Our History

 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. Their vision was simple yet beautiful: create a bridge to your better side. 20 years later, now solely owned by Melissa Ferst, the horizon line has moved but the vision remains the same.

Across the bridge in Marin, IO is now perched above the hustle and bustle of the Marin Country Mart lawn. Inside, the bright, stripped-back space works as a platform for a thoughtfully curated selection of skin and body care, artisan wares and daily wellness essentials. Curved lines and natural light create a seamless flow between the indoors and outdoor patio, where guests can take in breathtaking views of the Bay and the iconic Mt. Tam. 

Expertly trained staff guide guests through therapeutic treatments and customized facials. In between visits, guests can create their own sanctuary at home with io Essentials, a head-to-toe range of organic and wild-crafted products designed to elevate the everyday. 

In our sanctuary or yours, International Orange invites respite, ritual and regular renewal.

Our Team

Melissa Ferst

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 love for yoga and wellness, earning her yoga teacher training certification from The Mindful Body. 

With a newfound passion for holistic wellness, 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 maintained its place as San Francisco’s favorite urban day spa until its closure in 2020. 

In 2016, Melissa opened IO’s second location in Marin County, an extraordinary, light-filled space with expansive indoor and outdoor lounge areas, meditative treatment areas, and sweeping views of Mt. Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay. 

Under Melissa’s visionary leadership, IO has evolved into a wellness and lifestyle brand that includes the spa, the io Essentials product line, and an online retail destination for expertly curated skin and body care. 

Melissa credits the company’s success to her extraordinary team. “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.

Jennifer Gallegos

Jennifer Gallegos is the Esthetics and Retail Director at International Orange.

As one of IO’s first hires, Jennifer started in 2002 as an esthetician, quickly building a devoted clientele that helped establish IO as the go-to destination for facials in the Bay Area. A valuable team player with an entrepreneurial streak, Jennifer naturally took the reins of the esthetics program, developing the spa’s curated offering of skin services. Founded on natural, effective skincare and expert hands, IO facials are famous for their impeccable flow and stunning results. Jennifer transitioned from hands-on treatment provider into a full time leadership role as the Esthetics and Retail Director, overseeing training of the esthetics team and curation of IO’s evidence-based, botanical and clean clinical skincare, luxurious body care, and artisanal wares.

As passionate as ever about personal transformation, Jennifer continues to introduce IO clients to beauty and wellness for all areas of life.

io Certified Massage Therapists

 

Marissa C

Marrisa attended the National Holistic Institute in San Francisco for her training in massage therapy. As a former youth athlete, Marissa was accustomed to feeling in tune with her body, but as an adult working in a sedentary office, she found her connection diminishing and even causing pain. She sought out massage as a treatment for herself, and her career path then shifted to a direction of then helping other people through healing massage. She deeply believes that when people are able to reconnect to their body, it is inspiring and empowering. She focuses on Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, and Trigger Point work. In sessions, she weaves her techniques and knowledge together to ensure that each client’s unique needs are addressed.  CA Massage Permit #73900

Maureen D

Maureen 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.  Larkspur Massage Permit #9910003209

Nancy C

Nancy is a locally-trained massage therapist and attended both the Napa Valley School of Massage and the Diamond Light School of Massage and Healing Arts. She loves massage work because it allows her to help people relax and restore energy from internal and external daily stressors. Helping people on their journey to healing and wellness is very meaningful to her. She specializes in Deep Tissue, Swedish Massage, Prenatal Massage, Cranial Sacral, Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage, and Myofascial Release techniques. She customizes her treatments for each client based on his or her specific goals and needs.  CA Permit #64660

Csilla E

Csilla came to IO from an extensively traveled and trained background. Born in Budapest, Hungary, she has lived in the Bay Area via Maui since 1990. She graduated with over 1000 hours of training from the Maui Academy of Healing Arts, and enjoyed a top-tier position with one of the leading spas in the world while in Hawaii. Csilla’s massage style is grounding, thorough, flowing. She embodies compassion and a soothing touch with a blended approach heavily influenced by the flow style of Lomi Lomi forearm massage - a Hawaiian bodywork modality - that harmonizes beautifully with her naturally rhythmic, yet therapeutic style. She also loves working with hot stones - Lomi Pohaku - appreciating their grounding, warm undertones in treatments. Her training includes a vast variety of modalities, including: Lomi Lomi, Lomi Pohaku, Prenatal, Sport, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Trigger Point Therapy, Active Realize Technic, Neuromuscular, Shiatsu, Reflexology, and Chakra Balancing. She is gifted in creating an individual, therapeutic experience for each client. Csilla is also a specially-trained Oncology massage practitioner.  CA Massage Permit #29136  

Gabriel M

Gabriel studied massage therapy in Southern California at the National Holistic Institute. His love of massage techniques is rooted in both Eastern and Western modalities including: Zen Shiatsu, Thai, Reflexology, Sweedish and Deep Tissue. He began his career in the beauty industry helping people feel beautiful on the outside, so for him it was a natural progression for him to shift into a career that helps people feel beautiful on the inside as well. Gabriel has deep empathy and a strong desire to treat his clients with a holistic approach to wellness and healing. CA Massage Permit #74686

Kelly M

Kelly 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

Tiffini M

Tiffini was educated in massage therapy at the National Holistic Institute in 1997, a 750+ hour program of massage therapy and health education. She specializes in Swedish, Shiatsu and Deep Tissue massage techniques. She continued her Lomi Lomi training on Kauai, HI and has had the great opportunity to work in a variety of establishments such as yoga studios, resorts, chiropractic offices, and spas. Her approach is to empathize with her clients and strive to create a session with them that is relaxing and rejuvenating in mind and body.  CA Massage Permit #1241

Leo O

Leo hails from Brazil and has over one thousand hours of training. He has lived in California since 1999 and his extensive background in sports and martial arts has given him a deep understanding of the human muscular system. Leo specializes in Deep tissue, Shiatsu, Swedish, Reflexology, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, and uniquely blends these disciplines to meet the client’s needs. He believes massage has the power to heal physically and emotionally. He has worked with professional athletes, amateur and even weekend warriors to develop performance and recover from injuries; focusing on bodywork and meaningful improvements to their health and wellness.  American Massage therapy association (AMTA) ID # 1408263.  California Massage therapy Council (CAMTC) Permit # 72990.

Sabrina O

Sabrina trained at Alive & Well Institute of Conscious BodyWork as well as the San Francisco school of Massage and Bodywork. She is inspired by her love for healing people. Specializing in Deep Tissue massage, she believes that deep tissue is in a highly effective massage modality to help restore and heal. She focuses on accessing the deeper layers of tissue without pain or discomfort. Sabrina focuses on Deep Tissue, Myofacial and Positional Release, Prenatal, Trigger Points, Acupressure, Reflexology, and Swedish style.  CA Massage Permit #63547

Phil P

Phil started his Certified Massage Therapist work at the Institute of Conscious Bodywork. He was drawn to massage therapy and International Orange for the opportunity to work with people to help them feel better in body and mindfulness. He specializes in Deep Tissue, Therapeutic, and Reflexology.  CA Massage Permit #41129

Nicole C

With over 25 years of experience, Nicole specializes in classic Swedish and traditional Shiatsu.   Nicole's massage is very focused & fluid, thorough and relaxing; releasing tension and ultimately bringing awareness to all parts of the body.  Her intuitive approach encompasses a nurturing quality that creates a unique session tailored to your needs and comfort level.  In addition to Nicole's Swedish & Prenatal work, her Shiatsu can feel more intense if desired, working the pressure points along the muscles of the body.  Using thumbs, elbows, knees & sometimes feet, Nicole can offer a deep and rigorous session releasing the tension from stress and overuse of those muscles. Nicole has enjoyed living in the Bay Area for over 25 years; loving the outdoors, hiking Mt. Tamalpais, meditating at Spirit Rock, & practicing yoga on the beach.  A mother of two boys, Nicole understands the importance of everyone receiving much needed self-care.

Pepper W

Pepper has been practicing bodywork since 2016 and was educated at McKinnon Body Therapy Center in Oakland, California and Joti Reiki in Charleston, South Carolina. Her experience training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai led her to specialize in sports massage. Blending Eastern and Western modalities to customize a session to best address her client’s specific needs, she works with clinical Deep Tissue/Orthopedic massage, Swedish, Acupressure, Reiki, and Myofascial techniques. 

 

 

io Licensed Estheticians

 

Alicia M

Alicias 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

Danielle F

Danielle 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

Cheri W

Cheri 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