How Perspire Sauna Studio delivers on its mission to improve lives and better the world through elevated experiences and care.
Lee Braun was 24 years old when he joined the health and wellness industry. Being deeply interested in human physiology, how the body works and self improvement, he leapt at the opportunity to leave his commercial project management job in Michigan to own an infrared sauna studio in California.
“At that time a family friend who had used infrared sauna to treat her Lyme disease had opened the first infrared sauna studio in California — then called Sweet Sweat — and was looking to sell the business,” recalled Braun. “I used all my savings and convinced a few family members to invest what they could. I left my job in Michigan, moved to California and was determined to make the healing benefits of infrared sauna accessible to all.”
Now known as Perspire Sauna Studio, Braun and his team focus on providing guests personalized and elevated infrared sauna experiences they can fit into their busy lifestyles.
“We had a hunch people were craving a healthy reset from the daily stresses and our first studio location really validated that theory,” said Braun. “In 2017, we began to look at expanding the business through franchising, and by 2018 we had filed our first FDD and prepared to grow.”
As many of Perspire’s first studios prepared to open, COVID-19 hit. Braun said it was a major turning point for the business. Like many other operators, they had to pivot.
“I’m so proud not only of the team we had but also our franchisees’ ability to work through that challenging period in which we continued to grow, opening new studios in new markets,” said Braun. “In October of 2021, we celebrated a million sauna sessions since we started in 2010. In 2022 we grew to 30 studios and year-to-date we’re now at 39 studios open. We’re on track to have just under 60 open this year.”
In today’s society, many live a hectic, hyper-connected lifestyle. This fact alone tells Braun more Perspire locations are needed now than ever before.
“Our vision is to provide a space for people to disconnect from a hyperconnected world,” said Braun. “We help our guests ‘ignite the wellness within’ the four walls of the sauna, their body and their mind through elevated infrared and color light experiences that leave them feeling better than when they arrived. We believe if we can provide the elevated space, elevated experience and personalized care, we can substantially improve the lives of our guests. And by doing that, we can make the world a better place.”
Perspire’s infrared sauna studios use near, mid and far-infrared waves which gently heat the body from within and allow users to reap the benefits of sweating. The waves are able to deeply penetrate the skin, muscles, joints and tissues to improve blood circulation, increase oxygen flow and help to detoxify the body. The cooler temperature allows for a longer session and increased therapeutic benefits making it a great alternative to those who can’t tolerate the high heat of a traditional sauna.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have been asking for moderate workouts focused on health, rather than aspiring toward fitness goals that require intense workouts. The focus has shifted to holistic health and more restorative modalities — exactly what Perspire has been accomplishing for over a decade.
“We’re the original infrared sauna studio; we have over 13 years of experience specializing in this area in addition to expert franchise executives,” said Braun. “We have strong brand recognition and trust that continues to grow. Our leadership and entire headquarters team is deeply passionate about the brand and our franchisees’ success. I’m proud to say many team members have been on board since the early days and help pass along all the lessons we’ve learned to our franchisees. We operate with transparency and inclusiveness of our franchisees, and their appreciation of that is seen by their continued investment in additional licenses to expand their markets.”
Braun credits the main keys of their success to the elevated wellness experience that is science-backed and personalized. He said they expect members to leave feeling better than when they arrived, and that underpins all of their interactions and the touch points people have within the studio. Overall, he believes Perspire is just getting started.
“While we’ve been in business for over 13 years, demand for personal wellness services has dramatically increased in the last three years,” said Braun. “Education on the benefits of infrared sauna and red light therapy continue to grow and become far more mainstream.”