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Brand Story

Brand Story

Give us an hour or two... and we'll give you back your soul!

Mission

Our mission is simple: to relax YOU!

Our motto: "To Relax the World.”

What is Dragonfly?

Dragonfly is a contemporary urban retreat that offers customers a lifestyle experience built around stress relief and relaxation. Each retreat is a tastefully decorated cozy boutique where men and women, young and old can enjoy a quiet moment together. A Dragonfly visit is as suitable for personal use as it is for corporate entertainment or incentive use. Dragonfly retreats are easily accessible, located in the heart of your central business district, entertainment district or upscale residential suburb. Our retreats are remarkably affordable so you can make a visit part of your regular routine: once a week, twice a week, or more - as part of your healthy modern lifestyle. 

Dragonfly is not...

is not your typical boring spa. We do not have traditional spa features such as jacuzzis, pools or baths; rather we focus on manual treatments. We offer relaxing massage and beauty treatments for busy men and women. We do not provide medical massage treatments - instead we offer relaxing massages that incorporate traditional Asian techniques that include their own health benefits. A Dragonfly visit does not require a big investment of your time - in as little as one hour you can reap the benefits of the Dragonfly experience. Dragonfly massage is not simply Chinese - rather it is a fusion of Asian massage techniques that include Japanese, Indonesian and Thai influences. And Dragonfly is not dull - although our retreats are quiet and relaxing - they are sophisticated & stylish social hubs to be enjoyed with friends and family.

12 Years Relaxing the World

Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreat was founded just over 12 years ago in Shanghai by Georgie Yam (任佐治), a Hong Kong born celebrity hairstylist who came to China after more than 30 years in the boutique beauty business in Singapore. The Dragonfly concept sprang from his experience operating spas in five-star hotels in Singapore but in Shanghai began instead with a small retreat (only 140 m2) in the former French Concession, in order to compete directly with the more expensive hotel spas.

Georgie began business with local Chinese partner Eve Zhuo (卓文芳) and later brought in a Canadian, Randal Eastman, and a fourth Chinese partner, Grace Zhuo (卓 盛). Georgie has since passed the reins of operations to Eve and his other partners but remains a frequent advisor to the business.

Core Services

When we first opened Dragonfly offered a small range of core services: Chinese massage, Japanese massage and Oriental Foot massage. Later on we introduced Aroma Oil massage and a variety of luxurious Dragonfly packages, such as our signature “Top to Toe” and “Ultimate Indulgence” treatments. We added a convenient membership card system and followed up with premium treatments delivered in a luxurious VIP suite called “The Love Nest”. In the next year we built a new flagship shop and at the request of our lady customers we began to add a range of beauty treatments, beginning with nailcare services, waxing and finally facials. Altogether these provide what we call the Dragonfly lifestyle experience.

A World-Class Chinese Brand

From the very beginning Dragonfly has been a world-class brand serving some very discriminating global clients. Our customers young and old come from all over and are united in one point - the need to relax and have fun. Dragonfly is a uniquely appealing service brand born in China but destined for the world - and it may be the first service brand from China to be exported abroad as early on we had franchised shops in Oslo and Dubai. Regardless we are proud of our global footprint and for proving that China can not only export high quality products, but also high quality services.

Dragonfly entered a very fragmented and competitive market in 2003 with a clear focus on one segment of the marketplace - the busy international traveller and foreign expatriate living in Shanghai. Since then affluent and white collar local Chinese customers have increasingly fallen in love with Dragonfly. We have gradually tailored our services around the needs of these segments by offering consistently impeccable service they could not find elsewhere, at remarkably affordable prices. 

Addictive Services - Passionate Customers

Sometimes we feel just a bit guilty that we provide such a wonderful service that so many of our customers have become addicted to the Dragonfly experience. But what can we say - we are addicted as well to serving you with all of our hearts. Much of Dragonfly’s success over our first decade we owe to the power of word of mouth promotion by our passionate customers who have become “ambassadors” of the brand - or as we like to say, “Frequent Flyers”.  This stems from the addictive qualities of a good massage, consistently delivered by the hands of gracious and caring staff.

Award-Winning Ambience

A Dragonfly visit is all about the journey - a brief escape from the hustle and bustle of the city - and then a gradual re-entry back into urban life. We strive to stimulate all of your senses and so design each retreat bearing in mind the importance of lighting - dim lighting that can calm your mood; sound - the quiet sounds of water bubbling and light spa music that carry you away; texture and colour - we use soothing earth tones in our decor; and we add visually appealing decoration pieces that evoke the mysteries of the East - or hint at a bit of romance; and of course fragrance - whether it be the soothing aroma of lavender in our oil massages, or the sweet smell of lemongrass in our corridors.

5-Star Service at a 3-Star Price

One of the foundation stones of Dragonfly is that we offer an affordable alternative to expensive hotel or destination spas for relaxing massage and beauty treatments. 

Not only are our walk-in rates surprisingly affordable (about 1/3 the price of a hotel spa) but long term customers can reduce these charges further by purchasing a membership card that offers a substantial discount. Who could say no to an hour of massage for less than $25 that offers the same (or better) satisfaction as a visit to a five-star spa?

Caring Staff

Dragonfly staff are the true key to our success. They are selected carefully and are all rigorously trained in our own Dragonfly Academy. We recruit from throughout China, often via referrals from our existing team members. We minimize turnover by treating our staff professionally, giving them very competitive compensation, a great work environment and real career growth prospects. Several of our staff have even become part owners of the shop in which they work.

A Socially Responsible Citizen

For more than ten years we have proudly helped others less fortunate in our community, either directly by delivering holiday greetings and free foot massages to the elderly, through our “The Moon Represents my Heart” campaign, or by helping our friends in the community raising funds for worthy causes. We have proudly worked with foreign Embassies and Consulates, Chambers of Commerce, expatriate social groups, Rotary Clubs, and local and foreign NGO’s. Our prize donations have been much sought after by event organizers and customers always radiate a big smile when they pull out a Dragonfly voucher from a goodie bag.

From our early beginnings we have been a strong supporter of Shanghai Sunrise, helping to provide education to needy children and youth in our community.

The Dragonfly Academy

In July 2006 we launched the Dragonfly Academy, our company owned training facility, so we could better train qualified massage therapists and beauty technicians to work in our retreats throughout China. We originally located this in Chongqing but later brought it home to Shanghai where we have now integrated it within our headquarters office complex. We are proud of our ongoing recruiting, training and testing facilities and their ability to improve our customer experience.

Competition? What Competition?

When we entered the market in 2003 we were naturally surrounded by competition – and we still are. We compete head-to-head with 5-star hotel spas, which we easily surpass on value for money, and more importantly on “soul” - the intangible feeling of warmth you will encounter within our shops. We compete with stand-alone shops, which we beat with our consistently high quality customer service, attention to detail, impeccable hygiene and of course our creativity. But competition keeps us healthy and on our toes. In the China marketplace, which is very fragmented, we are often approached by competitors who cannot last and who wish us to take them over. Sometimes we do.

Copycats & Intellectual Property

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. Even through competitors try their best to copy our brand (“Butterfly”, “Phoenixfly”...) or our service menu  they can never copy our style, passion, creativity or customer service - or the enthusiasm and caring attitude of our professional team. At Dragonfly we take our brand and our intellectual property seriously. We have registered our brand and trademarks in China as well as abroad and we have taken steps when needed to protect them.

Dragonfly TattooDragonfly Tattoos

To be honest we are just as amazed as anyone, that customers would find our brand so sexy and appealing that they would be willing to tattoo it (and sometimes seriously big tattooes) on their bodies. But we are really flattered: when was the last time you saw a lovely lady with a “Starbucks” tattoo? 

Business Case Studies

We are also proud that not only have we been a darling of the media over the years, but we also have caught the eyes of Academia. Dragonfly has twice been featured in business school case studies by the Asia Case Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong, entitled “Dragonfly - Creating an Affordable Indulgence” and “Dragonfly - Crafting a Winning Proposition.” These cases have been used by business and MBA schools around the world.

Family of Retreats

Dragonfly has retreat locations throughout key cities in mainland China: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Ningbo. Keep your eyes on us as we continue to grow.