Longtime friends and business partners Craig Schumacher and Steve Currier decided earlier this year to venture into Ahwatukee Foothills and take over ownership of Ahwatukee Hand and Stone.

The duo first started working together in 1981 in Elyria, Ohio, where they both served in management and executive positions at the Scandinavian Health Spa chain. In 1999, they opened Q Sports Club in Memphis, Tenn., which would later grow to a chain of 20 sports clubs across the country.

In 2000, Schumacher and Currier sold the Q Sports Club chain to 24 Hour Fitness. Later that year Currier, with a different business partner, opened O Premium Waters in Mesa. Although Schumacher was not Currier's main business partner in this business endeavor, he did work with him and O Premium Waters off and on for three years.

In December of 2009 Currier sold O Premium Waters to Sparkletts, a water company based in Los Angeles, Calif.

After the sale of O Premium Waters, Schumacher said both men were looking into a new business endeavor, and three months later they committed to Ahwatukee Hand and Stone. Today, Schumacher and Currier offer health and wellness services at the Ahwatukee Foothills spa, 4940 E. Ray Road, which has a "no-contract-necessary policy."

"Hand and Stone is an upscale experience," Currier said.

Schumacher added that before they decided to franchise with Hand and Stone, the men also looked into other massage business such as Massage Envy, who Schumacher said has been a leader in making massage available to the masses.

Currier noted that when looking at partnering with Massage Envy, he and Schumacher decided they wanted to separate the market place and ultimately felt that Hand and Stone offered that needed separation, citing their pricing, upscale experience, and how they offer facials and waxing in addition to massages.

Schumacher and Currier highlighted the importance of massage as a way to relieve stress from everyday life, as well as help with pain that can result from playing sports or other physical activity.

"Massage is an excellent way to relax, and you can do it inexpensively," Currier said, adding that with the state of the economy right now, people are not looking to be locked into a lengthy contract.

For more information on Ahwatukee Hand and Stone, visit www.handandstone.com.

Chelsea Brown is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.


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