In 2002, three young Northern California women put their stake in the ground on Fillmore Street in San Francisco at International Orange (IO), a day spa named, meaningfully, for the paint color of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Melissa Ferst is the owner and co-founder of International Orange. Originally from the South Bay, Melissa stayed close to her Italian-American, orange farming family and attended UC Berkeley, graduating in 1996. She soon landed in San Francisco where she ran the non-profit, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and then went on to manage PR, marketing and event planning at Alexander Ogilvy Worldwide and Embark.com. While cutting her teeth in the corporate world, Melissa discovered a passion for yoga and wellness, earning her yoga teacher training certification from The Mindful Body and teaching classes throughout the city.
With her newfound passion for holistic wellness and a desire to do something different, Melissa took the leap into entrepreneurship and partnered with co-founders Amy Darland and Kary Chendo to create International Orange, which opened in the spring of 2002. A decade later in 2012, Melissa became sole owner of International Orange and has maintained its place as San Francisco’s favorite urban day spa.
Melissa credits the spa’s success to her extraordinary team of talented staff and service providers. “I am honored and privileged to be able to do this for a living, especially alongside all of the amazing people I get to work with daily,” she says.
Melissa lives in Marin County with her husband, David, and 3 children, Logan, Mateo and Evie.
Maureen D (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been practicing massage professionally since 2005. She was trained at the McKinnon Institute in Oakland, CA and the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage in Vancouver, BC. Maureen believes in deep but gentle work, and intends to bring profound relaxation to her clients. Her bodywork is infused with her past and present studies of yoga, dance, mindfulness and anatomy & physiology. While not practicing massage at IO she is running around in the great outdoors, cooking yummy food, and dreaming up means and manners of global adventures. Her belief is that the creation of sanctuary is powerfully healing. Maureen is also a specially-trained oncology massage practitioner. SF Massage Permit #09212, Larkspur Massage Permit #9910003209
Xavier F (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) is originally from Normandy, France, living in San Francisco since 1991. Xavier has been a Massage Therapist since 1995 and is certified in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu and Thai. Xavier was first introduced to healing and movement thru Aikido, a Japanese martial art based on a non-violent philosophy that uses movements to increase body awareness and mind. His journey eventually led him to performing arts and dance. Inevitably, Xavier discovered Yoga and completed a two-year teacher's training program at the San Francisco Iyengar Yoga Institute (500 hours). Yoga gave him an opportunity to explore the body on a deeper level allowing him to integrate this knowledge into the massage practice. His unique approach to bodywork is aimed at awakening the natural wisdom in each of us. Xavier touches the body to free the soul.
Ben F (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) graduated with over 900 hrs of massage training from National Holistic Institute in San Francisco. He specializes in a variety of modalities both Eastern and Western, ranging from: Swedish, Prenatal, Deep Tissue, and Myofascial Therapies, to Ayurvedic Abhyanga, Shiatsu and Tibetan Stick Therapy (Yug Cho). Ben completed an internship in Ayurvedic Bodywork and related therapies, such as Shirodhara and Netra Basti, and continues to study in a 4 year Tibetan Medical Program with Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and Eric Rosenbush at the Sorig Institute. In addition, he holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and approaches his bodywork with a compassionate presence and artful touch. Ben believes massage can play a vital role in both the treatment and management of many illness and injuries, especially those of a stress-related nature, as well as supporting and optimizing an already balanced state of health.CA Massage Permit #68693
Christina F (SAN FRANCISCO) has been studying the body and the mind for over 17 years. Her journey began on the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain. Surrounded by nature, she started to practice meditation in 2000. She then studied and has taught yoga for many years. After traveling in India for 6 months, she began focusing on her yoga practice, deciding to specialize in yoga for cancer. In California, she expanded her studies of the human body by becoming a License Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) and has completed the extensive training to practice Oncology Massage. After studying at the McKinnon Institute and the San Francisco School of Massage, she continued her training at the Esalen Institute and became an Esalen Massage Practitioner. She believes that a treatment is more than just bodywork - the mind and body are deeply connected for whole health. CA Massage Permit #68693
Jessica G (SAN FRANCISCO) has been a certified and working as massage therapist for 7+ years. At California Holistic Institute in San Luis Obispo she trained in Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, jin shin acupressure and became certified in level II reiki. Her style is a combination of relaxing Swedish strokes to soothe and relax and using trigger point and deep tissue techniques to release tight muscles. She is currently studying at SFSU for health education with an emphasis in holistic health and is always striving to further her knowledge in health and wellness. Her goal is to help alleviate symptoms associated with stress and help clients achieve relaxation in mind and body. California Massage permit #16328
Pamela G (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing Shiatsu and Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2010. She attended American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. She is trained in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Cupping, Shiatsu, Cranio-sacral, Thai, Deep Tissue, and Swedish. In 2013, Pamela completed a clinical acupuncture certificate through the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou, China. Before delving into the world of holistic medicine, Pamela studied Visual Art at the University of California, San Diego. She brings together her well rounded understanding of balance with her massage and acupuncture skills treating stress, chronic and acute pain, post operative recovery, dietary and digestive issues, sleep issues and promotes general well being.
CA Massage Permit # 58218, CA Acupuncture License # AC16691
Heather H (SAN FRANCISCO) began her wellness career at IO while gaining her BA at SFSU. During her time on the front desk she was exposed to, and inspired by, all we had to offer including skilled staff, our beautiful aesthetic and top-of-line products. After moving to get married, start a family and find a career, she decided that massage was her true calling. After gaining certification at San Francisco School of Massage, she returned to IO and began working on the massage team. Heather embraces all forms of healing and lives a holistic and natural way of life. She has practiced with world-renowned deep tissue expert Art Riggs and continues to practice and learn from her amazing coworkers. Her strongest attributes are her natural way of nurturing clients and being very approachable. These, combined with our signature IO massage, will have your body slip into deep relaxation. SF Massage Permit #09265
Ivana K (SAN FRANCISCO) obtained dual Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Fine Arts while positioned as a Lead Fitness Instructor for the P.E. Dept. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Upon graduation she became a Certified Personal Trainer and continued onto study Orthopedic Massage under Dr. Ben Benjamin at The Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, MA (over 1000 hours), beginning her own practice in 2003. She is National Board Certified and holds additional massage and fitness certifications. Ivana has dedicated her work to helping people reduce stress and pain so they can focus on the activities at hand from infancy to end of life. She has worked in private practice, bedside as part of the Palliative Care Team, in day spas and luxury resorts, corporate offices, and sporting events. Her therapeutic approach focuses on fascial release and parasympathetic nervous system engagement. Clients describe their treatment with Ivana as being simultaneously relaxing and therapeutic. She continues to pursue knowledge in the field of preventative medicine and hopes to inspire her clients to become empowered in their own healing process. CA Massage Permit #47785
Kelly M (MARIN) is a graduate from Sonoma college with an advanced body worker degree. She has been in the hair, skin and body industry for over 20+years and is a licensed cosmetologist, body worker, chef and alchemist. She is trained in Shiatsu, Reiki, Thai, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Hot Stone, the Lomi Lomi and specializes in pre and post natal. She volunteers at Hospice where she performs Reiki on patients. When not practicing body work, Kelly enjoys cooking, yoga and spending time with her family. Kelly is also a specially-trained oncology massage practitioner. CA Massage Permit #72079
Jenny N (SAN FRANCISCO) grew up on a farm in Scotland and feels incredibly lucky to have been brought up surrounded by nature. Her childhood followed by time working on organic farms in Spain and in the biodynamic medicinal gardens of Weleda, led her on a path to holistic healing. She saw the move to California as the perfect opportunity to embark on her career in massage. Jenny studied at McKinnon School in Oakland where she trained in Swedish, Touch for Chronic Illness, Tui Na, Sports and Clinical Deep Tissue. The later gave her a good grounding in pathologies and anatomy allowing her to target holding patterns in the body using Trigger Point, Myofascial Release and Muscle Energy Techniques. Her comfortable presence and nurturing touch allows her deep work to also be calming and deeply relaxing. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing massage or are recovering from an injury, Jenny listens to the client and provides intuitive and personalized care to facilitate the body’s own healing. In her spare time she loves to cycle and explore the bay area. She plans to broaden her knowledge with Acupressure and Shiatsu in the near future. CA Massage Permit #61666
Jennifer P (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing massage therapy since 1998. She attended The Academy of Healing Arts in Lake Worth, FL to receive her massage therapy education. She has trained in Deep Tissue, Swedish, Neuromuscular, Acupressure, Oncology Massage and Reiki. She feels blessed to have had a very diverse career ranging from physical rehabilitation, chiropractic care, wellness and prevention, spa, hospital-based massage and hospice care. She finds massage to be an important part of wellness in all phases of life. Jennifer believes a massage should strike the balance between therapeutic and nurturing and be tailored to your needs, taking into consideration injuries, areas of chronic tension, stress level and desired pressure. CA Massage Permit #11153
Sarah P (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been practicing bodywork since completing her 1,000 hour certification at the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Ithaca, NY, in 2005. An interest in alternative health and thinking about bodywork as a meditation led her to follow a path in the healing arts. Her work combines Swedish, Connective Tissue, elements of Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Reiki level II to assist the body’s natural healing process and return a sense of wholeness. She enjoys employing gentle to firm techniques to address injuries and patterns of holding. Clients have commented on her intuitive, deeply listening presence and healing hands. Sarah holds a BA in Studio Art and French Studies from Scripps College, Claremont, CA, and an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University. In addition to her work at IO, she’s has a textile business working with international artisans. She views massage as an extension of her creative practice. CA Massage Permit #37004
Jeff P (SAN FRANCISCO) has over 1500 hours of professional training in Neuromuscular Therapy, Kinesiology, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Shiatsu. He received his initial certification at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 1996. In addition he has a degree in Psychology from the Evergreen State College where he created an independent study program in Somatics and Transpersonal approaches to bodywork. He then went on to study Hanna Somatics, Yoga Therapy, the Feldenkrais method and the Alexander technique at Antioch University in Seattle at the Master’s level. Jeff has engaged a consistent and committed meditation practice for more than twenty years. He began a consistent practice of Yoga in 1995. Jeff has attended levels I and II of Richard Freeman’s Teacher Training Intensives. Classical Ashtanga is Jeff’s foundational practice and study. His aim in the therapeutic setting is to help clients connect with their innate ease and freedom. He works intensively to facilitate sensory-motor awareness to release long standing patterns of trauma, pain, and/or immobility. His working hypothesis is that pain and restriction in the body are simply unnecessary byproducts of degenerative, chronic patterns of misalignment. Whether you are looking to simply relax, speed recovery time between exercise, or become free from aches and pain, Jeff can tailor a custom session to meet your needs. CA Massage Permit #36606
Joyful S (SAN FRANCISCO) is a northern Californian native who has been practicing massage since 2001, after attending Virginia School of Massage. She specializes in a fluid style of deep tissue that addresses your clinical concerns and simultaneously leaves you feeling cared for and relaxed. She brings a nurturing attentiveness to the table and believes that good bodywork starts with good communication. She integrates many modalities into her session including Myofascial, Sports massage, Shiatsu, Trigger point, Deep tissue, and classic Swedish relaxation. CA Massage Permit #36740
Lisa S (SAN FRANCISCO) has dedicated her life to facilitate others in their health and wellbeing. Helping people as a whole; Body, Mind, and Spirit. She has chosen Massage Therapy as a tool in hopes to reach out to all who need assistance in healing. Lisa has been energetically drawn to alternative therapies since she was a child, though her massage journey began in 2002. Since then it has blossomed into a full time passion, leading her to study other avenues of holistic health care such as healing through nutrition, aromatherapy, yoga, and herbal and homeopathic remedies. Lisa tends to her own garden of medicinal herbs, and seasonal vegetables, where she makes a variety herbal tinctures, salves, and flower essences. Lisa combines Reiki, Deep Tissue, Acupressure, and Stretching into her sessions and she is also trained in Bowen Pain Relief Therapy, and BodyTalk Therapy. CA Massage Permit #39426
Shannon W (SAN FRANCISCO) has logged over 2,000 hours attending massage trainings in locations such as Thailand, Maui, and Costa Rica. He has principally trained in Thai modalities and Hawaiian healing therapies. After spending over a decade working as an elementary school teacher, he decided he wanted to take the leap and seriously commit himself full-time to practices in health and wellness. In his own life, Shannon enjoys trying to find balance in movement and stillness in meditation. He has an extensive sports background, which includes college-level lacrosse, competitive amateur boxing and muy thai, and ocean lifeguard competitions. Shannon is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. He currently trains in muy thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wing chun, yoga, tai chi, and strength training. Shannon has also been formally training in meditation since 2001. He acknowledges that various types of stress contribute to areas of held tension in the body. During appointments, Shannon applies manual therapies, while encouraging clients to facilitate awareness and healing using their own breath. CA Massage Permit #73697
Amanda W (SAN FRANCISCO) began her interest in massage during high school and continued through college. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Sociology, she moved to San Francisco to become a certified massage therapist. She studied at the World School of Massage and Holistic Healing Arts. The World School has given her so many tools to understand and heal herself, and it is her joy to share those skills with others. Amanda combines a blend of swedish, deep tissue, cranio-sacral, and trigger point therapies in order to help clients find relief in their bodies. She specializes in Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy, which uses fluid, active (rather than passive) techniques to clear blockages held in muscles or joints. This therapy may also include discussing issues in clients’ lives. By examining the stories they tell about themselves, Amanda and her clients discover how those stories might create a pattern of dis-ease within the body. With the use of conscious language, she coaches her clients to adopt healthier mindsets, which in turn leads to healthier bodies. She also loves to use chakra balancing to calm client’s minds and help them achieve more restful sleep. Amanda chooses to be a body worker because she feels most alive when making deep connections with others. She is committed to a holistic lifestyle and she believes in the body’s innate intelligence to heal itself. Her goal is to help clients find more ease, comfort, clarity and joy in their bodies, minds, and souls. CA Massage Permit #59078
Kala W (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing massage therapy since completing her certification in 2003 from The World School of Massage and Advanced Healing in San Francisco, CA. On the healing path for over a decade, she began her studies in earnest after receiving bodywork while in treatment for cancer, where she witnessed firsthand the powerful combination of healing touch and full presence to re-align, heal, and deeply transform mind, body and spirit. Deeply committed to offering to others what she herself received, she began both her career as a Massage Therapist and a life-long study in the myriad ways in which we can create balance, wholeness, flow, and vibrant health in our bodies and on every level of our being. Kala combines a wealth of modalities (among them firm Swedish, Vibrational Healing (VHMT), Reiki level II, elements of Shiatsu, Thai, Acupressure and Reflexology) along with somatic and multidimensional awareness, in order to fully address each client’s unique needs as the session unfolds. Her fluid, rhythmic bodywork style has been described as intuitive, nurturing, effective for pain and stress-relief, integrative, and deeply relaxing. A firm believer in the saying “the body never lies”, Kala treats each session as an opportunity to listen to the truth your body has to share. CA Massage Permit #00930
Elizabeth Z (MARIN) has been certified in therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since 2004. Modalities the she specializes in are in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Medical Massage, Prenatal, Hot Stone, Sports: Pre and Post Event, Lymphatic Drainage, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy and Reflexology. In that time of practice she has continued studies in Upledger’s Craniosacral Therapy, Healing Touch Therapy, Reiki, Chakras, the Rotator Cuff, Sciatica, Myofascial Release Techniques and Lomi Lomi. CA Massage Permit #15858
Tegan F (SAN FRANCISCO) was raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a lifestyle of holistic healing and was given the freedom to study subjects for which she had interest and a natural gift. IO is fortunate to bring her on board as her true passion is helping others with sometimes troubled skin. Through a strenuous and long journey of her own battling acne, she conquered her own issues as well as set out to find answers so she could help others. She finds tremendous joy in teaching others about how their skin functions, and why it needs certain product ingredients to reach its full potential. Her level of sympathy and knowledge about skin concerns compliments her love for massage. You can expect to be informed about your loving and caring for your skin, and then elevated to deep relaxation through a firming and rhythmic massage. CA Permit #Z123604
Danielle F (SAN FRANCISCO) is passionate about natural skin care. This love was kindled in the natural foods and body care business where a strong connection between nutrition and and healthy skin was formed. She's studied cosmeceutical and botanical skincare for years and has integrated her knowledge into her her aesthetic practice. Danielle’s greatest satisfaction is witnessing positive change in skin through luxurious effective facials coupled with at home quality skin care products and routines. CA Permit #Z113056
Zoe F (MARIN) has always had a passion for skincare, and believes in a holistic, natural approach to health, wellness and beauty. Having battled skin concerns herself, Zoe offers years of personal experience, knowledge, and compassion. She has a gentle yet effective approach, nurturing and meticulously caring for the specific needs of each client’s skin. Her goal is to provide clients with extraordinary service and the feeling of being radiantly beautiful. An enthusiast about ingredient efficacy, Zoe is able to to help clients choose appropriate at-home care to achieve their skincare goals with long-lasting results. She believes that simple can be effective, in both ingredients and a skincare regimen. Zoe was trained and licensed in San Francisco and has worked in the spa industry since 2010. CA Permit #Z104583
Jennifer G (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) is the IO Esthetics Manager and has provided purposeful, meticulous care since 2002. Her warm, intuitive style puts clients immediately at ease and has earned her a loyal, long-term following. Through trust-filled relationships, Jennifer helps guide clients through the changing needs of their skin and achieve glowing results. Having co-developed her own line of products, Preserve Skincare, Jennifer is an expert in product knowledge and has a passion for providing preventative and corrective treatments and home-care. She is a master of brow design and facial toning massage, and loves to perform advanced peels. Her clients claim that she has healing hands that melt away tension and a knack for getting problematic skin back on track. She provides a holistic approach to skin care, not only examining the face, but the bigger picture as well, including nutrition and lifestyle. Jennifer continues to develop an outstanding esthetics program at IO, and leads an inspiring group of talented estheticians. CA Permit #Z38287
Jennie H (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been a leader and member of the IO Esthetics program since day one. In 2002, she spearheaded the establishment and growth of IO’s Esthetics team through hiring, management and innovative product and treatment additions through the early years. For a few years, Jennie’s team involvement came to a pause so she could focus on her family, but has remained a part of the IO family and intimately connected to our sustained growth as leaders in the field of skin and wellness the entire time. While keeping up with the fads that come and go, she has an understanding of what really works as she aims for results driven skincare coupled with a no holds barred approach to extractions and her extensive massage background, her facials have always been a cult favorite. With two babies at home and a return to some regular weekly days at IO, Jennie looks forward to offering her long time clients as well as some lucky first timers her expert touch on a regular basis.
Anna L (SAN FRANCISCO) is a CA licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and aesthetician who has been practicing since 2004. She received a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicines and applied science degrees in both Medical Aesthetics and Clinical Massage from Saint Paul College. She has since retired from massage therapy (and teaching yoga!) to fully dedicate her skills to aesthetics, acupuncture, and herbal medicine. In addition to seeing patients, Anna has been making skincare products since 2004. In 2015, she began working with a chemist to refine and produce her products on a larger scale. Mee Ra Rituals evokes self love, combining East Asian Medicine and Western Science in a 3-minute skincare ritual that can be tailored to a any skin type. Read more about Anna and Acupuncture.
Alicia M's (MARIN) approach to skin health is inspired by innovative methods of healing, tradition and simplicity, including aromatherapy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda. Alicia began her career in 1997 in her hometown of Los Angeles. She joined the IO family for the first time in 2004 after moving to San Francisco and quickly gained a loyal following. After a brief return to LA, she has rejoined the Esthetics team--this time in Marin.
Alicia believes in availing herself to continuous hands-on education from various disciplines so that she can remain versed in the most effective products and techniques. Her ultimate goal remains supporting each and every client on the path to "clear and creamy" skin (her favorite phrase), while also reinforcing attitudes of healthy self esteem. And she is a quick and proficient waxer with a calming presence for even the most nervous first-timer! CA Permit #Z26604
Summer M (MARIN), a California native, recently landed in the Bay Area from Los Angeles where she had trained both in a clinical setting as well as a luxurious retreat spa. Combining the best of both worlds she delivers progressive, result-oriented treatments with tension relieving acupressure massage and a compassionate touch. Her intention is to be a haven of relaxation while inspiring others to attain and maintain the skin of their dreams through client education, building relationships and custom designed home care regimens. Summer consistently deepens her knowledge in the skincare industry on advanced anti-aging and acne remedies. Summer entered the field of aesthetics after her personal battles with acne which has resulted in a genuine appreciation for beautiful skin and considers it a gift to extend her expertise in this healing form. CA Permit #Z107150
Yolanda P (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) creates an unforgettable spa experience with passion, creativity and a love for all things beautiful. She is an experienced esthetician with an exceptional gift for cultivating genuine relationships with her clients. Listening carefully to their needs and concerns, she is able to make well-informed recommendations and provide outstanding service. Yolanda thrives on providing the appropriate atmosphere, from the quiet and grounded facial to the great sense of humor and confidence during waxing. She’ll make you feel safe and at ease even while receiving her highly reputed Brazilian bikini wax. Growing up in the beautiful wilds of West Marin, Yolanda’s appreciation for the natural world has given her a holistic approach to skin care. She believes that the health of this planet depends on each and every one of us. These core beliefs and her commitment to educating her clients on their best choices in skincare are evident from the beginning and keep loyal client’s coming back for more. CA Permit #Z63617
Cheri W (SAN FRANCISCO) is a Bay Area native. She was drawn to esthetics as it combined her holistic approach to life with her background in art and design. She loves the interactive, hands-on aspect of skincare, whether it is in the detailed work in shaping brows or promoting healthy, radiant skin. Her Aveda Institute training and intuitive nature allows her to easily connect with clients and ensure they receive services customized to their specific needs. Her goal is to reveal the skins natural balance and beauty and educate her clients on how to maintain it with a simple, yet effective routine. She is known for her relaxing touch and enjoys incorporating different techniques to create a unique sensory experience. CA Permit #Z94175