Leaving the Navy to go Into the…Spa Business?

Dan Moorer knows firsthand that a well-kept secret can change people's lives. For four years, Moorer was stationed aboard the USS John C. Stennis as a cryptologic technician communicator processing one of the highest security clearances one could be granted. When he left the military as a Petty Officer Third Class in 1998, he began working as a defense coordinator before accepting a job with IBM. When the corporate world proved to be the wrong fit, Moorer went the entrepreneurial route and opened a small video rental store in the Atlanta area. As the market began to shift, however, Moorer opted to sell his business and move on to another endeavor that would truly make a mark in the Atlanta market.

"I had been searching for a new business concept for a while but was having trouble finding one that appealed not only to me but to the community as a whole," said Moorer. "After many months of researching, a franchise broker introduced me and my partner to Hand and Stone Massage Spa. We met with representatives from corporate soon after and after listening to what they had to say, our choice was almost made for us."

Moorer was so confident that Hand and Stone was the perfect match for the area that he and his partner purchased the development rights for the entire state of Georgia, putting them in charge of recruiting and training new franchisees to open their own locations in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah. For Moorer, it was all about finding what people really wanted and give it to them in a way they could both enjoy and afford.

"Over the past decade, massage has definitely moved away from being a luxury item and more towards a lifestyle component with health benefits equivalent to vitamins and exercise," said Moorer. "When compared to other spas, Hand and Stone has the same, if not better, quality services and ambiance at a fraction of the cost. Our goal is to make our spa not only the smart choice but the logical one as well."

While the spa industry may seem like an unusual choice for a military veteran to enter, Moorer begs to differ as his time spent in the Navy has actually helped to better prepare him for the rigors of the franchising world.

"The Navy taught me how to follow a system, taught me the discipline to keep with that system and taught me how to use my creativity and look outside the box while remaining within the system," said Moorer. "The military is the perfect training for owning a franchise: leadership, discipline, communication and an understanding of people are all contributors to the process."


Roslyn Heights, New York-based Hand and Stone Massage Spas offers high quality, convenient and affordable massage spa services under one roof. Walk-in visits, scheduled appointments and yearly membership programs allow clients to tailor the experience to their busy schedules and take advantage of the spa's 3,000 available monthly massage hours. By the end of 2008, the company expects to have 100 locations under development and be sold out of regional development territories throughout the 50 states. For more information, visit www.handandstone.com.

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