the Mountain.”