Spa Gregorie’s owner and founder Angela Cortright hasn’t always served as a beacon of all that is serene and well. In fact, she was once a picture of stress. Working in the tech industry for 20-plus years, her career prospered, but her health failed.
“Bad skin, bad hair, bad sleep, bad digestion, you name it,” says Cortright. “My husband introduced me to ‘body work’ – massage – and it had a profound healing effect on me.”
It was time for a change, and after a year of research and planning, Spa Gregorie’s opened in Newport Beach on September 15, 1998.
In addition to promoting wellness, the spa and Cortright have supported and donated to countless philanthropic efforts throughout the years, including Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure; Orange County Rescue Mission; Working Wardrobes; and animal-related groups, including the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano.
“A great deal of thought goes into how we contribute both our money and our time to charitable causes,” Cortright says.
Cortright answered a few questions about life at the spa:
How has Spa Gregorie’s evolved?
We have innovated in so many areas. I’m particularly proud of the work we do in the cancer community. Ten years ago we started a nonprofit called Greet the Day (greettheday.org) to bring the comfort and healing benefits of body work to cancer patients. We close our spas several days throughout the year to serve only cancer patients; we also serve cancer patients in many infusion centers in Orange and San Diego counties – while they are receiving chemotherapy – and we provide certification training to nurses, therapists and others on oncology massage.
Any major challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yeah – the economy. It has been a real struggle to continue to deliver the standard of service that our customers expect when revenue and profits are down. But things are better now and I feel we are coming out of the most challenging years.
What are some key lessons you’ve learned?
Gratitude – for the opportunity to have such fulfilling work, to work with wonderful people who strive to improve people’s lives, to have loyal customers who trust us and continue to patronize our business. Perseverance – don’t let today’s disappointments or challenges cloud your long-term vision. Listening and learning – God gave us two ears and one mouth. I’ve learned that usually, if I stop and listen, the answers I am seeking are right there.