PARK CITY, Utah — Brittany Frisch, Justin, and little Sofia Falzone embody the ‘work and play in Park City’ motto. Brittany and Justin are new parents to 9-month-old Sofia and full-time Park City residents. They own two Elements Massage studios, one in Redstone and Cottonwood Heights. Their path to Park City unfolded with serendipity at every turn.
Brittany and Justin are childhood friends. “Justin and I actually grew up in the same small town in Massachusetts (Boxford),” Brittany explains, “He was the year above me. We always ran in a similar circle of friends, so we have known each other for a long time.”
While they were friends growing up, it wasn’t until college that Brittany and Justin’s relationship flourished. They both attended Suffolk University in Boston, where they studied complementary academic pursuits; Justin’s focus was business marketing, and Brittany’s was business management. “We started dating when I transferred to college in Boston where he was living and attending school,” Brittany remembers.
Park City became an integral part of their relationship early on. Brittany grew up visiting Park City for family outings and was eager to share her love of the area. “I have been coming out to Park City since I was little with my family for ski trips,” Brittany describes. Her aunt, who lives in California, has owned a home in Deer Valley since Brittany was a child. “Park City was always our family meeting place. My parents have been coming since they were dating,” she says.
When Justin and Brittany started dating, she was excited to share Park City with him. “I mentioned going to Park City to ski, and he kind of gave me an odd look like, ‘Utah, really?'” Brittany says, “As soon as we got here, he fell in love.”
“I’d never even heard of Park City,” Justin recalls, “We had an awesome time! We came up to ski, they didn’t have much snow the year we came, and we still had an awesome time.” Their inaugural trip made such an impression they came back the following year. “We came out here for the New Year, then we did it again the next year,” Justin says.
The mountain access and recreational pursuits immediately fostered a deep love for Park City and a connection to each other. “Since our first trip, Justin knew he wanted to move here,” Brittany says, “I ski, and he snowboards. Justin is a big fly fisher and mountain biker – so all year long, there’s plenty of activities.”
For Justin, two stays in Park City were enough to determine the next chapter in his life. “I had only visited out here twice,” he says. However, those trips made an impression on him. Two months after their second New Year vacation, he accepted a job offer to work with a financial planner in Park City.
Brittany, who still had two months to graduate, remembers, “Coming back from class and Justin saying, ‘Some guy wants me to work for him out in Park City.’ He moved out a month before me and lived with my sister and her friends while I was finishing school in Boston.”
Once united in Park City, Brittany and Justin decided to use their complementary degrees to launch a business. Brittany expounds, “When we got out here, we started looking into different franchises.” Brittany’s work as a personal trainer in college helped mold their decision. “I knew I wanted to stick to the health and wellness industry,” she says.
I wanted to open a Dunkin Donuts. We definitely made the right call. — Justin retorts with a laugh
Ultimately, Brittany’s experiences at Elements Massage influenced their choice the most. “Back in Massachusetts, my mother was a member at one of the first Elements studios, and I would go all the time,” she says. Her mom got to know the owner of that studio, Steve. When Brittany and Justin moved to Park City and started looking into franchises, Steve encouraged them to meet the Elements Massage team at their headquarters in Colorado.
“Justin, myself, and our moms went out to Colorado to meet the team behind Elements and loved it!” Brittany exclaims, “A massage therapist founded Elements, so it’s truly centered around helping people feel their best and take time for themselves.”
Justin illustrates how Elements Massage won out as the family franchise. “They set it up in a good way to attract talent to our studios. Therapists like working at Elements,” he says, “They have done such a good job setting up how the day goes as massage therapists. They set up a good environment. It’s an advantage.”
In 2014 Justin and Brittany launched Elements Massage in Cottonwood Heights. During the first few years of business, they split their time between Brittany’s parents’ house in Park City and an apartment near the Elements Cottonwood Heights. “I was working the desk every single day. It was a lot more convenient to have that apartment,” Brittany remembers, “Justin was also studying for a lot of his financial exams too. My parents’ house was kind of crazy; there was a bunch of people who lived there. So having that place was easier to study.”
Close proximately to Elements and a quiet space of their own contributed to the studio’s success and Justin’s completion of his financial exams. With the Cottonwood Heights location thriving, Brittany and Justin were again pulled back to Park City.
In 2017 they moved to Silver Creek and began contemplating opening an Elements Massage in Park City. The Redstone Elements Massage location launched the same month that news of COVID started to sweep through the United States. “We opened end of February 2020,” Brittany says, “Only four weeks if that, prior to having to close down for COVID.”
Closing the studio for several weeks due to COVID was daunting for only a month old business. Fortunately, the Redstone Elements location began to prosper almost immediately. “We had a great start. We were one of the fastest-growing studios nationwide,” Justin explains, “Then April came, and we had to totally shut our doors.”
“It was tough,” Brittany remembers, “We didn’t get any breaks on our rent or anything like that.”
Fortunately, the Park City community stepped up and helped sustain the new business. “Luckily, during the time we were closed and the couple months after when we were slow, most of our members kept their membership,” Justin says.
After a several-week hiatus, the Redstone location re-opened, with entirely new guidelines. “We opened with a whole new set of COVID procedures… It was like retraining the team that we had just trained to join the team,” Brittany explains.
Brittany and Justin attribute the success of both Elements in Cottonwood Heights and Redstone to their team. With over 40 employees, they understand it’s essential to create a welcoming work environment to prosper. “On the studio side, we have an amazing management team,” Brittany says, “They truly have the best interests of the studios – like Justin and myself, they want to make Elements an amazing place to work or to come in and receive a massage.”
At Elements Massage, Brittany and Justin focus on building morale. “Culture is so important to us,” Brittany expounds, “In massage, energy really carries throughout the studio. We are involved in the studio and aim to create a sense of safety with our staff. We listen to them and do what we can to make their job easy and make it fun to come into work.”
The positivity of the Elements team is tangible to patrons as well. “Our therapists really care and are there for their clients,” Brittany says. Beyond the community connection, massage itself is a perfect asset for an active community. “Park City is the best location for Elements! Everyone is so active in this town all year round,” Brittany exclaims, “We want to provide that high-end spa feeling at a more accessible price where people can come in and take care of their minds and bodies on a monthly basis.”
Brittany and Justin are focused on building a wonderful community for staff and patrons. While they watched their business grow, they also prepared to expand their family. While their two French Bulldogs, Olive and Lenny, gave them a taste of parenthood, they knew having a baby would be a whole new adventure. Sofia, who is now 9-months-old, is destined to grow up immersed in the wellness community.
Happily, while Justin and Brittany oversee the evolution of Sofia and their two studios, they are supported by family. Brittany’s parents moved to Park City full-time when Sofia was born. So, she spends happy hours with RaRa and Grampy while Brittany and Justin run both Elements locations. In addition, Brittany’s brother and sister live in Park City, and Justin’s parents visit at least a few times each year.
Brittany and Justin look forward to watching their business and family grow with Park City. Brittany describes which components of the Park City lifestyle they are most excited to share with Sofia. “My parents are still big skiers, so when we can ski with little Sofia out there, it will be the best,” she says. They also anticipate enjoying Mountain Town Music events with Sofia. “We have some friends with babies around Sofia’s age, so once they are old enough to enjoy the concerts, it will be so fun to go as a group.”
Justin, Brittany, and Sofia live, work, and play the Park City way as a young family, business owners, and Park City residents.
— Written by Ashley Brown, on behalf of Neighbors of Park City