No Time to Relax

| by Asbury Park Press



Alla Shapiro opens Woodhouse Day Spa

Like many other ambitious young women in their early 20s, I had painted a picture of success in my mind during my college years of me working my way to the top of the corporate ladder.  After finishing my master’s degree in business administration at New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2003, I was ready to start my life as a corporate career woman. When I landed a position as a portfolio manager with Bank of America in New York City, my dreams finally started to take shape.  I spent two years out of my eight-year corporate career working for Bank of America. As a workaholic, I loved the long hours and didn’t mind the weekend time spent in the office that sometimes came along with the job.  But as I approached my second year with the company, I started thinking about what I really wanted to get out of my career, and realized that my finance job wasn’t leading me there.  So, despite my ongoing passion for my career, I decided to leave and pursue my dream of running a business.

Today, I’m a franchise owner about to open my second Woodhouse Day Spa in New Jersey, and I couldn’t be happier. I opened my first Woodhouse spa in 2008 in Montclair and my second location is set to open in Red Bank this month.  After I decided I wanted to be my own boss, I looked into franchise opportunities and found The Woodhouse Day Spa. Going into business with Woodhouse was an easy decision – who doesn’t love a spa?

Also, the Woodhouse concept was unique in that it is a high-end brand with a great vision. As an upscale day spa chain offering more than 50 different treatments that encompass skin and body care, hand and foot care, massage therapy, specialty treatments and other services using organic products, Woodhouse was something I could really get excited about.  I chose the franchise model because it has a proven system in place to follow, so I knew I would have somewhere to turn for help in the areas of the business where I lacked experience. When you’re working for yourself instead of as a part of a big company, you get to experience all aspects of running a business. When I first opened, I was even cleaning toilets and pretty much doing it all.  Although getting the spa started at the height of the recession had been challenging, the Montclair location is thriving. The new Red Bank location will help meet the demand for Woodhouse Spa services in New Jersey.

My advice to other women thinking about a career change is to follow your heart, and if you’re prepared to work hard you will be able to accomplish whatever you want. Finally, I always say do what makes you happy and the money will follow.


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