• St. Charles man goes from massage-loving CEO to Spa Owner

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    December 03, 2018
    St. Charles man goes from massage-loving CEO to spa owner

    Bill Christy of St. Charles went from busy, globe-trotting CEO to owning three locations of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, including this one that opened Monday in South Elgin.
    ( Rick West | Daily Herald- Staff Photographer )

    During his years as the busy, globe-trotting CEO of a wireless product
    Bill Christy got hundreds of massages to help relieve stress.

    When it came time to move on to the next professional venture, that's what
    Christy decided to look.

    Christy, 51, of St. Charles, now I'm the owner
    of three Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa locations in the suburbs. He
    opened the third one Monday in South Elgin after taking over from previous
    owners a spa in Rolling Meadows in June and another one in Carol Stream in

    "I know what I got out of it and I know what I liked," he said. "I figure
    this and do it well, and make a difference."

    All three spas offer specialized massages for oncology patients and pregnant
    women. As business grows, Christy said, he wants to partner with local cancer
    treatment centers and offer free massages for oncology patients "to help make
    difference in the community." 

    Christy said he founded Xentris Wireless, based in Addison, 17 years ago and has
    sold his part in the company. "It was a lot of traveling. It grew to be a 
    international company. It was pretty stressful, and 17 years of doing the same
    thing was a lot."

    Massages were a huge stress reliever, especially after long flights to China and
    South Korea, he said. "I was on airplanes for 15 to 18 hours at a time. I would
    immediately run to the hotel and get a massage to relax. It was part of a routine."

    Christy said he did a lot of research before settling on the Hand & Stone franchise,
    which also offers facials and hair removal. "When you walk in you get treated like
    you're special," he said. "I didn't realized there was one close by my home. I didn't
    know the company because they were small. Now it's 400 locations and growing.
    The name is getting out there."

    A company spokesman said oncology and prenatal massages are available at a 
    limited number of spas because of the specialized training required

    Christy said he's still hiring full- and part-time employees for the South Elgin
    location, which used to be a liquor store and was completely renovated. He's
    already looking at expanding into the space next door that Mattress Firm vacated
    last month, he added.

    So is he less stressed now? Not yet, he said.

    "(Opening) three of them in a four-month span was quite an undertaking. It's
    been a lot of sleepless nights."

    But there are already major perks, like being able to spend a lot more time with
    his family, he said. He's especially glad his teenage daughter wanted to work the
    front desk at the South Elgin spa, he said.

    "I truly believe in the brand," he said, "and I truly believe in what we're doing."

    Megan Vivirito
    (630) 580-1224
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