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Guntersville spa sees continued success in fourth year

When Teresa Staggs opened the doors to her spa in 2018, she never could have imagined the amount of success she would see in such a short amount of time. Now, after celebrating four years in business, The Soak House & Soapery – located in Historic Downtown Guntersville – has already moved once due to demand, and many of the spa packages Teresa offers are booked for four solid months.

Teresa and her husband, Shawn, often took notice of how their community lacked a place to unwind and relax. The Staggs eventually decided they would bring one to Guntersville. 

(The Soak House & Soapery/Facebook)

“There was just a need,” Teresa said. “This community didn’t have a place where we could go to just relax. For me, this was a little hideaway where you could spend an hour, or four hours, whatever you need, to go to recharge your batteries. So, I was constantly complaining that we didn’t have anywhere and saying how something like this would be fantastic in our town. And I said that for so long, that I finally one day said to my husband, ‘Maybe that someone is us because no one is doing it.’”

Once the idea took root, Teresa put her background at the Department of Defense to good use by creating a list of everything they would need in order to make their dream a reality.

“I made a list of A, B, C and D and said let’s just check on these and if it doesn’t work out we just won’t do it,” she said. “But I checked and all those doors opened and I kept hearing ‘yes.’ Before I knew it, we had the building, I had the design laid out, I had my license in place; it truly just took off. We were never told ‘no,’ which was mind-blowing. Not to say it’s easy, because it’s not. But it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be in my head. Which is why I felt like we were exactly where we were supposed to be with it.”

(The Soak House & Soapery/Facebook)

A bit nervous about bringing their signature service, the tub soak – hence the Soak House moniker — to North Alabama, Teresa admitted her first year in business was all about gaining people’s trust. She was transparent from the get-go in explaining to clients her goal to “take the traditional day spa and add some southern hospitality to it.” Ergo, Shawn and Teresa made a point to eradicate all the pretension that can sometimes be associated with luxury day spas. 

“I have been to spas all over the world and the biggest takeaway that I believe with most of them is that I didn’t necessarily feel welcome,” she stated. “So, that’s very important to us. I want people to leave here and feel like they’ve just left a friend’s house. What they won’t feel is that they were in an area where they couldn’t be themselves or truly relax. It’s unpretentious.”

It wasn’t long before Teresa realized the demand for her spa services far outweighed what she could provide for her clients. Eighteen months in, the Staggses began looking for a new location that could meet the Soak House’s growing needs. They stayed in the historic downtown area of Guntersville, moving into an old house just one street over. Teresa described the new location as “serendipitous.”

(The Soak House & Soapery/Facebook)

“I feel like this place called to me, like it was waiting on us,” she said. “This is home for us. It is everything I envisioned when we first set out on this journey, but we had to start small at first.”

The move exceeded expectations. With four times the space, the services and even the employees, business also quadrupled at a rapid pace and Teresa spent the first year at the new location learning and trying to catch her breath as the Soak House continued to grow.

“It grew so quickly when we opened the doors here,” she said. “We thought it would be more gradual, but it was so fast. I definitely envisioned this space, but I really did not expect it to be as successful as it is. Last year, honestly, was like starting a new business because it really grew four times.”

(The Soak House & Soapery/Facebook)

While the Soak House continues to offer the ever-popular tub soaks, massage and facial packages for both individuals and couples, among many other services, their latest venture will expand on the next level of hospitality: Beginning in May, the opportunity to stay overnight and within walking distance of the spa. Exclusive to Soak House clients, the Staggs will have two apartments that can sleep up to six in each unit, convenient to all that historic downtown Guntersville has to offer. 

Learn more about The Soak House & Soapery and the services they offer at www.soakhousespa.com, on Facebook and Instagram, or by calling (256)960-5085.

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