Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I thoroughly enjoy getting a massage. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a plush robe, throwing my hair up into a bun, and lying down for an hour — or more, if I’m feeling bougie — of complete and total bliss. But similarly to other massage lovers out there, I don’t get them nearly enough. You’d think that someone who travels as much as I do would have a membership or regular masseuse somewhere, but alas, this is the one part of my beauty routine splurges in which I am lacking. Enter a new concept, Squeeze massage.
Created by Drybar founder Alli Webb and Drybar’s former Vice President of Marketing, Brittany Driscoll, the new massage shop concept is totally customizable and automized, from the booking process all the way through leaving your tip for your therapist. And better yet, their services come at an affordable price point.
I had the opportunity to talk to Alli and Brittany about their vision for Squeeze after their Drybar success.
“We didn’t like the ambience and clunky booking process at the discount chains, or the exorbitant prices at high-end spas and hotels. [We also didn’t like the idea of] having a stranger come into our home,” says Alli. “We had a vision for our ideal massage experience, starting with a super intuitive and seamless online booking platform combined with a beautifully-designed space, [complete with] incredibly talented and friendly therapists.”
Aesthetic aside, Alli and Brittany wanted to ensure that the Squeeze experience would feel upscale but still accessible. The shop is meant to cater to all ages, genders, and levels of interest in wellness and self-care.
“Massage really is, or at least should be, for everyone,” says Brittany. “[Regular massages are] crucial to your well-being. [Squeeze sees] guests of all ages and stages of life. We’ve already seen guests ranging in age from 13 to 75!”
Their first — and currently only — location is in Studio City, California. The shop is just a quick 15 minute drive away from my apartment in North Hollywood. Naturally, I had to go in for a treatment and see what the fuss was about. After all, if Alli Webb founded it, it had to be great, right? My instincts were 100 percent correct.
The Booking Process
Booking was a total breeze. All I had to do was fill out a preference form on their website. I specified all the things that I normally talk about with a therapist at the beginning of an appointment. I was able to specify what I wanted in my treatment, from the intensity of pressure, to which parts of my body I wanted to concentrate on (as well as ones to avoid). The online booking form also asked if I had any allergies or skin conditions. It even asked if I wanted the table warmed. The simple online form ensured a seamless check-in process once I got to the shop.
Once I got to the space — which is just as adorable and welcoming as their Instagram suggests — I was greeted by someone at the front desk, who tapped my name on an iPad and guided me to the waiting room. (Yes, it really was that easy.) In the waiting room, I was able to indulge in infused water and little snacks. I also used that time to pick out my aromatherapy scent. The scents were all contained in little cupboards that I could open and close to get a whiff of.
As for the space itself, it was perfectly Instagrammable, as we millennials expect all new businesses to be. The wall was accented with punny and cute sayings like, “For the friend in knead.” next to the gift cards and “Turn around, bright eyes.” in the reflection of the bathroom mirror. Plus, all of the staff members were in cute denim overalls, and what’s more adorable than that?
My therapist greeted me right at my appointment time and took me to my treatment room. She explained all of the room’s amenities, including the wireless charger for my phone, jewelry tray for my accessories, and basket of hair ties, in case I forgot one. She also showed me how to set the temperature, lighting, and music in the room to create the perfect ambiance for my treatment. Finally, she pointed out the little button underneath the massage table, which I could press when I was ready for her to come back in. (Seriously, how has no one thought of this before? Awkward knock, be gone!)
The Actual Treatment
Right before we got started, my therapist confirmed everything from my booking form to ensure that those selections were still correct, and we were able to jump right into the treatment. No awkward talk about my eczema, no explaining that I don’t like my stomach being massaged. She already knew because the form told her so.
And of course, the actual massage experience was nothing short of heavenly. I have a habit of falling into deep sleep (snoring and all) when I’m in a really good massage, and I was snoring up a storm during this one.
One of the parts that always zaps me out of the relaxing spa experience is the checking out process. You have to worry about getting dressed and getting out in time for the therapist to turn over the room. On top of that, you have to compete with entering clients as you try to check out. Something as simple as leaving your tip can be stressful. Squeeze takes all of this away.
As soon as I was done, my therapist allowed me to get dressed and escorted me to the waiting room. I took a second to relax, enjoy a glass of water, and allow my body to wake up. There was an option to leave a tip for her through a link sent via text message. I didn’t even have to stop at the desk on my way out.
I already have another Squeeze appointment booked, and have recommended it to many friends who live in LA. In my opinion, Squeeze is a fantastic concept for a massage shop. Honestly, I’m truly surprised that someone hadn’t come up with it sooner. It’s a great example of a business doing one thing, really well. Plus, the founders did a great job of making the entire experience enjoyable and fun from the get.
“I think people appreciate that and trust brands that stay true to their core offering, while providing a convenient, personalized, and fun experience,” says Brittany. “I love trying out new concepts and think we’ll continue to see new offerings that will become part of our regular routines.”
Alli adds, “With Drybar, we felt very strongly about creating a business focused on one thing: blowouts. I’ve always felt that you can be good at several things, or you can be great at one thing.” She continues, “So, I tend to gravitate toward companies that have a singular focus. It also creates a fantastic customer experience, which I think people are drawn to and really love. After all, there’s nothing more important than the experience.”