The NOW, a new concept massage boutique, has quickly become LA’s hottest new wellness destination for locals and globe-trotting influencers alike. With locations in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Silver Lake and coming soon in Studio City, it has officially changed the game in the massage space. The NOW design aesthetic incorporates raw elements and natural materials that conjure nostalgic smells and scenes from remote and exotic hideaways. Natural wood surfaces, cement, exposed beams coupled with sheep skins and rawhides – everything aligns with nature, allowing guests to be transported. An oasis in the middle of the city, the boutique is a blend of bohemian chic and tranquility, evoking a soothing environment to unwind in and take a moment for you. We caught up with co-founder Gara and got to ask her a few questions about The NOW and the story behind the oasis.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now. Did you take any big risks to get where you are?
In 2001, after a stint working in the entertainment business, I launched my own company Gara Danielle Jewelry – a collection that continues to sell in specialty boutiques nationwide and that I also adapted into a capsule collection for The NOW. I never thought I would end up launching multiple massage boutiques, but The NOW inspired me in many of the same ways, appealing to both my creative and business sides. Starting any new business is a risk. It can be physically, emotionally and financially challenging, but the reward is you get to create something new, learn from your mistakes and failures and come out stronger on the other side.
Do you have a daily working routine? What is it like?
My mornings begin with daily meditation. I studied and practice TM. I try to do it twice a day but the reality is with work and raising kids- it’s usually once in the morning at 5:30am. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of exercise for my mind and body anything that helps me break a sweat and get the endorphins going. After that I am typically driving all over LA. We currently have 4 boutiques- Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Silver Lake and Studio City and between gathering items for the stores or checking in on operations I spend a lot of time in my car. At the end of the day I like to come home, unwind and focus on my family.
What do you do, or where do you go to seek fresh ideas or renewed creative energy?
I am constantly striving to achieve work/life balance. I carve out time to meditate, exercise and I try to get massages as often as possible. I tend to generate a lot of creative ideas in those peaceful moments where I am shutting out the noise of my daily routine and city life. I also travel often with my family or sourcing new products and design elements for The NOW and love to find inspiration in different cities and cultures.
Why is it important to you to show and share your work to a larger community?
Many studies show the long-term benefits of massage including improved circulation, reducing muscle pain, helping with sleep, anxiety and depression issues. Recent studies have even shown it to boost ones immune system. Massage is not only a therapeutic tool for the body, but is medicinal for mind and spirit as well. When you give the body time to slow down you allow the mind to naturally balance. Learning how to slow down the fluctuations of mind is a profound practice of presence. We hope that through the therapeutic use of touch our clients will have time and space to practice being in The NOW.