Give your body, mind and spirit a break this spring with a visit to Roehm’s Day Spa. The spa is owned by Barbara Hepler, a woman who’s been at the heart and soul of Lansing’s business community for decades. With a “can do” and “never say no” attitude, Hepler has had a long successful career, initially in banking and commercial real estate and, most recently, in the personal care industry. She was also a single mom raising three young children – her oldest, Harry who followed her into real estate and is now a prominent developer in Lansing; Amy, a renowned artist and designer; and Angela, a successful restaurateur in Chicago. Amy and Angela are twins, the first newborns of 1970. Hepler found a way to run her businesses and raise her children alone. “Work is life,” she said matter-of-factly. “Working was something I had to do.” She found a way to do it all. Hepler developed her attitude growing up on a 300-acre farm in Coldwater, Mich. “I was raised to believe that there’s no such word as ‘can’t,’” she said. “You did what you had to do. I never owned an alarm clock, I was programmed to rise at 5 a.m. each morning,” she added. Hepler has passed down her work ethic not only to her children, but grandchildren, too. “They’ve all seen me work hard” and they learned how to do it, too. Named for her oldest grandchild, Hepler opened Roehm’s 15 years ago on July 1. She originally got the idea from her daughter, who wanted to start a spa in Chicago. That business became a restaurant, and Hepler decided to open a spa in Lansing instead. Roehm’s Day Spa employs eight skilled technicians ― many of whom have been at the spa since it started ― who provide a wide range of services including manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and massages. There is also a sauna. Hepler said that the treatments make people look refreshed, feel revitalized and walk out feeling “good about themselves.” But the services are more than just cosmetic. Hepler points out that many of the services have health benefits. For example, massage therapy not only relaxes muscles, but it reduces inflammation, loosens stiff joints, aids circulation and relieves pain. A technique called reflexology is performed during pedicures. Technicians apply pressure to certain areas on the feet that correspond to body organs. When pressure is applied, it can promote health in those organs, Hepler explained. Other body treatments promote health, too. Roehm’s offers Ionic Foot Baths that detox and energize. “The Ionic Foot Spa is said to balance the body’s PH levels and bring the body back to a healthy state,” according to a brochure at the spa that explains this procedure. “This is becoming very popular,” Hepler said. “These treatments help you to be healthier,” she added. Hepler has many loyal customers ― some who come from as far as Jackson, Novi, Grand Rapids and Mt. Pleasant ― and many who’ve enjoyed the treatments and services since Roehm’s Day Spa opened. The spa recently got an update ― a project spearheaded by her son. She welcomes new clients to sample the spa’s services and discover the healing benefits of what Roehm’s provides, all at competitive prices. Even with the weight of running the business on her shoulders, Hepler seems relaxed and confident. She advises anyone who wants to start a business to go for it. “Just don’t be afraid, ‘no’ is not an option,” she said. Taking her own advice, Hepler, who has been in the working world since 1964, doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Roehm’s Day Spa is at 2800 E. Grand River, Lansing (517) 485-9820 www.roehmsdayspa.com
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.