Today we would like to introduce you to Andrew Goodman, owner of Aquarius Wellness Center for Healing Arts in Richmond Heights, a synopsis of whose Wellness odyssey of adventure and self-discovery you will find below.
Born and raised in St. Louis County, Andrew Goodman, founder and owner of Aquarius Wellness Center for Healing Arts, one of St. Louis’s most unique, premiere destination day spas and wellness havens, has traveled the world and been enriched and changed by his experiences! “I feel as if my whole life has been one giant adventure in nature and around the planet with the main theme being a search for my purpose, my calling,” says Goodman. “My business represents a synthesis of many of my diverse interests to find something that feels like it is giving back to the world, helping people and helping the planet.”
That may seem a tall order for a three-room suite tucked away in an unassuming office plaza along Clayton Road in Richmond Heights, but the 62-year-old St. Louisan isn’t running any ordinary establishment. This is the culmination point of a long held dream being realized in Goodman’s newest adventure, to be “in service to a happier, healthier, more peaceful planet, one person…and tree at a time!”, via his unique venue that combines the personality of a full service spa with the spirit of a comfortable, hideaway retreat, right in his own hometown.
An oasis of calm in the heart of a Midwestern city may seem like an anomaly these days, however, inside Aquarius, Goodman’s dream of a respite of restfulness and holistic care for mind, body, and spirit, has clearly taken shape over the years, organically, almost like a lotus flower blooming if you will! Patrons are greeted by a cozy waiting area with plump leather seating and effortless ambiance, subtly inviting guests into another world, described as “Narnia” by several of them!
Soothing sounds of the ocean wash over every visitor as they enter, accented by soul-stirring music and heavenly aromatherapy scents. His tagline of “Sanctuary for the Senses” is quite appropriate in fact as Aquarius guests are treated to a choice of wine, tea, and German chocolate as well, just to round out their complete sensory experience.
Goodman’s diverse and wide ranging background made him the perfect man for this mission! Growing up in University City, in some ways Andrew’s resume reads a bit like a novel, which isn’t surprising for someone whose eclectic history includes a summer canoe poling and paddling through intense whitewater rapids in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway of Maine’s deep woods as a young teenager, bicycle touring the highlands of Scotland on a semester abroad studying German, helping a homesteader build a log cabin in Alaska after a stint processing salmon on a fishing boat in Bristol Bay, competitive outrigger canoeing on the Big Island of Hawaii where he moved in pursuit of Ashtanga Yoga, and where he met and studied with K. Pattabhi Jois, the Indian yoga master who introduced vinyasa yoga to the West, and picking grapes on a friend’s vineyard in France.
His most formative education however, may have begun with a massage he received in Boulder, Colorado in the early 1980s. “It was kind of a revelation,” Goodman recalled of the experience. This profound memory lay dormant as his odyssey of exploration and adventure continued for several more years while he searched for how to apply his particular set of skills and interests.
His continued travels took him to Massachusetts where he studied macrobiotics and worked on a farm making miso, a traditional Japanese fermented product made from grains, beans and sea salt, and used as a soup base, and building a timber frame house for the owners. It was during the next winter of x-country skiing in Vermont that he resolved to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine for his 30th birthday, all 2138 miles of it, followed by a year working at the Kripalu Yoga Center, and another year circumnavigating the globe, punctuated by six months at an Ashram in India, where he further developed his interest in Wholistic Massage Therapy. It then took him almost a whole year hiatus in Montreal to digest the previous 5 years of frenetic travel and adventure!
It was during his subsequent travels in Europe, crossing the continent from France to Finland, where the ancient traditions of Spa began, that he started to cross-fertilize concepts of these locales with ideas internalized while in India. “I was seeing Wellness facilities in Europe I had not seen in the States, and I thought of combining what I was seeing here with my memories of what I had experienced in India. I thought that if I could create an amalgam of my experiences on the two continents and bring something like that back to the States in the form of a Wellness Center, it would be a real winner!”
Upon returning to the U.S., Goodman chose to build upon his massage training in India by getting certified at a wonderful alternative community in Northern California, and has since gained experience as a massage therapist at nearly a dozen different institutions on the West Coast and in Missouri. It was an exciting time when a renaissance of sorts was taking place for American spas as people began to focus more on preventive services, natural healing, and sustainable wellness practices.
Yet, with the industry experiencing explosive growth almost overnight, Goodman found there were many less-than-ideal “spa solutions” that came with that growth spurt. Treatment rooms
might be uncomfortable or too sterile. Therapists may not be sufficiently trained to address client needs and, all too often, an excessive focus on retail might taint the whole experience.
At one California establishment Goodman was let go because he refused to push slimming gel and cellulite cream products he didn’t believe in. “I was keeping a mental list of things that bugged me,” he chuckled. “What Aquarius Wellness represents is my attempt to address all of the various pet peeves I was accumulating over the course of 15 years from all the places I had worked, and where I was often embarrassed charging clients for services that I knew were substandard for one reason or another due to the establishment not paying sufficient attention to the physical container for what they were offering!”
The results are impressive! Fusing the contemporary and the classical into a luxurious,
inviting treasure in which clients interact with caring, professional staff, his vision created a home away from home ambiance for guests. “Individuals feel relaxed as soon as they arrive, and that goes a long way towards delivering what they hope to receive from our services when they feel calm just by being in the space. But a beautiful space isn’t enough, it’s ultimately about the service providers and the services they are providing,” he said.
“We are highly selective about whom we invite to work with us, knowing how critical it is that they be exemplary in their technical abilities for
sure, but also in their emotional intelligence, communication, and hospitality skills as well.” In a world in which people are often harried and hurried, Aquarius provides an escape for the senses and the soul. Providing wellness for others is Goodman’s biggest adventure yet. “It is very gratifying to have found something that is creating so much pleasure for everyone involved, both clients and wellness professionals alike!”
Reflecting the organization’s commitment to green practices, the materials and furnishings used were selected as much as possible with the environment in mind – from the comfortably cushioned, sustainably harvested cork floors, to the low-VOC paint that doesn’t give off toxic chemicals, to the hand-hewn furnishings and wall art that support craftsmen in underdeveloped nations. Clients enjoy their visit in the glow of energy-efficient LEDs which last for thousands of hours and use far less energy than traditional lighting.
It is a fitting theme for a place centered on wholistic practices. Therapeutic massage, facials, and various mind/body offerings are all part of a comprehensive menu of services offered to clients. “I’m trying to create a place where whatever one’s soul is longing for, they can find somebody addressing that,” said Goodman.
“My tagline is Sanctuary for the Senses. The goal was to create a space that seamlessly addresses every sense, providing calmness, serenity, and restoration to one’s entire being, so that our clients can return to the world, and their purpose in it, with renewed vigor, optimism, and determination!”
And good people are the key to making this singular concept weave together harmoniously. Experienced professionals in massage therapy and skin and beauty care utilize not just the most effective techniques and highest-quality products, but also bring a warm, relaxing, client centered approach, and strong positive energy to their practice.
Aquarius is about soothing not selling, as Goodman and his staff strive to take the retail out of relaxation! Which is not to say they don’t have a wonderful selection of Wellness products to compliment their service offerings, but just that it is more left up to the guest to initiate the conversation if they see something in a display case that catches their eye.
Goodman hopes one day to create an off-the grid-green destination retreat center on rolling acreage within an hour of downtown St. Louis, which would include everything from traditional spa services and the healthiest food grown on the property, to an educational component for green and sustainable practices, all set in a botanical garden. “Wellness cuts across all aspects of how we live,” said Goodman. “We all need wellness, from what we put into our mouths, to how we take care of our bodies, to how we look after the planet.”
How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
As a wellness professional, are you working in an environment that reflects your value…and your values?
Perhaps it’s time for a change of scenery…and we know just the place!
To Feel Respected, Valued, and Fairly Rewarded for Your Talents
Is the Greatest Sense of Nourishment and Fulfillment!
Located in the heart of St. Louis County, Aquarius Wellness is a premier destination day spa that is as comforting for its staff as it is for its clients. We are proud to offer a warm and soothing “Home Away from Home” environment that is a place of refuge, solace, and inspiration for all who enter it.
As we prepare to gradually reopen our facility after remaining closed for over a year due to COVID-19, we are seeking licensed, experienced, and caring massage therapists to administer a full treatment menu in our spa, a true Sanctuary for the Senses.
Why Aquarius Wellness? We are a people-first brand that offers the following to our dedicated
and talented staff:
40% commission + gratuity + 10% of retail sales
$2,000 sign-on bonus
Wellness provider referral bonuses
Flexible scheduling and a self-managing environment. As an independent contractor, you can use our space to serve our clientele and your own. You will have more control over when you work and how you work in a laid-back, supportive setting.
A positive, inclusive culture that truly values the wellness of its staff. We’ve worked in spas ourselves, so we know firsthand how much it means to be treated well and with respect.
An enriching and safe space in which to work, learn and grow. From the soothing acoustics and playlist, to the state-of-the-art air purifiers in every room, we have lovingly selected our decor and equipment to provide a clean, calming, and wholesome environment across every touchpoint.
A spa that is committed to social responsibility. We care deeply about our planet and have initiated a number of sustainable practices, including the use of eco-friendly treatment tables and cork flooring, low-VOC paints, energy-efficient lighting, and more.
A brand that is rooted in giving back. As part of our mission to be “…in service to a happier, healthier, more peaceful planet, one person… and tree at a time!”, we partner with a number of nonprofits to amplify the impact we can have on the world.
There’s a Reason We Have 5 Stars on Google & Yelp!
We support and care for our staff who, in turn, provide exceptional service to our clients.
We are Continually Raising the Bar in the Industry. Care to Join Us?
If you are a licensed massage therapist with 2+ years of experience, we would love to hear from you. Please send your resume and a brief introduction to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we see a potential fit, we will reach out to schedule an interview.
Wishing you all much health, happiness, and success in your future.
The Aquarius Wellness Team
- Starting at $120
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://aquariuswellness.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aquariuswellness/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aquariuswellness
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/aquarius-wellness-center-for-healing-arts-richmond-heights-3?osq=aquarius+wellness