Therapy by the Book

An avid scrapbooker enhances the relaxing effects of her hobby by combining it with spa amenities.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What: A weekend spa retreat for scrapbookers
Who: Marguerite Violassi-Ochoa of Garden Spa Scrapping
Where: Arroyo Grande, California
When: Started in 2005

While visiting a spa getaway in 2004, Marguerite Violassi-Ochoa, 46, was inspired to create a similar place, but with a twist. Her resort would be for avid scrapbookers like herself. A year later, she opened Garden Spa Scrapping, a retreat with all the amenities of a hotel, the coziness of a bed and breakfast, and the tranquility of a spa.

"My husband and I spent many hours brainstorming and developing financial models to address every aspect of the business," says Violassi-Ochoa, a former finance manager and a CPA by trade. "I believe this planning phase made [Garden Spa Scrapping's] transition from idea to reality seamless."

Through a 1031 exchange with previous rental property, they invested in an $820,000 home on Cali-fornia's central coast. Large enough to accommodate 10 guests and in a rural, rustic setting surrounded by eucalyptus trees, it was the perfect place to carry out Violassi-Ochoa's vision. "Once we found the property, I decorated the entire place in my mind," she says. "That was the fun part for me."

To advertise, Violassi-Ochoa created a website and placed brochures in scrapbooking stores. After six months of planning and marketing and $50,000 worth of interior decorating, the retreat opened in December 2005 to a full house. Today, guests are booking three to four months in advance.

Garden Spa Scrapping's visitors, women in their 20s to 60s, enjoy a weekend complete with home-cooked meals, a welcome gift and personally designed card, an on-site supply store and, of course, lots of scrapbooking work space. Spa services are available for an additional fee, and a technique instructor teaches scrapbooking classes throughout the weekend.

Violassi-Ochoa, who expects $150,000 in 2006 sales, says, "One of the things I enjoy most is seeing the transformation that occurs in the women who spend their weekend here. I watch the stress melt away from their faces."

More from Entrepreneur

Jason's expertise and experience can help you with storytelling, motivation, and pitching your business to media.
Book Your Session

For a limited time only, get this bundle of Entrepreneur PressĀ® titles for less than $30 (60% OFF) on our bookstore when you use "LEAP" at checkout.
Buy Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.