By Bruce Forey
Photography by Al Rendon
A small business owner is bringing the feel-good revolution to you. Squeeze is the new massage shop operated by Nicole Wilson. It’s located at the high-visibility intersection of Broadway and Sunset. With ties to the successful Drybar, Nicole says Squeeze is not your “mom’s 1990s massage studio.” An important part of the business model is giving customers more control of their massage experience.
“The Squeeze founders were looking to modernize the outdated concept of membership-based massage. So, everything for us is done through our app,” Nicole said. “You book and cancel appointments, sign up for your membership, select your therapist, and even tip and rate through the app and more. You don’t have to call or come in. Everything is right at your fingertips.”
With the Squeeze app, customers also get to set their massage preferences before they arrive for their appointment. For example, they can select the amount of pressure to apply, areas for the massage therapist to focus on or avoid, and more. At Squeeze, the extras don’t cost extra.
“Many spas kind of upsell clients on different levels of service like aromatherapy, deep tissue, heat therapy, percussion therapy, etc., but at Squeeze, all of those massage services are included,” said Nicole.
During the massage session, if you want something more personalized than the typical dim lights and new-age music, Squeeze lets you set the scene.
“In the room, you control everything, which is unique,” Nicole added. “You set your playlist from a panel on the wall, you set your lighting, you set the heat on the table, you’re in control of all of that.”
Another customer control feature is the Ready button to notify the therapist when to re-enter the room.
Squeeze held its grand opening on July 14, 2023, and is steadily attracting customers. Right now, there are six Squeeze locations across the nation, with another 75 or more already planned, according to Nicole. Her 78209 location is the first in Texas.
Nicole’s transition into entrepreneurship came after eight years at USAA. The Squeeze concept and support gave Nicole confidence she could succeed at being a small business owner. Entrepreneurship is also in the family’s DNA. Her husband, Dr. Bart Wilson, owns Mission Orthodontics. The Wilsons rezoned a residential lot at Broadway and Sunset and built the new location for Mission Orthodontics. Squeeze occupies the first floor of the building.
“We’re essentially our own Billboard,” Nicole said. “Our part of the building is painted Squeeze blue. It’s easy to see ‘Pat,’ our smiley Squeeze mascot. We’re proud of how our building looks to promote our business.”
Nicole finds great value in taking a grassroots approach to spreading the word in our community. She partners with local businesses to give massages at various events and talk about the Squeeze difference.
“Being in Alamo Heights is amazing. I’m getting to bring something new and modern to 78209, and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Nicole. “I also spend a lot of time collaborating with other businesses. I feel like every business owner in Alamo Heights has been supportive and very eager to partner to help us get off the ground.
Nicole brings ambition and a hard work ethic to Squeeze. At age 14, she started working for McDonald’s in her hometown of Hodgenville, Kentucky, to save money to buy a car. After high school graduation, she joined the Army, serving our country for 11 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Edison University while on active duty and then her Master of Business Administration from UTSA while working at USAA full-time.
On top of operating a startup business, Nicole is a busy mother of three children, ages 15, 8, and 5. For ‘me’ time, Nicole enjoys volunteering at her children’s schools and running. And, of course, enjoys an occasional massage – one of the perks of owning Squeeze. Learn more at SqueezeMassage.com or download the app on your phone.