Sarah Minen’s massage business in Salt Lake City

Story and photos by SHERYL CRONIN

Exterior view of Sarah Minen's office.

Young entrepreneurs often do not do as well as they expected in this economy. But businesswoman Sarah Minen has made her personal career successful with a growing clientele.

She recently moved her business Sarah Minen LMT from her home into an office in downtown Salt Lake City at 24th South and 600 East. Her new office is more spacious and more professional looking for her clients.

One of Minen’s clients, Chris Nizzardini, has been seeing her for three years. He said the massage room in her house was very nice. She was able to transform the room into a professional atmosphere for massage, but he says that the new office is more like an official place of business.

Interior of new office.

Minen says she is more likely now to socialize with her clients before and after the massage because she doesn’t have her roommates there to make things awkward.

Minen, 26, grew up in a small town, Tracy, Calif., and moved to Salt Lake City in her teens. Raised by two professionally successful parents, they instilled their work ethic within her and her siblings.

Minen was always interested in the profession of massage but was discouraged by her parents because they did not feel that it was an adequate career. She ended up getting an associate degree in sociology at Dixie College in southern Utah to try to please her parents, but she still felt that she wanted to do massage.

After obtaining a school loan and a small loan from her sister, Minen was able to enroll in the Utah College of Massage Therapy in 2007. She obtained her massage license while attending school only part time for one year and graduated in 2008. She was able to pay off the loans while still in school by working in restaurants as a server to make ends meet.

While in massage school she said she was taught how to market herself. At first it was really difficult to sell herself to others. She said it has become easier for her and has been beneficial as a self-employed young adult.

In a few of her past massage jobs she has been a manager, which also contributed to the transition into managing her own business.

“I love to help people feel better,” she said. One of her most memorable clients was a woman who was suffering from daily migraines that were so severe she could not work. The woman had come to her for three sessions and the migraines had disappeared.
“I feel that I changed her life,” Minen said.

Most massage therapists have a specialty massage and every year there are conferences around the country where the therapists go to learn about new types of massage. Minen’s specialties are deep tissue and trigger point.

Deep tissue is a type of massage in which therapists use their fist or elbow that work to get to the deeper muscles. With this technique the therapist must massage very slowly to mold the muscle. This method works the muscles that are not normally reached with a regular massage.

Trigger point massage is a method that focuses on particular points on the body that the therapists lean on with their elbow. When leaned on for a long enough time the muscle will release its tension.

Trigger point and deep tissue are both really good techniques to use on athletes. Minen was thankful that those two methods were the first she learned to do because they were the most useful to her athletic clients.

Minen said Utah is a great place for massage because of the number of outdoor athletes. The mountains in the Salt Lake area bring in a lot of clientele. Many of her clients run, ski, bike, snowboard, and there are even some triathletes who see her for sports-related muscle issues.

Some of the physical effects from doing massage can be carpal tunnel and disk degeneration. Minen said that eventually she would like to have her own business with her own employees to avoid the risk of getting carpal tunnel after working with her hands for so long.

One of the greater benefits of not being employed by a salon or chiropractic clinic is the hours. She only has to work about 20 hours a week. She keeps all of the profit instead of having to give a portion of it to a company she works for. This was one of her main goals to accomplish from being self-employed.

Minen’s business looks like it will continue to grow and provide her with a fulfilling career. She’s glad she did not listen to her parents when it came to her career. “I would choose this same career if I could do it all again,” Minen said.