WINTER HARBOR — For Brandi Schunk, life is all about connections.
Her business, Schoodic Therapeutics Day Spa and Therapy Center, seeks connections with people by buying supplies locally and promoting other businesses. A print from a nearby gallery, which is for sale, decorates one wall in the spa. Eventually she hopes to fill a display rack with brochures.
“I believe it’s important that we all support each other,” she said.
Schunk also sets aside time from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays for seniors to connect with each other and enjoy free hand massages.
“All I ask in exchange is some words of wisdom,” she said. Participating seniors write down something they’ve learned over the years and post it on the wall for others to enjoy.
Connections are also important when treating the body. As a massage therapist, Schunk specializes in treating chronic pain. One of the ways she accomplishes this is through a form of myofacial release, which centers around the connective tissues in the body.
“I’m able to help people with chronic pain and I’ve been specializing in this for 15 years,” Schunk said. “People can get back to chasing their grandchildren or participating in sports or going back to a profession they had to walk away from.”
Schunk opened her business in Winter Harbor last summer after moving to the area from Texas. She and her husband, Tim, had been living in a small apartment and working long hours when they decided they wanted something different.
In 2015 — six months after first considering the change — they moved to Sullivan. The couple loved the area and bought a house the following year, where they are now raising and home-schooling son Seamus, 9, and daughter Ava Grace, 2.
During a visit to Winter Harbor, they decided the town would make a good location to open a massage business. One month later, she had in her hand the key to the building at 303 Main St.
“It was one of those meant-to-be … kind of things,” said Schunk, who put a massage chair out on the building’s porch that afternoon. “Within five minutes I had someone in the chair getting a massage.”
At that time, she had been working part time at a spa in Bar Harbor and seeing clients at her home. When the season ended for the spa in Bar Harbor, she jumped into the new business full time.
Schunk, who is Christian, connects with clients through prayer. A small sign on a side table says, “I say a prayer for you before each session. Please let me know if you would like for me to say this prayer out loud.” Unless the client requests otherwise, she prays silently.
“I know not everyone believes the same as I do. I’m not going to force my beliefs,” she said.
Currently, Schunk works with one additional massage therapist, Philip Payne of Gouldsboro, who specializes in sports and geriatric massage. She hopes to expand further and is looking to hire other therapists who can work both seasonally and year-round.
The spa is hosting an open house 6-8 p.m. May 18. Refreshments and free sample massages will be available.
For more information, visit schoodictherapeutics.massagetherapy.com or call 387-0767.