Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Wafer.
Katie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a born and bred Denver native — my family has been in Colorado for the past five generations. After college, I came back to Denver to be near family, work in medical sales and serve as a Denver Broncos Cheerleader for two seasons. I’ve always been very interested in health and wellness, but, as I continued to work in the pain management side of medical sales, my interest became more narrowly focused on alternative and preventative medicine.
During those years, I was traveling to Vegas a lot for work, and I noticed all of the IV therapy places popping up in Vegas. They were mostly focused on hangovers, but I knew that the concept would do really well in cities like Denver with a deeper focus on health, wellness, alternative medicine and preventative care.
In 2016, after touring IV Therapy locations in six cities and three countries, we opened our first Hydrate IV Bar location in Bonnie Brae. Hydrate IV Bar caught on quickly in the Denver market, and I think it’s because we’re able to provide services in a spa-like environment while still maintaining the professionalism of a more traditional clinic. Since then, we’ve opened three more spas — in the Highlands, in Cherry Creek and Boulder. We are opening a fifth location early 2020, which will be part of the new wellness marketplace Nurture. (https://www.visitnurture.com), and plan to continue expanding into new markets.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overall, yes, things have been smooth. I feel very lucky that Hydrate IV Bar has been a successful business from the beginning, but it obviously wasn’t without a lot of hard work and struggle that you hear from most every entrepreneur.
If I had to choose one struggle to share, I would say last year, when I was running our first two locations while also trying to negotiate a buy-out with my original business partner. When I started Hydrate in 2016, I had a business partner, but two years and two stores in, the business was in a pivotal time for growth and it was time to continue the venture on my own. Competition was popping up like crazy, and I didn’t want us to sit back on our heels.
Not all partner relationships work out as planned, and that’s okay. We were able to reach an agreement for the sake of the business, but it wasn’t without some struggle. It was a difficult few months trying to balance the businesses, negotiate the buy-out and maintain a positive front for my team while facing so much uncertainty in private. But, ultimately, I believed in this business so much, I knew that our team was ready for growth, and things worked out for the best.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Hydrate IV Bar – what should we know?
Hydrate IV Bar is a collection of Colorado IV therapy spas promoting wellness from within. We’re focused on IV nutrient therapy, meaning guests come in to get an IV bag of saline with a combination of vitamins and antioxidants based on what they’re looking for that day. We have a menu of services for illness, wellness, recovery, and beauty. You can make an appointment, come in for a walk-in service or sign up for a membership that includes one IV and a b12 injection for $125 per month (only $99 for students!)
Our clinics operate under the direction of a doctor with more than 30 years of experience, and every single IV is administered by a professional registered nurse that we have vetted heavily. But, best of all, Hydrate IV Bar locations are a relaxing place to be! We have comfortable leather chairs, soothing music, essential oils and even eye masks. We always say that our goal is for it to be a place where people can relax, recharge and refresh their routines.
Overall, I’m most proud of our team. I feel it every day within the internal parts of our business, but I also hear it constantly from our members. We have the best nurses in the business — they’re experienced and professional, but they’re also incredibly kind. Most of them still work in the hospital, but they genuinely love working at Hydrate IV Bar, and it shows. They say it’s a refreshing change of pace to serve guests in such a positive, relaxing environment, and that enthusiasm and love for the work definitely drips down to our guests every day.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The entire Hydrate IV Bar team! Our medical director, nurses, and administrative staff. I am surrounded by supportive, positive, kind, and extremely skilled teammates who I am grateful for each day! They give me full confidence in our mission and the service we provide. My most influential mentor is Amy Dickerson, owner of Live Love Lash in Denver!
- Monthly Memberships- $125/month
- IV therapy services range from $99-$229
- B12 Injections- $30
- Website: hydrateivbar.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hydrate_ivbar/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/hydrate-iv-bar-bonnie-brae-denver?osq=hydrate+iv+bar
Joel Meaders &
Cherry Creek North Magazine