Mother-daughter franchise: 3 Degrees enters 50 new Midwest locations

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Jill Meier/BV Journal 

The daughter-mother partnersio of Tiffany Hansen (left) and Penny Paclik are expanding their 3 Degree franchise to 50 new locations in the Midwest.

Eight years ago, when the mother-daughter team of Penny Paclik and Tiffany Hansen launched 3 Degrees, an infrared sauna studio, they knew they had a gem of a business in their hands.

Now the partnership is taking their business – the first of its kind to pioneer infrared light therapy in a dedicated studio concept – across the Midwest. Recently, they inked their very first area representative agreement to develop 50 locations in select territories across Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The agreement has been signed with father and son duo Michael and Matt Weiss, who possess nearly 30 years of combined experience in franchising. Since 2007, they have owned and operated a handful of Massage Envy clinics in the Chicagoland area. As area representatives for 3 Degrees, they will spearhead the company’s development efforts, as well as provide operational support to new franchisees, who will oversee their own day-to-day operations.

“We are extremely excited to have Michael and Matt spearhead our growth in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin,” said 3 Degrees founder and CEO Penny Paclik. “We believe there is a strong opportunity for the brand to develop throughout the Midwest and are confident that with their experience in the franchise and health and wellness industries, they are the right people to drive our expansion in a region with so much potential.”

Infrared therapy is an innovative light-based method to treat pain and inflammation in various parts of the body. Unlike hot rock or steam saunas, infrared saunas gently heat the body from within, instead of heating the air around you. This raises your core body temperature three degrees, providing a catalyst for detoxification and natural healing. What’s more, infrared light contains only natural and safe electromagnetic heat waves like those from the sun, damaging ultraviolet rays are nowhere in sight.

“I think when we went into it, it was a great concept and once we got into it, we went, ‘Oh, my gosh, everybody needs to have this,’” said Paclik, who boasts an extensive business portfolio. “There’s a whole bunch of layers to what happened. One of the layers is that of all the things I’ve done from houses to apartments to land development to food, all those different franchises, all those things, this is a phenomenal business to run.”

This business brought Paclik sheer joy, knowing firsthand its benefits.

“It morphed into ‘Oh my gosh, look what we’re doing for people. Look at how people are changing when they come here,’” she said. “Then it morphed into, ‘You know what, people can get into this for a reasonable amount. They’d have a great job. It wouldn’t be as hard to get into as food or all these other businesses that cost you a million dollars to put up.’ Then it was, ‘Gosh, we can provide an opportunity for people to open their own business.’ And then it morphed into, ‘We should franchise it,’ and that’s how we got here.”

The road to this point, however, didn’t come without hard work.

“It really takes hard work,” Paclik said, “but it’s been so fulfilling and it’s so exciting.”

And what makes it exciting is the mother and daughter have the opportunity to work alongside one another.

“She compliments everything that I don’t have or if I’m afraid, she’s not afraid, and if she’s afraid, then I’m not afraid of it,” Paclik shares.

“So, it’s literally perfect,” adds Hansen.

A growing number of health-focused celebrities – such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Anniston, Taylor Swift and Zach Efron, among countless others – are using these saunas on a regular basis for various conditions. They’re also featured every day on Instagram posts all over the world.

3 Degrees clients can enjoy the benefits of Infrared Light Therapy in the serenity, comfort and privacy of their own personal suite during a 40-minue sessions. And those benefits are endless, including detoxification, pain relief, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved circulation, weight loss, skin purification, boosting of the immune system and lowering of blood pressure. Other services 3 Degrees provides are whole body vibration, which by far is the most popular new addition to the passive exercise category, and Chromotherapy, an alternative medicine method that uses light in the form of color to adjust emotional or mental status.

While the signing of their initial area representative agreement is exciting in itself, Paclik and Hansen have interest from others, too.

“That’s just one guy who has signed a contract. We’ve got others on the line that we’re working with, both in regional development and individually,” Paclik said. 

“Next week, we have an individual coming in and a micro-franchise, where we have a business inside a business,” Hansen said.

3 Degrees offers three different memberships: 12 sessions per month ($119), eight sessions per month ($89), and four sessions per month ($59).

“Although the popularity of infrared saunas might seem like a relatively new occurrence, they’ve been used for decades in hospitals and medical treatment centers. They’ve helped premature babies maintain their warmth and grow. They’ve also been successful at expediting healing for athletes rehabbing injuries and have assisted with speeding up the same repair in the elderly,” Matt Weiss said. “Due to the growing awareness, demand and popularity of infrared therapy, we’re excited about expanding the 3 Degrees concept across the Midwest and share this remarkable experience with all of our future franchisees and each and every one of their valued guests.”

Including a franchise fee of $49,000, the initial investment to open a 1,600 to 1,800 square-foot studio is $242,675 to $360,675. The franchise fee for a three-pack or a six-pack of studios is $115,000 and $150,000, respectively.

“It’s exciting to think that somebody can own their own business and not go into it and be sleepless all night long, trying to figure it out and be worried about it. You’re always going to do that, but they can go into this knowing it’s easy to find employees and it doesn’t take very long to train them,” Paclik said.

To take 3 Degrees nationally, the mother-daughter team hired a franchise development company from Denver, who guided them through the process.

“This is completely turnkey. The one thing I learned in franchising when I was doing it is that they get you in a franchise, you go in there and all of a sudden you have to learn all this stuff and you’re on your own. But Tiffany really did all of this, where it is absolutely cut and dry. You can come in, buy a franchise and we have all the people who come in and do everything and you can focus on building sales, open the door and you’re set to go,” Paclik said. “Because of all the things we’ve done and the way we went into other franchises … we’ve got this down and it’s an absolutely phenomenal.”

Eight years ago, when they stepped into the world of the infrared sauna studio, Paclik said the first three years were largely dedicated to educating people on the concept and its benefits.

“People thought of saunas as ‘wet’ and they thought of them as putting on hot rocks, but we don’t do any of that. It’s all infrared, it’s all at a cellular level,” she said.

Paclik, herself, used it to start on her weight loss journey.

“It’s equivalent to running six miles, and at 60-some years old, I can’t run six miles,” she said. “But I do remember when I was young and I ran, when the endorphins hit you and how you felt when you got to a certain running stance and you got that second wind. You get that sitting in there, and so all of a sudden, you’re coming two, three days a week and it’s like you’re exercising, but you’re not and your mind is getting all that. And at a cellular level, you’re getting rid of all of your toxins, and all of a sudden you look at everything differently.”

“You’re eating healthier. You want to work out. You’re getting a good night’s sleep, so your brain can function. It just kind of sets the tailspin,” Hansen adds.

Paclik said they continually see people’s life changing right before them.

“How many times have we watched people go in the sauna and come out and be completely different?” Paclik asks.

“All the time,” Hansen answers.

Like the woman who lost her husband and was unable to find anything that restored her will to live.

“By the end of the summer, she got her convertible out and she was driving it. There are so many stories like that,” Paclik said. “It does something completely different, and the reason I even went looking for it is because all of my friends had the same exact medicines. I was like, ‘How can you all have the same medicines?’ I watched people, including myself, struggle so much with weight and it governed their lives because they don’t make the same decisions if they felt good about themselves. They beat themselves up in their own heads constantly to lose weight. But coming here, all of a sudden you start to feel good about yourself … ‘I’m kind. I’m generous. I am spiritual. I am whatever, and you just look at weight differently, and when you can make a difference in peoples’ lives, it makes your work worthwhile,” Paclik said.

To learn more about a 3 Degrees franchise, visit


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