Alla Zhornitskaya is passionate about her work. She has spent her lifetime building knowledge and expertise on the subject of massage. Those in the area with sore backs and wrenched shoulders or even too much stress will be glad to know she has opened Allure Massage Spa in Barrington.
Born in the Ukraine, Zhornitskaya began her education with a nursing degree in 1979 and found work as an RN at a prestigious Rehabilitation Center in Kiev. Her experience there prompted her to continue on to massage and physical therapy school. “Looking at the people after surgery and how they suffer from certain stuff, I got very interested in massage therapy,” she said.
In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred a little fewer than 100 miles away from her home, which seemed too close for comfort, especially for her three children. “There was a lot of damage done and it was not safe to live here, so we decided to come to the United States,” she said. “I’ve been in the United States for 23 years.”
Upon her arrival in this country, Zhornitskaya found that her Ukrainian education was not an important selling point in the world of massage therapy. “In Europe massage therapy was a medical situation. You could not go to massage school without having a medical background. You had to be either an RN or doctor to be accepted into massage therapy school,” she explained.
She discovered that in the United States, one could hang a massage therapist shingle outside their door by simply applying for a license. The practice made it difficult to find work in an occupation flooded by people with much less education than Zhornitskaya, or none at all.
“I could not find a full-time job at this point,” she said. “Having a family, I had responsibilities; I had to provide some income.”
Zhornitskaya went about the business of obtaining her nursing license and went to work for Lake Forest Hospital. She worked as a nurse in various offices, but never forgot her passion. “I was working for different doctors. I kept my massage therapy over the years. For me, the most important is human’s health,” she said.
Eventually she returned to her calling with a job at Mario Tricoci Salon and Day Spa. “I also worked at a chiropractor as well,” she said.
She began making a name for herself inside within the company, but not in her chosen profession. “I was with Mario Tricoci for 10 maybe 12 years, where I ended up as the regional director of training,” she said.
From that point, she turned to a new venture in the area called Massage Envy, a chain that specializes in affordable massages. Zhornitskaya worked there for five years before she once again, reconsidered her path.
“I feel that with all the experience I have, I can offer more to the public than just an executive spot at Mario Tricoci or for Massage Envy,” she said.
Last summer, she felt ready to begin a new enterprise that would blend and use her management skills and knowledge of massage therapy, nursing, and physical therapy; Zhornitskaya decided she would open Allure Massage. “I thought I serve people better if I can go on my own,” she said.
She began to seek out the perfect location for her fledgling business, looking mostly on the North Shore of Chicago. However, when she decided to push the boundaries of her future location, she began searching in the western suburbs. One particular real estate hunt found her losing her way and stumbling upon Barrington. “It seems so nice and it reminded me a lot of Highland Park,” she recalled.
Zhornitskaya found a real estate agent who brought her to what she called: “The most sophisticated and upscale plaza in Barrington.” That shopping area is the Foundry on Barrington’s North Side, where she has opened her door to new customers.
Keeping the state of the economy in mind, Zhornitskaya decided to keep prices affordable at her spa. “Many others offer a good massage, but it seems that with the economy, people are cutting off the most important stuff: health,” she said.
“They think they can cut off going to health clubs, massage clinics ever doctors,” she continued. “So my goal is to provide a very affordable, high-quality experience and services for the middle class who are suffering a lot at this difficulty in the country. I want people to remember that the health is most important part of life.”
Zhornitskaya hoped to tailor her spa to working people. “I wanted to give people more flexibility on time, flexibility on money and how they will spend the money for service,” she said.
Zhorniskaya demonstrates that policy by offering a one-hour therapeutic massage for $39 for new customers and $55 thereafter. If the customer would like a few extras, Allure Massage offers add-ons, such as aromatherapy, hot stone and deep-tissue massage. “We provide a deep muscle therapy for clients, which will involve a more medical approach,” she said.
Allure Massage is available for specialty events such as showers, and girl’s night-out parties and facials will be available in a few months, according to Zhorniskaya. “There are no hidden fees or additional costs. We’re open 7 days a week. I’m trying to be accessible for people who work.”
“My goal is to get to know the Barrington community,” Zhorniskaya said. “And to provide service and make them happy.”
If You Go:
- What: Allure Massage
- Where: 730 W. Northwest Highway, Barrington
- Hours: Open seven days a week
- For more information: Call 1-847-304- 4330
- Online: www.alluremassagespa.com/