Like way too many of us, Cleveland, Ohio native Kari Iverson’s career in tech – she did web design for an early Instagram competitor – led to chronic pain from working on a computer 60-plus hours a week.
She saw a physician, went to a chiropractor but eventually realized that massage therapy “was the only thing that helped my pain,” she says. “It provided me with the relief that doctors weren’t able to give me. I started to feel a little bit better after each massage therapy.”
Iverson was so inspired by the experience that she decided to shift gears and attend San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork in the Mission District. She graduated in 2017 and began her practice as a side hustle that she balanced out with work in fine dining.
“I began to build up my client list, and during the pandemic, I was a completely mobile massage therapy provider,” says Iverson, who named her practice HELLO Modern Massage. She’s also help pop-up events at a number of downtown retailers.
With an ever-growing client list, Iverson made the leap in October 2021 to open her own brick and mortar practice at 90 Throckmorton Ave.
“With having my own physical space, I’m able to see more clients,” Iverson says, noting that she retains time allotted to those with medical needs that require massage therapy at their homes. “Not everyone is able to come to me.”
Iverson’s practice has been such a success that she’s been able to hire two additional massage therapists, who largely focus on evenings and weekends. “I only have two hands,” she says with a laugh. “I really like building relationship with people over time and because I’m able to be that much more effective with my work – they can give me a sense of what they want and need.”