Meet Christy Barnes of Carpe Diem Massage & Spa
Mar 23, 2021
Christy Barnes is a Tacoma native and the owner of Carpe Diem Massage and Spa. She is married to Richard Barnes and has three children and a dog named Lexie and a cat named Kitty Loggins. Christy grew up in Tacoma and went to Stadium High School. She can literally walk from her home to her (very historic) business location in Stadium District.
Christy has been a massage therapist for 22 years. She became interested in massage when she saw a friend who had gone to a massage therapist school, and she now got to choose her own hours and earned good money. Christy at the time was a stay-at-home mom with three kids and was working at a clothing store called the Bon Marche (you might remember that store). At first, she wanted to own a clothing store, but then she decided that she wanted to be a massage therapist, and she graduated from massage school in June of 1999 and started her business that September.
Her first location was in a little one-room studio above the Pacific Northwest Shop in the Stadium District. It was such a small space, she actually had to stand in the bathroom while she waited for her massage clients to dress down and get ready for their massage! She started off with no clients, but some of the very first clients that started with her are still seeing her today.
Right before COVID-19 hit last year, Christy had just started to get skincare going for Carpe Diem, however, she was not seeing it built the way she wanted it built. So, she went back to school at 52 to become an esthetician (specializing in the beautification of skin).
With the new skillset she can offer, her signature services include an infused experience. Clients can now experience a full-body massage and facial all in one trip.
Regarding the historic location of her building, Carpe Diem is located in the house that was built for Henry Drum (one of the first mayors of Tacoma) back in the 1800s. The house is quaint and charming; it does not feel stuffy. When you go there, you don’t just feel like another client, you feel warm and invited. Christy and her staff become connected to everybody there; even the clients get to know each other. It is a very homey and comfortable place for her clients.
Each massage is personalized for every single client. And while it can be hard to make the time, self-care is important. In the beginning, people may come in to get a massage as a treat for themselves. But every experience is tailored to your specific needs and areas that need the most attention; they truly make you feel relaxed.
Today, the community is seeking Carpe Diem out more than ever. Nearly everyone is mentally stressed. If you can have an hour and a half, or even two and half hours to relax and feel better, that can make all the difference.
Things look different for Carpe Diem since the pandemic hit in 2020. Christy and Richard decided to downsize. It got too big for her liking about 15 years ago when she ruptured a disc in her neck, and she could not physically work for almost a year. She had to hire employees, and that is when the business grew a little bit too big. She wanted to feel more like a therapist than an office manager. When they were forced to shut down from March to July 2020, they almost lost the business. They had to tap into almost all of their savings just to keep the business and the building afloat. When they got back to work, they gave their employees a choice. They could either become contractors or renters, or they could pursue their own massage careers and take their clients with them. Now it's just her, Richard, and Isa, Christy's partner and a fellow esthetician.
Christy is most proud of the space that she has created. She came from a family that did not have a lot of money, and for her to own her own business with fancy equipment is a big deal for her, especially since she started from scratch, all on her own.
Christy and her staff all take the proper precautions these days, and wear masks, and have 30 minutes in between each session, so they can sanitize everything. They have also been vaccinated for COVID.
If you're ready to start your self-care regimen back up, go see Christy and the team at Carpe Diem Massage & Spa! To contact them and find what services are available, visit their website, www.carpediemmassage.com
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