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Fall 2009 Cold Relief Heats Up Sales

For more than a decade, the therapeutic aromas and fragrances sold by Spa Concepts, Inc. have sought to soothe and relax. The Tallahassee, FL-based company led by husband-and-wife team Ajay and Meenakshi Chadha has worked to provide its customers with a relaxed mood and an overall feeling of well-being through candles, aromatherapy oils, oil lamps, lotions and shower gels.

Cold relief

Under the company’s Therapy Bar umbrella, the Chadhas have also sold cold and cough relief products. Offerings in the cold therapy product line include candles, tea lights, relief pouches, ointment and shower gel—there are many others. The Therapy Bar products primarily use eucalyptus and menthol vapors, in addition to other natural ingredients, to provide relief. The Chadhas are awaiting patents for the ingredient formulation in their products. Since the advertising suggests natural ingredients and relief from symptoms—not cures for illnesses—the company doesn’t need Federal Drug Administration approval.

Therapy Bar relief products have been sold for around a year, along with Spa Concepts’ other products (including their popular refillable candles). Chadha says the line is now ready to go solo. The Therapy Bar products were launched at a tradeshow this year as a separate stand-alone cart.

“Soothera” packs, which are meant to complement the cold and cough relief products, are new and will be included in the cart package. These packs—made with non-toxic glycerin beads—promise to provide relief for tired necks, feet and eyes. The Soothera relief packs heat up faster and stay warm longer than most in the marketplace, the Chadhas say, and don’t contain any of the pesticides or other chemicals found in many similar items using grain products.

Market ripe

The idea for Therapy Bar took shape in 2006 when the Chadhas’ daughter came down with a routine cold. Finding the best relief for her symptoms took more time than they thought necessary. The Chadhas, both chemical engineers, used their scientific skills to develop the Therapy Bar line. The first product to be developed was “Vapo Relief,” a water-soluble mixture of natural oils that is mixed with hot water to release medicinal vapors. “Then the products started to build on themselves. People are more or less looking for natural therapies,” Ajay Chadha points out.

At first the couple sold the products on two carts; one near home and another at a local health food store. Now, the entire range of Therapy Bar products are sold at 10 carts around the country; the goal is to get to the 25-50 cart neighborhood in the next year or so. Ajay Chadha is convinced that there is a clear market for these products, and that Therapy Bar products will do well as a stand-alone concept.

Starting up

For potential cart operators, the company offers a $2,000 start-up package. “These are tough times for everybody, so we wanted a start-up opportunity that people could afford,” Ajay Chadha says.

In addition, colorful signage and training are offered, as is a markup between three to four times wholesale cost.

“We want to make it as easy and efficient as possible for those who want to start,” Ajay Chadha says. “And a good pace for our growth is important to us. We can talk about 300 carts within a certain period of time, but those kinds of numbers present their own challenges. Instead, we will let things build at a natural pace.

For more information, visit www.ezrefillablecandles.com.


Dan Bennett

Dan Bennett is a Las Vegas and San Diego-based freelance business writer. He can be reached at .

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