Entrepreneur Mike Thompson's Favorite Things
Mike Thompson, 42, had only one complaint with his weekly massage: "The experience was all too girly." So the marketing pro did what any budding entrepreneur would do: open his own spa. In 2006, he and his business partner, Pete Hillman, 39, launched Chicago's Sir Spa. Now, with 36 employees and $1 million in annual sales, Sir Spa lures clients with sleek leather, wood, and chrome trimmings. "People in the spa industry said we had to do things a certain way," says Thompson. "We finally said, 'No, we're going to do it our way.'" Their way it is. "You won't find the chocolate raspberry massage of the month here."
A traditional shaving brush and Baxter of California Super Close Shave Formula. "We don't offer barber services at the spa, so this is what I keep at home."
Chicago Blues Festival
"Chicago is known for its summer festivals. It's a fantastic time to get reacquainted with everyone who's been hibernating for the past six months."
"Michael's thin crust is my favorite. Yes, Chicago does have thin-crust pizza!"
Volvo v70 station wagon
"It's amazing how much transporting you have to do with a small business. Supplies, samples, you're moving things all the time."
Johnston & Murphy wingtips
"These are just classic and solid. I have one pair. They last forever."
"I do have an iPod, but I like to escape technology. I love old vinyl."
Made from recycled typewriter keys. "They remind me of my grandfather, who was a newspaper reporter."
"Experiencing the hospitality and learning about the culture was really amazing. I want to bring some of that friendliness into our spa."
Back to BWSmallBiz August/September 2008 Table of Contents