Curtis & Heather Knox
Curtis and Heather Knox are “fresh-faced” franchisees with one Elements Massage® studio in Sun
Prairie, Wisconsin. After spending over 20 years in other industries, they decided to get into the
business of healing after Heather had a battle with breast cancer. With deep roots in the Midwest,
Heather and Curtis thought Elements Massage® was the perfect fit. When not running their studio,
they are busy with their daughter, Olivia and their two dogs.
What did you do professionally prior to becoming an Elements Massage® franchisee?
Curtis has a degree in genetics and was a Forensic Scientist for 10 years, working for the Wisconsin
DOJ. He migrated to work for biotech companies, eventually obtaining in MBA and becoming the head
of marketing and sales for a small biotech in Madison. Heather began as a Medical Illustrator with a BA
degree for Iowa State University. After relocating to Madison, she migrated to Commercial Design and
Desktop Publishing. She worked for several years in advertising, then went to the private sector as a
Graphic Designer for two different companies.
Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Perspectives shifted and life changed. “In order
to focus on family, we decided to open a business that would offer help and healing to the public. The
same healing Heather received during her illness. It is our joy to see the weight of the world lifted from someone’s shoulders — literally. It is important to us to hire survivors. We are a happy band of merry misfits!”
Why Elements Massage®?
Heather and Curtis wanted a business that helped people, making them feel good about themselves
and the product they sold. “Heather is a brand geek. As soon as we read the package, we were all in.
It’s a solid, sellable brand.”
What are the time demands when hiring staff?
Hiring was very difficult for Heather and Curtis. They did not have their studio yet, so they had to
depend on a local university for help. They used the Massage Therapy School space to conduct
interviews and practicals.
What does the typical routine look like on daily/weekly basis?
Heather and Curtis are very involved with their studio. They check in with the studio daily, either in
person or by phone with their managers. They also take meetings and lunches monthly with their LMTs.
Heather and Curtis operate with an open door policy and encourage their employees to contact them
anytime they are required.
Do you have a manager? What’s their Role?
Heather and Curtis rely heavily on their manager. She is their “right hand” and in charge of scheduling,
HR, training and local marketing activities. She interacts with the staff on a daily basis.
What have been the best two tactical moves you’ve made related to building your
Heather and Curtis say that hiring a good manager is key. “We found our manager through Craigslist –
she has extensive retail background, and gets the selling/training/process of the day-to-day of a retail
environment. It’s very important the manager attends Elements Massage® University. They also were
able to build awareness of their business very early. “Our Facebook page and outside signage were
online/visible for a full 2 months prior to opening, allowing us to build over 500 “likes” online before we opened.”
How does Elements Massage® provide ongoing support?
Heather and Curtis utilize the marketing materials/campaigns Elements Massage® provides. They
enjoy the comprehensive brand support. “Our Area Director, Aimee Matchette, is key for us as we
interact with her almost daily.”
What’s the most rewarding aspect of owning an Elements Massage® Franchise?
Heather and Curtis say that helping people feel good is most rewarding. “Seeing clients come in to the
studio in pain and leaving with a smile on their face is the best reward.”
Plans for the future?
Heather and Curtis want for their Elements Massage® studio to be their sole job in the future. They are
excited about being their own bosses.