Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joseph Harounian, Owner of SaunaBar, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
SaunaBar is a Wellness Spa in Brentwood. Our concept is using the latest technologies for reducing stress/anxiety, detoxing the body in a natural way, healthy weight loss, and beauty services. We help our clients feel and look their best and all with preventive and alternative modalities. Reversing time naturally and without drugs or invasive procedures. We offer the best kind of Infrared Saunas, Lymphatic Compression Massage, Magnetic Therapy, Weight Loss services, and relaxation benefits.
Tell us about yourself
I was diagnosed with some serious health conditions when I was 20 years old. After following Western medicine for three years, I gave up and stopped going to my doctor and stopped taking my medication and drugs. At 23, I heard about a natural doctor, and I decided to give it a chance. I was healed with nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture. I was amazed at how my health turned around so quickly and got my health and youth back. I became passionate about preventive and alternative medicine/healing and wanted to learn more. After owning a few different businesses and then being in Real Estate, in 2008, during the financial crises and Real Estate crash, I decided to reinvent myself. I decided to open a Wellness Spa and bring awareness about preventive and alternative healing.
I started SaunaBar's concept in 2008 in Miracle Miles, then moved to West Hollywood, and finally, in 2016, to Brentwood. It has been a wonderful experience helping people feel and look better and longer. It's not easy to own and run a business these days, but my passion for Wellness and hearing from our clients how their lives have transformed for the better due to SaunaBar keeps me going. Many people were inspired by the concept I created and started Wellness Studios, which makes me very proud. I love what I do, and I believe that's why I have been successful. I created a space with a great vibe and energy for people to come and improve their well-being. We offer great treatments, customer service, a beautiful clean place, and an amazing SaunaBar team.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am proud to be known for being the pioneer in bringing awareness to Infrared Saunas in Los Angeles. We use the top-of-the-line Infrared Sauna Pods, which provide the most healing and relaxation benefits. When I started this concept in 2008, most people had not heard about Infrared saunas or their benefits. There are many Infrared Sauna studios popping up these days, and we pride ourselves on being the first and the best.
Every week I'm reminded by different clients how much they love and look forward to coming into SaunaBar. Knowing the positive impact SaunaBar's services and atmosphere has on our clients brings me so much joy and pride.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It was very difficult in the begging when I started the business due to the great recession we had in 2008. The line of credit I was approved for was canceled, my credit card limits dropped more than 70%, and it became impossible to get a personal or business loan. My other big challenge was the new wellness concept I had started when the majority of the population did not know anything about it. Bringing awareness with the limited marketing budget I had and not advertising was challenging. It took a lot of work and persistence, and dedication that gets me to where I am today. The pandemic was a difficult time for us, but I am grateful that we got thru it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be passionate and patient with whatever business you decide to start.
- A strong team of equally passionate and loyal employees is a must.
- Being present to oversee the business's growth makes all the difference. No one will care about your "baby" as much as you do. A great concept can only go so far. It's a strong team that will take it to the finish line.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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