Success is beautiful

Success is beautiful

When you’re looking for a great place to get massages or facials in Chicago, you don’t usually think about who owns or manages the spa. Spa Space is a great place for couples massage and is also known as a great men’s spa, but the majority of our clientele are women. And we thought you might be interested to know just a little bit about the amazing women behind Spa Space.


Natalie Tessler founded Spa Space back in 2001, with the dream of creating the best day spa in Chicago. That hadn’t always been her dream, though.


Natalie has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a law degree from American University and an LL.M. (Master’s of Law degree) in taxation from New York University. She found that the life of a tax and estate planning attorney wasn’t making her happy, so she dusted off her childhood dream of owning her own business and started doing some research on the wellness and day spa industries. As she once explained in an interview, while she was a lawyer she was always surrounded by people who didn’t particularly want to be there – whether that be clients dealing with difficult legal matters or the other lawyers. Natalie wanted something completely different. “A spa is a place where people really love to go, a place where people really want to be, and a place where people want to work,” she said.


These days, Natalie enjoys speaking to students, entrepreneurs and angel investors about raising capital, developing a business plan and what entrepreneurship really entails.


In addition to owning Chicago massage spa Spa Space, Ilana Craig Alberico serves as the CEO and is the Co-Founder/Owner of Innovative Spa Management (ISM) – a company that has landed on Inc. Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing Companies twice, in 2013 and 2014.


Ilana and her partner, Christina Stratton, started ISM in Asheville, North Carolina. The company specializes in executing spas that seamlessly weave concept throughout the design, operations, employee training programs, product selection, and menu. Her company ultimately provides financially secure and profitable operations dedicated to superior service.


Ilana oversees the vision, direction and operations of the company. She writes articles on spa design, development, and operations and teaches management and employee training programs at spa industry conferences and at the ISM Academy. A massage therapist and former spa director, she is passionate about treatment and dedicated to creating the optimal spa experience.


In other words, Ilana is an expert when it comes to spas. And she has brought her expertise to Spa Space, one of the best spas in Chicago, where you can look forward to an exceptional spa experience.


Ilana, whose parents grew their own organic food, got her start in the spa industry in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. After college in South Carolina, she went back to Asheville. After learning just how hard it is to earn a living with a pottery studio, she found a job at a local resort. You guessed it, the job was in the spa. She picked up towels, greeted guests and couldn’t help but notice the change that would come over people after their spa treatment. She wanted to be able to relieve people of their stress and add something special to their day.


She quickly became a licensed massage therapist and before you know it, she was managing the spa.


Ilana isn’t alone in her desire to make people feel better through spa treatments. Everyone at Spa Space, which is considered the most progressive of all the downtown Chicago massage spas, is committed to your wellbeing.