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Pampering for mothers-to-be 

click to enlarge MOTHERS ONLY? :  Tina Risley, owner of Barefoot MomEase Wellness Spa, offers massage and wellness education, as well as a wide selection of gently used children’s clothing at low prices. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • MOTHERS ONLY? : Tina Risley, owner of Barefoot MomEase Wellness Spa, offers massage and wellness education, as well as a wide selection of gently used children’s clothing at low prices.

The weight of a new world surely sounds heavy to all you expecting mothers. And while Mother’s Day has already passed this year, it’s not too late to treat yourself.

Barefoot MomEase Wellness Spa and Resale Boutique specializes in prenatal massage for pregnant mothers, also offering acupuncture, organic facials, and life coaching, providing a holistic set of treatments to support a mom during childbirth. The spa isn’t just for pregnancies, though; it offers massage and acupuncture for any occasion, and recently opened a resale boutique for gently used children’s clothes.

“Often times, whenever women have kids, they completely forget about themselves and focus solely on their kids,” said Tina Risley, massage therapist and owner of the spa.

The spa initially opened in 2009, and Risley had the distinction of being one of the few in the area specializing in all-natural prenatal treatments. As time went by, the business grew and evolved—the front room has recently been colonized by children’s clothing. It was originally set up for all-natural manicures and pedicures, but Risley couldn’t find anyone to do that while using exclusively all-natural methods, as most people relied on a hybrid of natural and not-so-natural products.

The boutique will buy “gently used” clothing that’s freshly laundered and in good condition, and will resell it for a reasonable price. The racks are currently full and colorful. In addition, they take donations of clothing that they’ll pass on to Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO), which can then distribute the donations throughout the organization’s programs. The spa also donates 10 percent of the proceeds from the clothing to CAPSLO. Risley will drop off donated goods weekly to the group, which is just around the corner—for now, as the business seems to be growing into itself.

“Now we’re out of space and looking to move,” Risley said, describing how a little more room for clothing would be wonderful, and how their location is less than ideal.

Finding the right place is tricky however, as being too close to downtown can make getting around difficult for mothers, since parking may be tight.

Risley knows a little about motherhood; she’s a single mom with four kids. Her reality helps her hone in on just what mothers need, which can come in many shapes and sizes.

“I’ve given massages rocking a car seat with my foot the whole time,” Risley said, recounting a time when the little one was shifting around in the seat, prompting her to comfort the baby to keep it asleep while also comforting the mother. “The mom didn’t even know.”

Risley has given more than 1,700 massages and is joined by an acupuncturist and massage therapist who has a wealth of experience, as well as an esthetician who does organic facials, and a life coach. They also offer cupping, which is essentially lighting a small flame under a cup and placing it on the body to create suction, and then moving it around in a way that helps with muscles and circulation.

Not there yet? The spa isn’t just for pregnancies. If you aren’t a parent or a prospective parent, you can choose from two different package specials for couples, which include a massage, drinks, food, and live music, making for a wonderful and relaxing date night. For $165, a couple can get a one-hour massage (each!) or organic facial, with a $75 dining and drink voucher for Luna Red downtown, which has live music on Thursday evenings; or the spa treatment can be paired with two glasses of wine and one artisan pizza at the spa’s neighbor, the Wine Shed, for $130 per couple (available at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).

Barefoot MomEase Wellness Spa is at 3592 Broad St., suite 102, in the shopping center behind Black Horse Espresso in San Luis Obispo. Massages and facials cost $55 an hour, acupuncture costs $55 an hour ($65 with cupping), and hour-long life coaching sessions cost $90 over the phone. There’s a special promotional offer for an inaugural acupuncture session for $35 with the promo code “firsttime.” For business hours, check out


Fast fact

Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association is giving away tickets for its annual Free Pancake Breakfast as part of the Community Pride Day at the Mid State Fair. Come get fed before heading to the fair on Thursday, July 25, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Downtown City Park. Tickets are required, and will be given away free July 8 to 24 at participating downtown merchants sporting a sign.

Intern Jono Kinkade compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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