When Olivia Hageman moved to southern Minnesota from California, she loved it–but found one thing missing. The certified massage therapist, traditional style Lomilomi instructor, certified personal trainer and injury prevention specialist was used to working in a luxurious day spa. She wanted to recreate that experience in Mankato.
“I wanted to bring my experience and vision to everyone here. My desire is to pair luxury with holistic care, working with clients to find the source of the issue and have them feel better on a daily basis, not just in the treatment room,” says Hageman.
She brought her dream to life, opening Menari Body Works in 2016. It started out as a small, private practice, and is now housed in its own building with two treatment rooms, a staff of four therapists, sauna and salt room.
“My biggest challenge so far has been navigating COVID,” she says. “We had to move our facility due to COVID operational guidelines in the middle of the pandemic. It was a very busy and challenging October.”
But that was followed by Hageman seeing just how supportive the community around her can be. “My happiest surprise was this holiday season, when we sold out of gift cards for the first time ever! It was so heartwarming to know that our community is invested in supporting small businesses during COVID.”
The passion Hageman has for her work is evident. “Being a traditional style Lomilomi instructor, I have a responsibility to keep Lomi alive, to share with others this ancient healing tradition and perpetuate part of Hawaiian culture,” she says. “I continue to grow Menari in order to serve the community, to bring them a beautiful place to relax, unwind, and attend to body and spirit.”
Photo by Jonathan Smith