Entrepreneur Mike Thompson's Favorite Things

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 Pizzeria

"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."

Vinyl records

"I do have an iPod, but I like to escape technology. I love old vinyl."

Cuff links

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."

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