In early 2013, Feetish Spa Parlor ran a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign was successful, and raised more than enough to cover the cost of running plumbing into the spa. Many thanks to the generous contributors listed below (in no particular order), and to the lot of you who chose to remain anonymous. I love you guys. — Andrea
Paul Lofgreen – Paul is a Las Vegas resident and massage therapist. He’s quick with a joke, a smile, and a kind word. We’re planning a trip to the hot springs in Tecopa and I can’t wait!
Uriel Samaniego – Uri is one of the first friends I made after moving to Las Vegas. We massaged the masses at the same resort spa here in town, and although our careers have taken us to different addresses, he remains one of my closest friends to this day. “Crab & Feet” (used interchangeably with “Crab & Gab”) is our code for lunch and reflexology in Chinatown.
Jeff Curtis – Jeff is hands down the best thing to ever come out of Hilton, New York. Seriously.
Jeff Anderson – Thankfully, my friend Jeff is much more observant than I am, or we would have tragically lost touch a few years back. He happened to see my name on an email sign-up sheet at a business we both frequented, and the rest is history.
Debbi Rango – Debbi is a sweet massage therapist who possesses an enviable quantity of knowledge on Broadway musicals and human nature (among other things). Quick-witted and super smart, her passion for life and well-timed sass have brightened my day on many occasions — Indiegogo campaign included.
Abram Herman – Abram is a very thoughtful Facebook friend who shares my sense of humor. One day we will meet in real life and it will be awesome.
Jøsh Saitz – Jøsh was the inspiration for my crowdfunding adventure, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t lift this shout-out format from his website (NSFW, BTW). Our friendship goes back to the crazy zine days of the late ’90s, when we bonded over pubbing perzines and chatting over dial-up. His crowdfunding campaign for his zine, Negative Capability, opened my eyes to this platform, and his advice was priceless. Thanks, Jøsh. Next time you’re in Vegas, coffee’s on me.
Jenny Knudsen – Jenny is my generous sweetheart of a Vegas friend who was smart enough to marry a guy who can whip up a holiday dinner that tastes better than those found at most fine dining establishments, including the OCB.
Ashley Hale – Ashley has been my co-worker twice at two separate spas. She is an amazing massage therapist, a truly supportive friend, and we share a penchant for all things adorned with skulls.
Allissa Haines – Justifiably snarky, refreshingly direct, kind, thoughtful and hilarious, Allissa is a massage therapist and blogger who lives on the East Coast. We became friends on Facebook a while back, and met in real life in February when we went bowling and sang karaoke with drag queens on Fremont Street.
Andrea Sanese – AKA “Cuz”. I met my Vegas bestie right after I moved to the desert, when we were both doing the massage thing at the same spa. Thank goodness we liked each other, because a few months later we found out we were “cousins” through a series of marriages based out of Rochester, New York. Since then, “Cuz” and “Cuzzie” have been inseparable. Watch out!
Daniella Barajas – Daniella and her wife Rayne have been a source of strength and encouragement since I met them almost four years ago. Driven, passionate, embodying integrity and kindness; I’d love to get back up to the Bay Area for another inspirational visit with my ladyfriends.
Rosalind Lipomi – My Mom. If Dad was as smooth as Mom is at using Indiegogo I’m sure his name would have appeared on here too. So thank you, Mariano and Rosalind Lipomi!
Mishele DiMaria – A hairstylist in Las Vegas, Mishele is as kind and generous as she is creative. She’s truly one of the most positive people I consider myself lucky enough to know; When life throws her a curveball, she consistently looks on the bright side and wears the friendliest, most genuine smile in the room. Voilà! Inspiration!
Jeromy Willison – My better half. He donated a few bucks to my campaign, but his main contribution was in the design and execution of the renovations at Feetish Spa Parlor. Many all-nighters were pulled over the 2+ months that we worked tirelessly on the space, and he never complained or made me feel bad about the amount of effort that went into the job. Jeromy, thank you for being my biggest supporter in so many wonderful ways.
Chef Nat – Owner of the fabulous Downtown Las Vegas breakfast and lunch joint ‘eat.’, Chef Nat’s delicious creations (Killer Grilled Cheese! And, according to Jeromy, “the best breakfast [he’s] ever eaten!”) kept us energized and motivated to get the renovations done in a timely, quality manner. She’s a pay-it-forward kind of friend who’s quick with a hug and a willingness to share, and her down-to-earth personality shines with a realness that’s really rare. (Unintentional rhyme!)
Dr. Dudley J. Morton – A surgeon and anatomist, Dr. Morton (1884 – 1960) studied the feet of primates and humans. He published The Human Foot in 1935, and published Oh Doctor, My Feet! in 1939. A widely-known expert on the causes of foot pain, Dr. Morton wrote and spoke extensively about a common condition known as Morton’s toe. (If your second metatarsal is longer than your first, you just may have it too!) Thank you, Dr. Morton!
Miriam Steinberg – Miriam was my super supportive co-worker (at a now-defunct day spa) and neighbor (South Wedge 4 Ever!) back in Rochester, New York. She’s one of those cool, alternative moms who’s into yoga, nutrition, and everything we all wish we were into because we know it would be really good for us.
Ariana La Cour – Ari is one-of-a-kind. An amazing writer, blogger, massage therapist, business owner, Meetup organizer and friend, I’m so glad we met and get to hang out every so often. She’s creative and fearless, which is a pretty damn awesome combination.
Dorothy Smith – Dorothy is a Georgia-based massage therapist, anatomy geek, and Facebook friend extraordinaire. To virtually know her is to virtually love her.
Jon Miller – Jon is a Downtown Las Vegas resident, a photographer, and a huge fan of all things rubber duck. He often combines all three elements and takes clever photos of his ducks “ducking” in and out of iconic DTLV backdrops. I’m pretty sure his own off-the-wall sense of humor and unbridled creativity contribute to his endearing qualities of acceptance, kindness, openmindedness, and sticking up for the underdog (underduck?). In a world of routines and predictability, Jon is the much-appreciated exception.
Anita Bourgeois – Anita is good friends with Jon. We have yet to meet in real life, but she made me smile when she chipped in and told me “a friend of Jon’s is a friend of mine”. I can’t wait to meet her and give her a tour of all 140 square feet of Feetish Spa Parlor!
Deena Viviani – My one-and-only sister. Her everyday librarian stories are almost more disturbing than my weirdest massage stories. She is a great writer, and will probably epub some fiction later this year (2013). Deena is so supportive of her big sis — sometimes more supportive than I feel I deserve, even — and I’ve got a raging entitlement complex! Thanks, Deenok the Wise. Love you!
Darren Lipomi – My one-and-only brother. He teaches and runs a lab in the UCSD nanoengineering department. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever typed “nanoengineering”, and it felt amazing. But that’s my bro — improving the world, one carbon nanotube at a time. I love you too, generous supportive male sibling!
Dina Uzri – My brother’s wife, or “Dina with an ‘i'”. Her postdoc work was performed in a lab that specializes in the study of diarrhea! Now she works for a biotech startup that works with vaccines needed in developing countries. Clearly, next to funding Feetish, this is a very important pursuit, and goes to show the kind of person she is. My sibs did a good job in the spouse choosing department!
Barb Helding – Barb was introduced to me by Allissa via Facebook. We hung out during last year’s World Massage Festival and had a blast. During our girl talk sessions, Barb was one of the first people to hear about my hopes of opening Feetish in Emergency Arts — before I even knew I would be able to get a space there. Barb is kind, thoughtful, and the type of person that you instantly feel you can trust with anything (and I have!). I’m grateful to have her just an internet connection away.
Simone Myers – Simone is a sweetheart who lives in Vegas and works at the coffeehouse in Emergency Arts. She’s also a massage therapist from New York, and we bonded over these similarities when we met for the first time last year. Hooray for serendipity!
Amanda Schwarz – Amanda is a Las Vegas-based massage therapist and mom. She’s one of the few people Jeromy went to massage school with that we still hang out with on a regular basis. And thank goodness! She’s smart, funny, and often has a unique, eye-opening view on issues and general worldwide craziness.
Bilbo Baggins – A hobbit originally from Hobbiton, Bilbo is an accomplished author and translator of elvish works. His generous contribution of a magic ring ensured that Feetish Spa Parlor’s Indiegogo campaign was a tremendous success. Thanks, Bilbo!
Indiegogo aside, there are MANY other people who helped me to get Feetish off the ground. Thank you hugs for all! Again, in no particular order: John V., Tommy, Sonny, Kim U., Mollie, Steve, Kim S., Chef Nat’s team at eat., Ryan and the rest of The Young Thumbs crew, Glenda, Shelly, Cory, Leslie, Jennifer, Fran, Tanya, Tonya, Warren, Patty, Daniella, Richard and the rest of my Emergency Arts family, Jackie, Kate, Tracy, Brandi, Tony, Sacha, Kathryn, Gooey, the lovely people at The Downtown Podcast, everyone who shared or “liked” my campaign, and every single teacher, client, and boss I’ve ever had. XOXO