SBDC Hall of Fame

Doreen Zayer

Doreen Zayer

Doreen Zayer
Relax on Cloud Nine
Staten Island SBDC

Relax on Cloud Nine is a full service spa that offers body treatments, massages, facials, hydrotherapy, yoga classes, and more. Doreen Zayer, the founder and owner of the business, first visited the SBDC in November 1994, seeking help to develop a business plan and guidance in obtaining financing to start a massage therapy business. With the assistance of Staten Island SBDC director Martin Schwartz, she held a grand opening for her massage therapy practice at the Staten Island Mall in 1995.

In 1998, Doreen returned to the SBDC for assistance in obtaining financing to complete extensive renovations at her home residence, with the intention of relocating the businessthere. The relocation provided Doreen with more professional and flexible-use space for herself and her customers. Doreen's main spa, which grew from a massage therapy practice into the full service Clove Lake Spa, is conveniently located on an elegant estate on Staten Island. Doreen opened a second massage and health improvement facility, the Cloud 9 Spa, at the Hilton Hotel in Staten Island, to serve business travelers, bridal parties, and attendees at other special events. Doreen currently has five full-time employees and about two dozen independent contractors.

As Relax on Cloud Nine has grown through the years, Doreen has returned to the SBDC on several occasions for assistance, and has developed a close relationship with the professional staff. Doreen generously shares her entrepreneurial experience with fellow business owners at business roundtables sponsored by the SI SBDC. Relax on Cloud Nine was featured in the 2002 SBDC Annual Report as a regional success story of the year. In 2005, the business won the SBDC' s Growth Company Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In October 2006, Doreen learned she has a shot at growing her business into a $1 million-dollar-a-year enterprise by 2008. The licensed massage therapist is among 30 women entrepreneurs who were chosen from about 500 applicants nationwide to compete for the "Make Mine a $Million Business Award," a competition sponsored by American Express.