The Salt Room
When Ashley Steiner opened The Salt Room on Mills Avenue in Orlando in 2009, salt therapy was a relatively new concept to many in Central Florida. Even Steiner, who had been interested in holistic wellness for years, had only learned about salt therapy in 2008 when she saw a segment about it on CNN.
In the year between, she dove into her own research, where she learned that the healing properties of the therapy had been documented for centuries. The first salt room had opened in 1839 in Poland. “A Polish physician documented that workers in the salt mines had much lower rates of lung disease,” Steiner said. Soon, Steiner was working as a national distributor for salt therapy facilities, and she quickly opened her own.
“Being the only decision-maker in the company presents challenges,” Steiner revealed of the struggles her company faced in the first few years. In 2016, she was accepted into the ATHENAPowerLink program, which offers women business owners access to a customized panel of business advisors catered to their unique needs. “Having the meetings with them each month gave me access to my panel’s experiences and expertise in each field. The attorney, the marketing guru and Judi Awsumb, who was my panel leader and now mentor, were the most influential and instrumental in my growth.”
Now in business a decade, The Salt Room brand has expanded, encompassing wellness spas with 11 licensed locations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Before each new location opens, Steiner spends three to six months working with the owner and team of each new location to help build the facility and guide the process. The brand also includes a distributorship for lIRIS Salt Therapy products, and services that include salt therapy rooms, colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture, massage and skincare.
Steiner credits her advisory panel with helping get her to this point: “The ATHENAPowerLink Program was such an asset for me because it helped me strategize and implement a plan, which held me accountable for my second-stage growth.”