Single Mom Announces Massage Franchise Now Open in Costa Rica, Ireland Next

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Michele Merhib, a certified massage therapist, is the founder of an International franchise with over 50 locations in the U.S. This single mom of two teenagers recently announced her first International success by opening a massage studio franchise in Costa Rica and selling the master franchise rights in Ireland.

Michele Merhib, occupational therapist registered (OTR) and certified massage therapist (CMT), is the founder of an International franchise selling over 50 locations in the U.S. This single mom of two teenagers has reached a level of success most only dream about, after recently announcing the opening of her first therapeutic massage franchise in Costs Rica and selling the master franchise rights in Ireland.

Born in New York and moving to Oklahoma as a teenager, Michele went on to receive her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1984. Michele became a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR) after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1993. Michele began as a staff therapist working in hospitals, health care centers and providing home health care to individual clients.
Michele quickly moved into management of a rehabilitation department combining her business skills, occupational therapy skills and natural leadership ability--little did she know that these skills combined with her massage therapy training would lead her to International success beyond her wildest dreams.

Living month-to-month and raising two teenagers, Michele was in search of greater income opportunities and more flexibility in life. While Michele was busy raising her teenagers and managing a rehabilitation department, she sought out massage therapy to bring some balance and stress reduction to her own life. Michele's massage therapist wanted to retire and encouraged Michele to buy her business. This was a small massage practice with over 100 regular clients inside a country club in Aurora, Colorado.

Broke and scraping together enough money for a down payment for the massage business' asking price, Michele got excited about the possibilities, and became a certified massage therapist in July of 2000. She says learning the craft of massage came easily to her as a result of her previous training.

"Certainly I was nervous to take such a leap, but the decision to start my massage therapy business was the best thing I ever did for my family," says Ms. Merhib. Within 12 months of buying the business, Michele quickly grew out of her 100 square foot facility and moved into a much larger location. Employing as many as 25 full-time massage therapists, Michele mastered the necessary business skills as the demand for her services grew, as she was literally forced to open up another location because so many people wanted to benefit from therapeutic massage.

"I rarely advertised. Most of my clients were referred to my business from other happy clients. We train our staff to give 5-Diamond quality service just like the high-end resorts and spas, but at an affordable price," Merhib revealed.

Michele's therapeutic massage business became so successful that multiple corporations asked Michele if she wanted to take her organization nationwide. She turned them all down. "I enjoy helping people so much and at the same time enjoy providing fellow therapists with a calm, safe and clean environment to practice their craft. I did not want a faceless corporation to take the systems I developed and use it to treat therapists and customers as just numbers," Merhib reported.

"When the Fitness Together Franchise Corporation (FTFC) approached me, at first I was very hesitant, but then I did my due diligence and found the success they had achieved in the personal training industry. I interviewed many of their franchisees and personally spoke with local employees to understand how the organization treated people - I quickly became convinced that FTFC was the right organization. I saw the opportunity to provide thousands of other massage therapists a great environment and help millions of people live a better quality of life through massage. Something that I just didn't believe the other corporations could help me do."

Today, as the founder of elements therapeutic massage, Michele's organization has 51 locations with the first international location now open in Costa Rica. They have also recently sold a master franchise territory in Ireland.

"Locating the right franchisee for a location is one thing, but being able to support that new business owner, help them set up properly, negotiate the best lease and have enough clients at their grand opening are entirely different topics. FTFC has done an amazing job in getting the elements therapeutic massage franchise model started that I have no doubt we can support 4000 locations worldwide, helping countless millions of people live a better quality of life through therapeutic massage."

For more information about Michele, or about elements therapeutic massage, visit them online at or call 303-663-0880x24.

About elements therapeutic massage:
elements therapeutic massage is headquarted in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and is part of Fitness Together Franchise Corporation. In 1996, Fitness Together Franchise Corporation began franchising to bring professional and affordable personal training services to every major city. Today there are over 346 Fitness Together personal training franchise locations throughout the world and over 500 scheduled to open. elements therapeutic massage is following the same model, and was created in 1999 by founder, Michele Merhib. The company started franchising in 2006 under the Fitness Together Franchise Corporation.


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Sam Hirschberg
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