Ipswich Massage & Herbal Spa owner Sonja Glinster. Photo: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Massage & Herbal Spa owner Sonja Glinster. Photo: Cordell Richardson

Expansion for CBD business bucking the trend

IPSWICH Massage and Herbal Day Spa is a business bucking the trend of closures in the Ipswich CBD.

“The Top of Town is going through so much change,” Mrs Glinster said.

“There’s a transformation with lawyers and accountant firms moving in, and it’s positive.”

The shop run by Sonja Glinster and her husband David celebrated 10 years of business in September, with five in the current location at 196 Brisbane St in the Top of Town.

This month an additional five treatment rooms in a back area of the building were opened, expanding the total number of rooms to 12.

The new rooms feature exposed beams bearing the names of early Ipswich residents, like Foote, Zinglemann, Wrigby and Gould.

As it turns out 196 Brisbane St was built in the early 1900s with beams that came from a play shed erected at the Ipswich Grammar School in 1877.

The boys at the Grammar school used to climb up into the rafters and inscribe their names.

When the building first opened it was Palmers Plumbing Supplies, later it became a hardware store and was once a real estate office and a fish and chip shop.

“I’m glad the beams are on show again.”

Mrs Glinster started in the business as a massage therapist and had a vision for it to grow into a day spa.

When she first moved into the Brisbane St building it looked much different.

“It was vacant,” Mrs Glinster said.

“It was a mess, there were electrical wires everywhere, and there was a cat with a litter of kittens in the back room.”

Despite that Mrs Glinster turned it into a place of sanctuary and stillness.

Ipswich Massage and Herbal Spa has progressively expanded over the years from a staff of one, to now 21 employees.

“I’ve always been interested in health and wellness. Stress is a big thing in people’s lives. “Even children present with symptoms of stress. Studies have shown that massage can reduce stress. It’s downtime for the mind and good for the body. Prevention is so much better than the cure.”

Mrs Glinster had always planned on renovating and using the full building and had even toyed with the idea of starting a restaurant.

Instead she’s heavily invested in specialised pregnancy massage tables, noise cancelling headphones and a VIP lounge area with hanging chairs perfect for foot massages.

She plans to start yoga classes in 2020 and wants open a juice bar off the side of the building.

Ipswich Massage and Herbal Spa is open seven days a week offering massage, facials, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, osteopathy, spa therapy and spa parties for up to 12 people as well as infrared body treatments, skin care products and essential oils.

Inspiration for the extension was taken from The Now Massage in New York with bohemian styling, high ceilings and rattan pendants.