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The L.A. Wellness Studio That Saw Growth Amid COVID-19

Ryma Chikhoune
·2-min read

Pause is expanding.

After opening in West Los Angeles — on the edge of Venice and Culver City, Calif. — the wellness studio unveils its second location this week near West Hollywood. And thanks to closing $2 million in funding last year, cofounders John Klein and Jeff Ono plan to invest in two more spaces in the L.A. area next year — and grow beyond.

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“We’re going to set out in the next three to four months on a larger raise, perhaps more institutional raise, to really start scaling this brand,” said Ono. “Next year, we’ll start looking at cities outside of Los Angeles, [like] San Francisco and New York. Austin, Scottsdale, those markets really jump to mind here as potential landing spots for us.”

Ono and Klein are both former Equinox executives who have roots in L.A. Their goal for Pause from the start has been to create accessibility in wellness, offering services that start at $30.

“The major passion behind Pause is the ability for us to bring together people from all different walks of life,” said Ono. “When finished with a service, [clients] can kind of sit [in a meditation room] and be served delicious herbal tea. They just kind of relax, and I love the fact that when I walked past that room and poked my head in there, at any given time, it could be a corporate attorney with a professional skateboarder, a schoolteacher, a security guard. And these four different people from different parts of life are going through the same thing, which is they want to feel better, be better and optimize their health.”

That was pre-pandemic. During COVID-19, the team spread out their service sessions to allow more time for cleaning and so that visitors didn’t cross paths. Still, the business grew.

“In the last six months of last year, we ended up seeing a 24 percent growth in revenue year-over-year,” said Ono, adding that 50 percent of customers were new clients. According to the company, revenue is projected to increase 400 percent over the next two years.

“It’s been really fascinating over the past year in terms of our business growth and utilization,” continued Ono. “We basically saw more new customers and more frequent utilization of our existing customers pick up around the third month of the pandemic. It’s really been on an upward climb since then.”

Providing floatation therapy, infrared sauna therapy, IV vitamin therapy, among other wellness services, the business model doesn’t require therapists or instructors.

“It’s a labor-light model,” he added. “We have a team of warm, friendly semi-experts that escort you back to your room.”

The new, 3,600-square-foot location has 10 employees, bringing their total team to about 20. It’s located at 937 North Sycamore Avenue.

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