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."