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


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

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

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 and Shiatsu 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

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.  CA Massage Permit #73646

Xavier F

Xavier has been practicing massage and bodywork for 27 years. He was first introduced to healing and movements through Aikido, a Japanese martial art based on a non-violent philosophy. His interest in body language drove him to performing arts and dance (Mime and Jazz dance).  Shortly after, Xavier found Yoga and completed a two-year teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. Over the years, Xavier trained in different massage modalities such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Lomi-Lomi and The Feldenkrais Method. His unique approach to bodywork is aimed at awakening the natural wisdom in each of us. Xavier touches the body to free the soul. CA Massage Permit #57895.

Lavender B

Lavender is deeply passionate about helping others relax and reconnect to their bodies. From a young age, she found joy in pampering her family and friends with hand and back massages, facials, pedicures, and hair updos. She recognized her innate talent and enthusiasm and pursued a Cosmetologist License in California, specializing in skincare and makeup. Through this journey, Lavender discovered immense fulfillment in helping clients look their best and feel relaxed and stress-free. As an athlete well-acquainted with physical strain and injury, Lavender developed a keen interest in natural healing modalities. Her own transformative experience with massage therapy strengthened her connection with her body, inspiring her to deepen her practice. Motivated to expand her knowledge, Lavender enrolled in the National Holistic Institute in San Francisco and underwent comprehensive training in massage therapy. Today, armed with a diverse skill set and a unique healing approach, Lavender guides individuals to relaxation and rejuvenation. She addresses each client's specific needs with expertise and care, empowering them to feel their best.  CA Massage Permit #87251.

Amos S

Amos was drawn into the world of massage therapy after a bicycle accident, which resulted in a shoulder injury. Through his own rehabilitation and physical therapy, he became intrigued by bodywork and the process of assessing and treating the body's ailments. Amos began his studies at The National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, CA in 2011 and followed up with NHI’s Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy program in 2012. He then went on to study Active Release Techniques and worked extensively in rehab, spa and corporate wellness settings.  His style mixes Deep Tissue, Swedish and Trigger Point, and clients describe his massage as being deeply focused and at the same time flowing and relaxing. As a lifelong surfer Amos draws inspiration from the movement of the ocean and the sense of human movement of melding with waves in the act of surfing. CA Massage Permit #39242

Paula S

With a heritage rooted in Japanese intuitive healing, Paula has been exploring the art of bodywork for over six decades. From a young age, her family elders guided her to use the rhythms of nature to restore balance and well-being. Paula’s style is organic and integrative, combining ancient traditions with modern techniques to tailor each session to individual needs. Her focus is on reducing pain and stress, enhancing mobility and performance, and fostering deep relaxation. Her diverse background in performance arts, sports, writing, and IT enriches her holistic approach to therapy. Paula specializes in helping those with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and lymphedema, as well as those dealing with injuries, pregnancy, or stress from daily life. CA Massage Permit #96511

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, 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  


io Licensed Estheticians


Alicia M

Alicia's 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 License #Z26604

Danielle F

Danielle is passionate about natural skincare. This love was kindled in the natural foods and body care business where a strong connection between nutrition and healthy skin was formed. She’s studied cosmeceutical and botanical skincare for years and has integrated her knowledge into her aesthetic practice. Danielle’s greatest satisfaction is witnessing positive change in the skin through luxurious effective facials coupled with at-home quality skincare products and routines.  CA License #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 License #Z94175

Nicole M

Nicole loves working with her hands! It started with art, then moved to massage, acupuncture and finally skin care. With over 20 years of massage and acupuncture experience, and 15 years of skin care training, Nicole blends many different modalities into her work. She customizes each treatment based on the individual's needs and concerns. Listening, communicating and finding solutions for each client is paramount to a successful treatment.  She has studied meditation, yoga and qi gong for over ten years and incorporates her knowledge of the internal and external body into her sessions. Nicole's passion is for health, healing and balance in life and loves being able to offer all that she can to each person. CA License #Z74812

Ilani E

Ilani is from a lineage of estheticians and was nicknamed "the Avon girl" as a child. Her appreciation for skincare has been ingrained in her and keeps her connected to her beloved Oma. Ilani trained on the island of Maui, Hawaii, at Spa Luna, certified in holistic esthetics. She has been fortunate to have worked with many talented mentors- experts in skincare, naturopathic medicine, nutrition, and energy medicine. They have helped fuel her passion for vibrant beauty that radiates on many levels. She is committed to assisting clients in obtaining youthful, radiant, and clear skin through which the best self can shine, reflecting the soul. She has found io to be a beautiful and natural fit, combining her love of luxury, relaxation, high-quality skincare products, and advanced treatment modalities. Here, she can work with clients to achieve lasting results with personalized skincare goals. CA License #Z83372

Holly H

Holly is a licensed skin care professional who is passionate about helping her clients exceed their skin goals and create lasting results all while providing a relaxing and healing environment. She graduated from The Skin Institute and Utah Tech University, both located in St George, UT. Her specialties include acne, anti-aging, and overall skin health and wellness. Holly loves to spend her time outdoors, with friends and family, and continuing her education and passion for skin care. CA License #Z136299