Latina Entrepreneur: Divina Velásquez, Owner & Massage Therapist | Divine Massage Therapy

Photo courtesy of Divina Velásquez.

Photo courtesy of Divina Velásquez.

“I am capable of doing what anyone else is doing”:

Divina Velásquez—Offering traditional and alternative massage therapy 

Owner & Massage Therapist

Divine Massage Therapy 

455 Los Gatos Blvd #203, Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 402-3076


by Perlita R. Dicochea

I met Ms. Velásquez at Club One about the time that she earned her certification in 2009. Since then she has transitioned from working at various spas and gyms to renting a room in 2010 from another business owner and finally to establishing her own business in 2011. The opportunity to run her own establishment was presented by a colleague/mentor who encouraged her to take on a lease. “This mentor came into my life as quickly as she left,” Ms. Velasquez explained. “She told me, ‘You can do this.’” She went for it and continues to expand her services providing a self-designed detox program and countless wellness sessions to many an ailing busy-body.

Divina Velásquez’s therapeutic emphases include deep tissue, bamboo, prenatal, and hot stone massages, reflexology, as well as detox consulting. My favorite is the combination bamboo and hot stone treatment. She shares her journey with us this holiday season as well as a special for our readers (details below).

Q: How did you become interested in massage therapy?

A:  I got injured in third grade. I was really active in sports – I played soccer, lacrosse, water polo, softball, but I would be out for a week three or four times a year. I tried everything. I would have to wear a brace, take Tylenol, rest. My parents didn’t come from money so they would take me to a family friend who is a sobador. He is a massager, a Mexican therapist. But he only worked on Saturdays and Sundays so I was still missing a lot of games. Finally my coach told me that I had to stop playing and he gave me two cards. One was for an instructor in massage school and another was for a chiropractor, Dr. Stephen Key. I enrolled in classes at the massage school and practiced on my parents while still in high school.

Q: What is the greatest challenge in owning your own massage therapy salon?

A: Location. Many of my clients come from a lot of money. I often get the comment, “Oh, you’re my massage therapist?” As a Mexican female, and I’m young, clients kind of hesitate – men seem to be more open than women. I had one female client that never seemed satisfied. Her husband was my client but she didn’t want to come in for appointments. After several months she finally admitted, “The reason I didn’t want to come is because you’re young, Latina, and I didn’t know if you were certified.”

I’ve had other clients say things like, “I’m impressed, you’re English is good.” Sometimes clients come in and they assume I’m the receptionist. Another issue I’ve faced is tension with nearby businesses throughout my career. I’ve gotten the sense that other tenants don’t want me as their neighbor. I’ve had to make some compromises. I try to focus on the more important issues, the things I really value in my business. These experiences are a reality check for me – this is what people see, this is what it is.

The other challenge is that my parents would say, “You need a real job” – even to this day. It’s tough some days. Some days are great and others I think, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?” I didn’t think I was going to last this long as a physical establishment. And there is a push and pull with my parents. They see my struggles in owning my own business – some days we argue, some days I ignore them, some days I try to explain. Ultimately, I just focus on my work.

Q: What is your vision for your business?

A: I want to help people. I see a lot of therapists that finish school and focus on the business aspects and not so much on the impact they have on people. I get comments from other therapists that think I do too much for clients, that I don’t charge enough. I want to expand but with therapists that have the same approach as I do. If a client comes in and has an issue, I’m going to address it, whether or not they come in asking for that specific issue to be focused on.

I want to continue teaching people that our body is amazing – it heals really well. But it also needs a lot of time to heal. That’s why I focus on my clients’ overall wellness. I collaborate with Dr. Key because adjusting the structure of the body is as important as massage. We share a lot of clients so we can provide holistic healing and maintenance.

Q: What advice do you have for other Latinas who consider becoming entrepreneurs?

A: Don’t give up. Push through the obstacles – there will continue to be obstacles. Stay focused. Don’t let people put you down or try to stop you. Tell yourself, “I am capable of doing what any one else is doing.” ♦

I have witnessed my therapist make big moves and add innovative treatments in a short amount of time. Through our many sessions, I have learned that she is very intuitive with humans and other creatures. Moreover, her prices are as peaceful as her establishment.

Divina Velásquez is offering a special to Modern Latina readers: 2 sessions for $109.95 good now through February 15th, 2014. You may learn more about Divine Massage Therapy services and packages at as well as on Facebook.


Perlita Dicochea earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies with an affiliated discipline in Environmental Economics and Policy at U.C. Berkeley. Her current research focuses on non-profit efforts to integrate environmental justice approaches within climate change research and policy. Send Perlita comments and suggestions for future stories at and follow her on Twitter: @dr_perlita