AustinDEEP's Jessica Price grows massage school
We caught up with Jessica Price, the CEO and founder of AustinDEEP, who trademarked her own deep tissue massage and recently launched a massage therapy school with an eye toward expanding the businesses' footprint in Central Texas.
Catch up quick: Price successfully lobbied the Texas Legislature in 2021 to pass a bill that allows Texas massage therapists to complete half their required training hours online. The move made it easier and more affordable to become a licensed massage therapist, according to Price.
- The measure allowed Price to launch The DEEPAcademy School of Massage last fall.
- The $5,500, 20-week training gives graduates an opportunity to work full-time at AustinDEEP's Lake Austin or downtown studio. The school's first six students graduated in January.
Here's our condensed conversation:
Q: What separates your deep tissue massage technique from others?
A: It's a "full body, fascia focused deep tissue massage. … The cool thing about training everyone on this one methodology of massage is that if you just need a massage on the fly, it's going to be the same experience. My product lends itself to consistency."
Q: What led you to push for updated requirements to massage therapists' training?
A: "I hit a roadblock in terms of growing fast enough. I just needed more therapists because my massage was in such high demand. … [A school] was the only way to get me to a third location, a fourth location.
- "That's when I had so many phone calls with the [Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation], trying to understand the rules. I kept asking why? Why do you have to go in person for all 500 hours?"
Q: Could the law be changed further to improve training for massage therapists?
A: "I'm sure I will rock the boat by even saying this, but I question whether we need 500 hours [of training]. It's very inefficient."
Q: Do you have plans to open another location soon?
A: "With the launch of the DEEPAcademy School of Massage, the whole goal was to get kids through my school and then onboard them onto AustinDEEP … I will definitely be looking at a third location by the end of this year."
What's next: Her school's second cohort — 15 students — will start training in May.
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