Friday, August 14, 2015

Oh, my aching back. (And that crick in my neck…)

The aching back I attribute to the fact that, the last few days, I’ve been neglecting my workouts. With my renovation project looming, I’ve been racing around picking out and ordering my appliances, the kitchen floor, the kitchen cabinets, the all important backsplash, bathroom flooring, bathroom tiles, vanities, “plumbing stuff” (who even knew there was something called a mix valve?), finishing touches (hey, that wash cloth hook is kind of cute and it’s only $12.95: take two, they’re small)…

And the pressure has been on. The project is sledge-hammering off in just a few weeks, and we have tax-free weekend coming up, so there are a few deals out there I wanted to take advantage of. Of course, not everything I’m ordering qualifies, and one of the vendors I’m working with doesn’t “do” tax-free weekend because their finance department is only open M-F.

From a marketing perspective, this seem pretty ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be worth while paying someone a bit of OT to process orders on Saturday so your customers can save a few bucks? But, oh, I forgot. I’m not a customer. I’m a “guest” and, while quite a few “guests” have asked for the tax-free break, the company just doesn’t go for it. (They also don’t give you any break if you pay by check. So, they’d rather pay Visa 2% than let me have it? Despite my pique here, I just don’t have the energy to shop around. I really like the sales person, but jeez louise…)

So, that’s why I have an ache in my back. The crick in my neck is from hunching over Houzz to get ideas for finishing touches (like those darling wash cloth hooks…)

But, if I lived in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, SF East Bay, Silicon Valley (from Burlingame to San Jose area), Miami, San Diego, Phoenix/Scottsdale or Austin, I’d be able to rid myself of ache, crick and pique by ordering up an in-home massage from Soothe.

I watch enough TV to know that there’s nothing novel about an in-home massage. What Soothe has going is an on-demand model, in which licensed massage therapists can offer their wares through a communal site, rather than on their own.

Customers can book a massage through the website or smartphone app, and it can be for as soon as within the hour, or for another date and time of their choosing. (Source: Fortune)

But not yet, alas, the place of their choosing, unless it’s one of the places on their list. Since founder Merlin Kauffman – a great name or what – is a graduate of Harvard Business School, I’m sure he’s coming here soon. Surely, he knows just how tensed up us Bostonians can get. (He was, in fact, inspired to found Soothe while he was a student at HBS when he couldn’t easily get the knots out of his case-study challenged body.)

Anyway, Soothe has some expansion money in their mitts, thanks to $10.6M in new funding, and I suspect they’ll spend of it coming East any day now.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering just how safe it is to invite a stranger into your house, and put yourself in a position where there’s nothing between you and your soother other than a towel.

Kauffman also assured us that Soothe’s vetting process includes a background check and getting a massage from the therapist to assess their skills. Soothe also only works with licensed therapists, which Kauffman says often requires hundreds hours of training and other stringent requirements.

I guess that speaks to quality and not security, but I don’t suppose there are a lot of licensed massage therapists who moonlight as criminals.

Not that I have anything against letting strangers into your house, given that I’m about to be overrun by carpenters, plumbers, tilers, electricians, and painters.

Anyway, good luck to Merlin and his massage clearinghouse.

Let me know when you set up shop in Boston. I could do with a good soothe.

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