Linda Chau of PAAPR LLC, PR Agency Helping you to Build Your Story Behind your Brand
In 2016, at the age of 26, Linda Chau co-founded Melt On Demand LLC (Melt), an on-demand massage company with the mission to bring relaxation into the homes, hotels, and offices of people across America at an affordable price for the client, as well as a desirable pay for the massage therapist. Melt provides spa quality massage therapy for a fraction of the price of a high end spa. Melt massage therapists earn 2-3x the industry rate of pay. About 70% of Melt’s service fee and 100% of the tip goes directly to the massage therapist.
Why did you launch Melt on Demand, LLC?
When I launched Melt, I was living in Downtown Los Angeles at the time. The combination of a busy schedule, constant traffic, and an overcrowded city made booking a massage more stressful than beneficial. A massage is something you get when you want or need it. It’s not something you can always schedule in the future. Spas were always booked up weeks in advance. Additionally, driving home in LA traffic after a relaxing massage was counterproductive. I tried various mobile massage therapists. I found a handful I liked but our schedules didn’t always align. I found myself going down the list every time I needed a massage.
Over time, these massage therapists became good friends of mine. With my background in marketing and PR, many of them always came to me for advice. I soon learned that many talented massage therapists lacked the knowledge, time, and/or budget for marketing to properly grow their business.
I wanted a more efficient way to schedule my massages and these therapists needed help with marketing…so Melt was born! We focused on what we specialized in—marketing & PR. While the massage therapist focused on what they specialized in— massage therapy.
Melt on Demand is bringing relaxation into homes, hotels, and offices. What is unique about Melt?
Melt was created with the mission to bring relaxation directly to the client for an affordable price and at a desirable pay for the massage therapist. Melt provided spa quality massage therapy for a fraction of the price of a high-end spa and Melt massage therapists earned 2-3x the industry rate of pay. About 70% of Melt’s service fee and 100% of the tip went directly to the massage therapist.
In addition to the lower prices and better pay, the process for scheduling a massage was simple, easy, and quick. A massage could be scheduled online or over the phone with as little as one hour notice or up to 30 days in advance. This provided flexibility for both the client and therapist.
What challenges did you have while scaling your business?
Building trust was the biggest challenge. Having someone unfamiliar come to your home to give you a massage can be concerning and those concerns were understandable. Safety was always the number one priority to us. All of our massage therapists were licensed, vetted, and background checked. We built a brand focused around trust to help our customers better understand. We made sure everything we did was authentic, we engaged with our customers, and we built relationships with larger brands that were already well-trusted. The company became a national brand in less than one year, expanding into 12 major cities across the nation and bringing hundreds of jobs to those communities. Part of Melt’s success was that it had media coverage on a national level, such as The Real Daytime Talkshow.
Melt quickly caught the attention of one of your biggest competitors, Soothe www.soothe.com. Tell us about this time.
Interestingly enough, many of our massage therapists actually worked for both companies so Soothe was a name that I heard often. When the opportunity came up to be acquired by them, I had mixed feelings at first. Ultimately, it was the best decision. As much as I loved Melt and massage therapy, a part of me missed the excitement of working with various industries, which is why I launched PAAPR soon after the acquisition.
Share your best piece of advice as an Entrepreneur.
One of the most common challenges an entrepreneur has to overcome is fear. Simply starting a business is easy but actually running a successful one isn’t as easy. My best piece of advice–– Asking for help or putting yourself out there will never put you in a lower position than your starting point but it can potentially put you in a higher position. So don’t be afraid of rejection!
After you sold your company, Melt, you started a PR agency, PAAPR LLC. Why did you decide to launch a PR firm?
Public relations is an addictive industry to be in. I was obsessed with the ever-evolving industry and the face-paced environment. The creative, strategic, and tactical work involved is never the same on a given day. PR also allows me to work with and learn about various industries while interacting with different types of people daily.
What can clients expect working with you? What do you enjoy most?
Knowing that what I’m doing is benefiting someone else is what I enjoy most. Our clients can expect outside agency expertise with the in-house agency care. We make sure our clients feel like we’re really a part of their internal team.
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Interview by Jules Lavallee