A new wellness studio in the Flatiron district aims to make acupuncture as accessible as a Drybar blowout.
Do one thing, do it well and do it affordably. That seems to be the thought behind the boutique studio boom that has given us Drybar for hairstyling, SoulCycle for indoor cycling, Skin Laundry for laser treatments, MNDFL for meditation.
And now we have WTHN — dropping vowels is not just for tech start-ups these days — which is trying to be the boutique studio version of acupuncture.
Michelle Larivee and Shari Auth, the founders, are calling it a modern reimagining of acupuncture. Ms. Larivee is a former investment banker who dislocated vertebrae in a ski accident and was referred to Ms. Auth for acupuncture treatments for pain and, later, for fertility.
The two women opened WTHN (pronounced “within”) in November in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, which may have the highest concentration of boutique concept studios anywhere on the planet. The modernization they’re going for comes partly in the form of the space itself. It’s a 2,200-square-foot retail-level space, which is unusual for acupuncturists, who more commonly practice out of small offices or clinics.
The design looks not unlike most other boutique studios, with blond wood, sans serif fonts and a planted wall. There is a reception area with a retail space selling things like digestive bitters and energizing bath salts.
Beyond that is a kind of mirrored vanity area for freshening up after a treatment, with organic face wipes and a jade roller and lockers to ensure you’re not tempted to check your phone. The 12 treatment rooms have heated tables, and a proprietary scent of bergamot and frankincense wafts in the air.