When I was in Jakarta, Indonesia last year, I had such a swell time just relaxing and getting pampered from head to toe.
Day in and day out, my four-day itinerary was filled with stuffing myself silly with local delicacies, shopping, visiting their spas for massages, as well as beauty salons to give my frizzy mane and nails a little TLC.
Everything was cheap and good, so what’s there not to like?
Manicures, back rubs and even waxing – you name it, they have it.
I thought this was a very nifty and convenient service, and pined for a similar on-demand platform to be made available in Singapore.
Well, my prayers have since been (partially) answered, thanks to the folks behind The Outcall Spa.
A Mobile Massage Spa Service
Stella Tan, 37, and Amber Chong, 38, got acquainted with each other thanks to their 8-year-old daughters (who are each other’s BFFs).
“We are both crazy about massages, and have gone for spa services locally and overseas. We often share with each other our favourite spas and talk about how they can do better,” said Amber.
As avid massage enthusiasts, it was a natural progression for them to start up their own spa business.
But here’s the twist that makes them stand out from the rest of their competitors: a mobile massage spa service.
“The Outcall Spa aims to provide professional and hotel-grade outcall spa services to our customers, at the comfort of their own homes.”
According to Amber, the duo focuses a lot on the customer experience and pays utmost attention to nitty-gritty details in setting up the perfect relaxing atmosphere to emulate a real spa.
From a full-sized massage bed, scented candles, dim lighting and tranquil music, to thick and fluffy towels to adorn the massage station, customers are guaranteed a blissful 90 or 120-minute massage.
A warm glass of ginger tea – directly imported from Indonesia – is also served to customers to wrap up the session.
And since they bring the spa services to them, it really makes it convenient for customers as they can save time and effort on traveling.
“Most of our clients lead a busy lifestyle – they have no time to pamper themselves, or even if they want to do so after a long day of work, shops are already closed. There are also other busy individuals who can’t afford to leave their house because they have to take care of their kids.”
“On the other end of the spectrum, we also have frequent travelers who often engage our services before or after they come back from a long flight. We also often make trips to the hospitals to provide our service to patients.”
A Growing Startup
Launched in February last year, the duo pumped in $100,000 of their savings to start up The Outcall Spa as a side business.
But they’re still holding on to their day jobs – Stella works as an interior designer, while Amber is a senior business development manager with a Singapore MNC.
The latter has also ran a few e-commerce businesses prior to this.
“In the first month, we only got one customer. But from the third month onwards, we were fully-booked and even had difficulties coping with the demand. Once word got out, calls started coming in endlessly.”
Word from customers is that they are very impressed that they operate till 2am, yet don’t charge any late-night or transportation fees.
The Outcall Spa is still a fledging startup.
They are a growing team from 1 to 4 people, and are looking to expanding to 6 therapists by year end.
“All therapists are certified and have more than 6 years of experience in hotel spa,” said Amber, confirming her staffs’ credibility. She added that they are very stringent in their hiring process and have interviewed more than 50 therapists in a month.
“The best thing about operating a mobile spa is that we do not have space constraints so we can increase our supply (in-house therapists) to accommodate the business growth. We can serve up to 16 customers a day based on our current staff strength.”
“The concept of a professional outcall service is pretty new in Singapore, unlike in Western countries.”
“Customers who are familiar with this concept appreciate the convenience we bring to them, and find that our charges are value-for-money. But for those who don’t, they do find that our charges are not the cheapest in town so they hesitate to try it.”
But thankfully, response has been very positive so far and the business have broke even at their 16-month mark.
“We value our employees very much and we know that without them, we won’t be able to achieve the success we enjoy today. When you have a team of committed and happy employees, that’s when you know your company will be successful.”
Sharing about future business plans, Amber said that they are looking to expand their service line and introduce hand, foot, and nail care treatments in November this year.
So besides kneading the knots away, customers can soon look forward to manicures and pedicures as well.
Featured Image Credit: The Outcall Spa