Just the right touch, easy on the walletGina Horn said some people figure they can’t afford a massage. Her new business is aimed at that underserved demographic.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
Gina Horn said some people figure they can’t afford a massage. Her new business is aimed at that underserved demographic.
“I want to appeal to those who don’t feel able to pay for big, fancy-priced massages,” she said. “Often it’s people who are down-and-out, struggling with bills, putting food on the table, and who are just stressed out by circumstances -- these are the ones who could benefit the most from a massage.
“Massage is viewed as a luxury, but it’s more of a necessity. I’m looking to offer my services to people who work full time, run their own errands, wash their own clothes, clean their own house. All that’s exhausting, and they need a relaxing massage more than anybody.”
Horn said she’s not trying to upset, upstage or undercut other massage therapists. She’s simply “targeting a different clientele.”
Horn’s new one-woman massage business is called AURYN, at 421 N. Main St. It’s situated on the banks of the Kinnickinnic in the historic Prairie Mill Building.
“It’s my little hole-in-the-wall, right on the Kinni -- if I open the windows in the summer you’ll hear the river and I won’t need to play fake water sounds,” she said “It’s a gorgeous nook, the building and this space have a lot of character. It doesn’t have a sterile, office feel.”
Horn, 33, has a plain, uncomplicated format: While trained in various massage methods, she’ll only offer one-hour, full-body, relaxation massages for $35.
Massages are by appointment only. Horn can be reached by cellphone at 651-307-0160. For the rest of December (her first month open), hourly massages are just $25.
Since Horn’s business is appointment-driven, her hours are “very flexible.” She’s available evenings and weekends.
Horn said her one-hour time slots are devoted exclusively to massage, or what she calls “melt-away time,” and that extra time needed for clothes changing and before-and-after consultations are all part of the $35 fee.
Horn received her massage therapy certificate from St. Paul College. She worked in the field at St. Croix Hospice, out of the Oakdale, Minn., office.
It was delicate work that required a sensitive touch.
“I handled hospice patients who were referred by doctors,” she said. “I was there to help relieve and control symptoms like anxiety, isolation and pain -- things that a caregiver can’t provide”
All the while Horn was preparing to open and run her own massage business. She’s had the space in the Prairie Mill Building for more than a year.
“Doing this has been a dream of mine,” she said. “It’s the job I knew I’d do one day.”
Horn is serious about reaching people who equate massage with luxury.
“Human touch shouldn’t be as expensive as it is,” she says. “You can give someone a back rub or a hug for nothing. I’m keeping things simple and fair. You can try it once for $35 and not feel like you’re out of a ton of money.
“For me, this is a perfect combination of living my dream and being able to give back. I want to reach a segment of the population that hasn’t considered massage as an option.
“Bring your hard-earned money here, and get your muscles relaxed and your stress levels reduced.”
Horn her husband, Michael, and 10-year-old son, Julian, have lived in the Sterling Ponds subdivision of River Falls for two years.
Michael is a manager for his father’s business, South Suburban Rental in Newport, Minn. Julian is home schooled.
The Horns moved briefly to Arizona but returned because they missed the four seasons and family ties in western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities.
For leisure, Gina Horn likes to attend movies, including at the local Falls Theatre, head north to the family cabin near Brainerd, Minn., read, teach herself to play piano and sing -- she tried out years ago to be a contestant on the TV show “American Idol.”