Couple Goals: Meet The Founders Of Sand Spa
As seen in our Spring issue!
Meet a millennial couple with a “you wish” lifestyle that you can now experience firsthand in L.A. Megan Richardson and Gretchen Tiernan are life partners who own a successful Southern California luxury day spa business with multiple locations. On their way to building a wellness empire, this under-30 couple developed the idea for Sand Spa after experiencing how a little self-care and attention on wellness can reduce stress and improve quality of life. As collegiate basketball players they benefited from massage treatments and together they came up with the idea to deliver upscale but affordable bodywork to women in a day spa environment—all by the beach! We caught up with the dynamic duo to learn their secrets to wellbeing.
How did you two first meet?
Megan: Playing basketball against each other in college. It was one of those, “Hey, tell your friend I said what’s up” moments. Very quickly it was something that we would move mountains to make happen. We dated for two years before we officially got together. We were living eight hours apart and on completely different schedules. Gretchen’s career took her to Los Angeles where I was finishing my last year of college and the rest is history.
When did you realize you’d make a great couple?
Gretchen: When I fell in love with Megan there were no boundaries and there still aren’t. I fell for everything she is and I believe wholeheartedly in us. We both are great by ourselves but I think the ability to absolutely know what the other is thinking is something that has kept our bond so tight. It keeps our relationship real and honest and full of things, as it is supposed to be.
When did you have the idea for Sand Spa?
Megan: We both briefly worked in the spa industry and we felt that the industry needed a fresh set of eyes. We were 23 and 24 when we set out to create Sand Spa. In the real world, lavish, expensive, and sometimes lengthy spa visits aren’t ideal for anybody dealing with life’s day-to-day challenges.
Gretchen: We set out to create a place for the everyday person to experience high-quality spa services at affordable prices on a more frequent basis. We believe a trip to the spa shouldn’t happen once a year; it should be a part of your lifestyle.
Self-care is essential in feeling empowered and enlightened. Self-care starts here.
What’s it like working together?
Gretchen: Working together demands a different version of us at each new level, and as our relationship grows, our business minds parallel that growth. Before we do anything we align our goals because during the journey we have differences, we make tough decisions, sometimes things go way out in left field. To keep a good perspective we go back to the basics and for us the basics are our goals—what will it take to reach those, what will it take to make our relationship stronger— and by any means necessary we will work for it.
What does it take to keep a relationship strong and healthy?
Gretchen: Quality not quantity when it comes to time. We both approach the life we are living with so much gratitude. When things get off track in any area of our relationship we try to pause and listen. Our communication has to be effective at all times—for our team, for our clients, and for each other. The only way we can do all this is if we have each other; we are rooted in that.
What is your involvement with the LGBTQ community?
Gretchen: We are the LGBTQ community in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach. I feel like we have helped open the wider community’s eyes to the LBGTQ community and how we stand for equality and inclusion. The evolution of our brand could not have happened at a more perfect time; what makes us great is our diversity. When you come into one of our locations we aren’t just here to provide a service—we embrace you, we support you, and we will stand up for that.