Mendes Brings 25 Years of Health and Wellness Experience to the Role
Perspire Sauna Studio, a leading infrared and red light sauna therapy franchise, has named Jackie Mendes vice president of franchise development. Mendes, who brings 25 years of health and wellness industry experience to the position, recently served as vice president of franchise sales for F45 Training, a fitness concept that originated in Australia.
“I’m mostly looking forward to working with individuals who have a passion for improving the health of their communities. It’s rewarding to build both health and wealth through our franchise model and watch that cascade to job creation, life-changing client testimonials, multi-unit expansion, and inspiring younger generations to pursue business ownership,” Mendes said.
Perspire Sauna Studio’s strong growth, tripling to 120 franchise licenses in less than two years, was a major enticement of the new job. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mendes observed more widespread adoption of infrared sauna use due to its immune system benefits, she said. To stay ahead of competitors, Mendes believes the spa franchisor will continue to innovate and adhere to an internally simple model.
Mendes has held varied roles in franchising. She spent several years on the supplier side of the boutique fitness studio industry, where she served many fitness franchises. As the fitness industry introduced more franchise concepts, Mendes made the full-time leap into working on the franchisor side. When her husband teamed with a friend to launch a franchise in their hometown, Mendes learned the inner workings as both a franchisee and franchisor.
Seeking Health and Wellness Alternatives
Mendes’ interest in alternative health and wellness solutions is a natural one for her – she survived a life-threatening allergic reaction that she needed a year to recover from. As a result, Mendes learned at a young age to be cautious about what she put into her body.
Mendes believes the health and wellness market has vast growth potential. In particular she has noticed that people prioritize recovery and self-care in their daily routines more than ever before. “U.S. culture has long celebrated the ‘rise and grind’ mentality, but we are one of the wealthiest, yet sickest, nations in the world. Metabolic diseases – heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes – have been skyrocketing over the years and crippling our healthcare system.” In addition, being hyper-connected digitally, yet socially disconnected, fuels depression and anxiety-related disorders, Mendes pointed out. But the $1.5 trillion wellness economy indicates that millions of people are shifting in the right direction, she said.
Advice from a Franchise Veteran
Mendes offers prospective franchisees four pieces of advice: Research concepts in a category that’s exciting and aligns with personal values, speak with franchisees in the system to validate the brand, find out what a day in the life of a franchisee looks like, and honestly evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses.
Franchisors have a to-do list, too, she said. They need to focus on communication to improve operations, in Mendes’ view. “Establish a system and process that facilitates consistent communication between the franchisor and the franchisee. The franchisees are on the front lines running the play and have valuable insights and feedback to share.”