If you sign up for our newsletters, or read the stories on this site, you might be asking who Ali is.
So here is a face behind the name.
I live on Tamborine Mountain, with two beautiful sons, Luke and Jack.
Coming from a background of being homeless with a six month old baby, we are deeply grateful for the sweet life we now have.
Ripple was a glimmer in my eye for a couple of years before I started it up here in 2005. Just me, one massage therapist on a mountain.
And it was born out of a desire to make other people happy as well as creating a work/life balance for our therapists and office team.
Our aim has always to make our guests happy, and bring the full day spa experience, not just mobile massage, to our guests homes, hotels, accommodation and work places.
We now operate over 20 regions in Australia.
Oh and a few people have asked if we are a franchise or run by a big multi national company?
No, we are 100% Australian owned and operated and are not a franchise.
We are certainly not the Uber of massage and don’t offer McDonalds massages.
Our aim is to give our guests the massage they would like, and remain small, personal, down to earth and friendly.
Ripple is wholly owned by me but is run by a group of amazing women and men who love what we do.
I’m mostly the chick who does the email newsletters and gets to decide where we open next.
The women and men in Ripple (our therapists, booking office team plus the small army of superheroes who help with our marketing, admin and book work) are the ones who make it all run smoothly.
Or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
They are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them.
They are not an interruption of our work. They are the purpose of it.
They are not an outsider to our business. They are a part of it.
We are not doing them a favor by serving them.
They are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
– Mahatma Gandhi
I have massage qualification in Diploma of Remedial Massage from Gold Coast TAFE, Certificate IV in Massage, Level 7 Kahuna Massage from High Spirits (Mette Institute), plus formal qualifications in aromatherapy massage, pregnancy massage, Indian head massage, Balinese massage, reflexology, hot stone massage and trigger point massage.
So if you have a question about your massage treatment, please give us a call. I am often the voice on the other end of the phone and am happy to help.
I have also been a member of Massage And Myotherapy Australia for the last 15 years.
Both of these have been really helpful as both a therapist and business owner. I hold a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Bond University and a Bachelor of Economics from the University Of Sydney.
Ali p.s I was formally Ali Shaw, but decided to change my name to Ali Saoirse (means freedom in Irish Gaellic).
48 Justin Ave
Mt Tamborine Qld 4272
Phone : 0438567906
The Ripple Effect
From living in a car with a six month-old baby due to personal circumstances to traveling through India on motorcycle for the sheer joy of it, there’s no doubt owner of Ripple Massage Day Spa and Beauty Ali Saoirse has endured her fair share of life’s highs and lows. But how did this mother-of-two start a business as “one woman on a mountain” with just $800 that today, not only brings joy and relaxation to so many, but also turns over $1 million per year?
Interviewer: Can you tell me a little bit about your business and what it does?
Ali: So we’re a mobile massage, beauty and day spa business that works over a whole lot of different regions in Australia. We’ve been around for 15 years and we’re really interested in providing very personalised, specialised treatments to our clients, and being a lot more than just a mobile massage service. So we do beauty treatments like manicures and pedicures, facials, exfoliation, foot soaks, reflexology, plus a whole lot of range of massages that you won’t normally find on a mobile service. So we really aim to bring the day spa to you.
Interviewer: And how did you actually get started? Did you have funding? Did you have a business partner? Just take me back to when you actually got this started.
Ali: I started with $800, 15 years ago. It was just me, a massage therapist up on Tamborine Mountain. And just went from there. I had a business plan that included maybe having one or two people working for me in Gold Coast in Brisbane after five years. We achieved that after two months. The demand for the service we were providing was so great and people would book me on Tamborine Mountain and then when they went back home to the Gold Coast or Brisbane, they would want to rebook our service.
Ali: So then it just grew organically from there. We’ve never had a business loan, there’s never been any debt in the business. All of our expansion has been funded out of profit. And it’s been very organic. So for example, we started with massage and then one of my therapists was also a beauty therapist and she suggested, “Hey, how about we start doing beauty services in Byron Bay? Because I can do that.” And I’m like, “Well that’s great. Sure, let’s do that.” So that’s how we expanded into the beauty side of things as well. And it’s really just grown from demand, not only from our clients but from our therapists as well, and different ideas that people have had for the business.
Interviewer: Now 15 years ago you didn’t really hear about online businesses like this, I mean Uber wasn’t around, for instance, 15 years ago. And I know you pride yourselves as not being the Uber of massage, but do you think that your timing was potentially impeccable?
Ali: It might have been. Back then I was pretty much the only mobile message business that had a website to start with. And had a marketing background. So I think I was just lucky. You know, I’ve always built businesses based on something that I’ve loved. So for me, I was looking to build a new business and I love massage. I thought, “Great, I’ll go and train to be a massage therapist.” Never in a million years did I dream that it would become what it has.
Interviewer: And so I don’t know if you’re comfortable talking about your turnover. So it’s from 15 years ago, starting with $800 in your pocket, where are you now?
Ali: We should, this financial year, reach the $1 million turnover. But in business, what counts isn’t your revenue. It’s how much of that is profit. So we do have healthy profit margins in the business.
Interviewer: Fantastic. That’s amazing. And you mentioned on your website that you went through a period of homelessness, so you had a six month old baby. Was that around the time that you were starting this business? I mean how-
Ali: Oh, goodness, no.
Interviewer: … how did that all come together?
Ali: Yeah, no, that was long, long, long before this business. It was when I was still in Sydney. And through personal circumstances, I ended up sleeping nights in the car in Darlinghurst. But through the generosity of an amazing person who became a friend, I managed to work my way out of that. And then I’ve had other businesses since then, before starting Ripple. So that was well before Ripple started.
Interviewer: And how long ago was that?
Ali: That would have been 26 years ago.
Interviewer: And what are some of the other businesses that you’ve had? I mean, you sound like you’re very multi-talented.
Ali: My previous business to this was Smart Wine. I came to Queensland, I won a holiday from the workplace I was at at the time. I came up here to the Gold Coast. On the very last day I looked up to Tamborine mountain and went, “Oh, let’s go for a drive up there”. And as soon as I came up here, absolutely loved this region, fell in love and decided, “That’s it, I’m going to move up here”. And so we rented a house that day, which is the house I’ve ended up buying, and moved up eight weeks later.
Ali: So I landed in Queensland not knowing anyone, not really having any work. And I’d come from a wine and hospitality background. So a couple of years after moving up here, I started my first business here, which was Smart Wine, and that specialised in doing all sorts of things in the Queensland wine industry. So I managed vineyards, I consulted on wine blends, did marketing and PR for wine regions. I was instrumental in the setting up of the Gold Coast Hinterland wine country region, and did consulting for other regions as well.
Interviewer: I love this idea that you’re bringing the day spa to the home. Why is that important? You talk a lot about mums and young mums. Why is the service you provide particularly important for mothers?
Ali: Because I talk to mums all the time on the phones, and obviously I’m mum myself and have a lot of mum friends. And I know just how difficult it can be sometimes, just to carve out that little piece of space for yourself. Not only physically but also psychologically as well.
Ali: So mums not only carry a lot of the physical load of child rearing, but also the psychological load of organising the household, organising the calendars, telling people what they’re meant to do here and there. And that can be so draining, as any mum will know. And so I love the idea that we not only come out and give you a massage, an awesome massage, but we do the full pampering experience in your home or hotel or Airbnb.
Ali: So you know, I love day spas as much as everyone else, but sometimes that’s not the most convenient option for mums who are time-poor. We also do a lot of “mumcations” where mums are just running away for a couple of days, for that much needed break. And what can be really convenient instead of trying to get 10 girls to a day spa, is to have us come to them and they can have nibbles and champagne and we can do the pampering, not just the massage.
Interviewer: I absolutely love this and I love the idea that you can pimp your hotel stay even if it’s a work trip by adding this to your hotel experience. Can I ask, how old are your kids now?
Ali: My youngest boy, Luke, he’s nine years old, and my oldest boy, Jack, is 26 years old.
Interviewer: Wow, that’s a big age gap. So you probably have quite a bit of experience across the years with parenting now.
Ali: I do, yes. So I had one beautiful child and got him off to university. And then I was so lucky, just before I turned 45, to have my little boy. Extremely lucky.
Interviewer: And you actually sound like you’ve got quite an interesting hobby life as well. Do you want to tell me a little bit about your love of travel?
Ali: Yeah, so I enjoy doing motor touring in remote parts of the world. So real Enduro tough side of riding. A little bit different to the massage. So yeah, in the last couple of years I’ve done some awesome motor tours out through Bhutan, through Nepal, South Africa, right through India, over a Khardun La, highest motorable road in the world. And I also did an amazing trip for a month that went from Vashisht in India, right up to Lo Manthang, which is the forbidden city up on the border of Tibet in Nepal.
Interviewer: Amazing. And I guess, talking about travel and holidays, we’re leading into Christmas. How can massage help at this time of year?
Ali: Well, Christmas can be a little bit stressful in the lead-up, because it’s such a busy time with end of school stuff, office stuff, and people getting ready for the holidays. Plus all the Christmas rush. So massage is a really fantastic thing to do for your body, for stress levels. It reduces cortisol, which is the stress hormone in your body. And it also increases dopamine, which is the feel-good hormone in your body.
Ali: So if you’re looking for… just to have a little bit of a break, people can have it on one of our tables, we will show up where they are. And so for those that are time poor, it’s very handy, and you can just have an hour of relaxation or deep tissue massage, that will not only make your body feel good, but will also help relax your mind.
Interviewer: I think I know what I’m going to ask Santa for this Christmas. What do you think actually differentiates Ripple Massage? What makes you, I guess, stand out?
Ali: Well, we’re extremely personalised, so most people when they book with us, they can book online through a very easy booking form, or they can call up and quite often you’ll get me on the other end of the phone. So often if people have questions about massage, they get to talk to an actual massage therapist who’s had 15 years-experience.
Ali: So I think that sets us apart. But we also try to take a good massage and make it a great one, with the different additions that we include in our packages. So you can book just a one hour massage or you can have a one hour pamper pack that has a peppermint foot soak, foot reflexology, massage and a mini green clay facial. We also have some unusual styles of massage that you won’t find anywhere else in Australia. So we do a seashell massage, we have an espresso mocha day spa package. We also have a chocolate massage day spa package, and we also do a hot stone massage and pregnancy massage that you don’t always find in other mobile services.
Interviewer: Wow. They sound good enough actually to eat. I know we’ve covered a lot, but is there anything else that you would like to mention?
Ali: I think that’s about it, in a nutshell of who we are and what we do. I just know that 15 years later in this business, I’m just as passionate about massage and making people feel good, as what I was from day one. My main aim in this business, is to make people happy. I’m a people-pleaser and I like to make people happy, so this is a good way to do it.
Interviewer: Now I did see that you put up a post on Facebook the other day, I was quite touched. I know you mentioned your therapists are all very carefully selected not just for their awesome massage skills, but also their people skills. Do you want to just tell me a little bit more about what happened?
Ali: We had a lady who, her mum was going to pass that day, and she rang us up and said, “Look, my mum just wants pretty nails”. So I rang my therapist and she doesn’t normally do beauty treatments, but I’m like, “Is there any way that you can possibly go out and do that for this lady and explain the circumstances.” So she went out, they had a great afternoon just painting her nails and laughing and talking like secret women’s business.
Ali: And later that afternoon the client’s mum passed. And a few days later she called us and said, “Thank you so much. That was just awesome and I’m really, really grateful that you were able to send someone out for my mum. She had a really good afternoon.” So we get to do really special stuff. I’ve got a hundred stories. That’s possibly the best one.
Interviewer: And I’m just thinking with you on the other end of the phone quite often when you’re taking these calls and you’ve also got a qualification in psychology?
Ali: I’ve got an advanced diploma in psychology from Bond University. I’m not a psychologist, but I do have that professional training, which I find really helps me in my business with clients and all sorts of things. Just to understand a human beings a little bit better.
Interviewer: Do you think that that emotional intelligence is also very important when you are with a client? It sounds like you really do go above and beyond with that special service.
Ali: It does and that’s why I’m so picky about the therapists I have in my business. Either I or one of my head therapists interviews them personally to ensure that they not only are awesome therapists, but they also have those people skills as well. Because as you said, it can be just as important as doing an awesome massage.
Interviewer: I think we’re probably all guilty at some point, of just sitting there with our hairdresser or our massage therapist and starting to unwind and telling them our life story. So I think that that’s very important and I’m actually starting to think that that is part of the magical touch from Ripple Massage as well, that you bring?
Ali: I think so, yes. I’m not only fully qualified in remedial massage and hot stone and the technical side of massage and the anatomy and physiology, but I also did the seven levels of kahuna massage, which can be a more holistic, energy-based massage from Hawaii. So I do understand that massage can be on that level too with the energy work, as well as knowing all the technical side of trigger points and remedial massage and where the muscles go and where they attach, and doing physically a great massage. But also giving that relaxation as well.
Ripple Massage Day Spa And Beauty
National Telephone: 0438 567 906 – Email: email@example.com
Head Office : 48 Justin Ave, Mt Tamborine Qld 4272
Australian Business Number 22061285274
© Copyright Wispclue Pty Ltd 2019 – It’s bad karma to copy
Please note: Ripple’s cancellation policy can be viewed here. Cancellation fees will apply.
© 2019 Ripple Massage
Author Biography – Ali Saoirse – BEc University Sydney, GradDipPsych Bond University, Diploma Remedial Massage, Certificate IV Massage, Level 7 Kahuna Massage, Qualifications in Pregnancy Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology from Gold Coast TAFE.
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