By Starrla Cray
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Massage therapy clients have been encouraging Jennifer Ross to expand her services since she started Beyond Relaxation in 2004, and recently, Ross decided to take the leap.
“It was the right time for the building, and the right time for my business to expand,” said Ross, who purchased the former Lester Prairie Clinic building (28 Hickory St. N.) in January.
In addition to Ross’s extremely popular therapeutic massages, Beyond Relaxation now offers the entire salon and spa experience haircuts, styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, wigs, hair extensions, body wraps, and more.
“I thought, ‘why not just do the whole thing?’” said Ross, who opened for business Friday.
Licensed cosmetologists at the salon include manager Peg Rathkamp of Lester Prairie, Beth Barth of Winsted, and Kristy Mathews of Glencoe.
Despite a larger number of services, Ross is dedicated to maintaining a personal, warm, inviting atmosphere.
“It’s part of the reason my clients came to me in the first place,” she said.
Ross said she loves doing massage therapy, and doesn’t see herself doing anything else.
“It’s very rewarding,” she said. “After a weekend or vacation, I can honestly say I can’t wait to go back to work and that’s after seven years. I just feel like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Ross didn’t discover her passion for massage therapy right away, however.
After graduating from Hutchinson High School, she went to Ridgewater College in Hutchinson for industrial manufacturing.
“I picked a program that was new and challenging to me,” she said.
After graduation, Ross worked as a quality technician at Formative Engineering in Lester Prairie for six years, and later became a vision development technician at Hutchinson Technology.
Meanwhile, Ross was also taking classes at Touch of Life School of Massage in Eden Prairie nights and weekends.
In 2004, she began offering massages in a rented space on Juniper Street in Lester Prairie.
The desire to own a business runs in Ross’s family.
Ross’s parents, Duane and Zandra Jindra, own a crop insurance agency in Hutchinson; and Ross’s husband, Tim, co-owns Jackels and Ross Concrete in Lester Prairie.
“It’s something I learned from early on,” she said. “I guess it’s just in you.”
After a year renting space downtown, Ross moved her business into a remodeled garage at her home.
Clients seek out her massages to alleviate low back pain, frozen shoulders, neck problems, migraines, pain from car accidents, and more.
“A lot of times people have specific issues, but I also do relaxing massages,” Ross said, explaining that many people enjoy massage as a way to reduce stress.
The type of massage people receive depends on their feedback, as well as how their muscles are responding. Ross is also adept at sensing the type and amount of pressure that should be applied.
“It’s tailored to each person,” she said.
Throughout the years, Ross has taken classes to expand her skills, and is continuously striving to provide the best massage therapy possible.
Moving to her new location is one way Ross hopes to serve her clients better. The building, which had been vacant since 2007, has been thoroughly remodeled.
“We completely gutted the entire place,” Ross said.
Now, the salon and spa features a waiting area with comfortable couches, a pedicure room, a salon area, and a few rooms for massages and other services.
There are also two restrooms, including one with a shower. Soon, Ross hopes to add a tanning room, as well.
Beyond Relaxation is open Mondays noon to 8 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, call (320) 395-2600.
A website will also be available soon, at www.beyondrelaxation.com.