San Francisco, CA -- After operating for ten years on Potrero Hill’s north slope, In-Symmetry day spa was forced to shut down 2010 and eventually had to relocate. Little did In-Symmetry owner Candace Combs know at the time, but she had embarked on a tumultuous ride to keep her small business afloat. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. In-Symmetry overcame numerous bureaucratic obstacles to re-open recently in a new location situated between Potrero Hill and the Mission. The View caught up with Combs to talk a little about In-Symmetry, the challenges she faced, and her new location.
GR: Can you briefly describe why you had to move and the major obstacles you faced before finding your new space.
CC: Sure, we had to move because of a zoning issue on 26th Street which, in the end, turned out to be misinformation from the city. Looking back now, I can say that all of our problems stemmed from a series of bad information I received from the city. On the other hand, I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Regina Dick-Endrizi, Executive Director for the Office of Small Business. Without her, we still wouldn’t have a new space.
GR: How are you feeling now that In-Symmetry is back up and running?
CC: Relaxed, for the first time in a year and a half! I feel elated and ready for the positive things that are coming next in our adventure.
GR: How would you characterize the primary benefits of your new location?
CC: We now have a storefront, which we didn’t have for the past ten years, and we're 100% handicapped-accessible. We also have an additional massage/yoga room—so that makes five rooms total.
GR: How did you come up with the name “In-Symmetry?”
CC: My former business partner and I were throwing around a bunch of names, and we kept coming back to the concept of "symmetry". We loved the idea of balance, especially after spending years in the tech industry, working behind a desk and admittedly not living a very balanced life. We want to provide a place where people can find more balance.
GR: How would you describe the main benefit your clients receive from coming to In-Symmetry?
CC: Again, I go back to the idea of balance—that’s what we’re trying to provide. We have some of the best bodyworkers in the city. They really understand the body and have an arsenal of therapeutic techniques to help alleviate and even eliminate pain. We're all about figuring out how to get you the help you need, whether matching you to your ideal massage therapist, getting you into a private yoga session to learn more targeted stretching and breathing, or referring you to someone in our great network of acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychotherapists, and physical therapists.
GR: I’m curious … how does someone learn to be a hot rock massage therapist?
CC: Really, what we focus on is deep tissue. The hot rocks help us warm up the muscles so that we can get in deeper, and enhance the overall experience. I handpick massage therapists who do great sports massage and deep tissue work, and I often personally train them to use the hot rocks.
GR: I know you’ve been through some tough times to re-open In-Symmetry. What’s the single biggest thing you’ve learned from the experience?
CC: Patience. And persistence! They go hand in hand. Don't ever take “no” for an answer, but be ready to work through the process no matter what it takes.
GR: How have clients responded to your new space?
CC: I've been blown away by the response. So many people waited for us to re-open, and I'm really touched by that loyalty. Everyone seems impressed and happy with the new spa, and I think everyone feels like we grew into a bigger, better space.
For more about In-Symmetry:www.insymmetry.com.
This interview was originally printed in the May 2012 edition of The Potrero View.