Matt Walsh


"Don’t let pride get in your way of making the right decision, no matter what that decision is. Lastly, maintain a healthy level of commitment and never forget to have fun!"
"It was an eye-opening reckoning to me and my wife that life is too short, which made us to decide to exit Wall Street and do something else."

Like so many Americans, Matt Walsh’s life changed forever after 9/11.

Walsh had spent 13 years on the trading floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange and later started a company called “Technology Solutions International” that built institutional trading systems. His wife, Andrea, was an executive with OppenheimerFunds, headquartered in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. She was supposed to be in the office on 9/11, but her meeting was canceled.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the Walsh family reevaluated their priorities.

“It was an eye-opening reckoning to me and my wife that life is too short, which made us to decide to exit Wall Street and do something else,” Walsh says.

Unsure of what to do next, Matt and Andrea chose the spa industry because they always enjoyed getting treatments on their yearly anniversary trips. Their first foray was opening a spa in 2004 at the Keystone Ski Resort, which they later sold in 2008. They also opened an eco-friendly hair and skin salon in 2007 before closing it in 2011 due to the recession. Walsh went on to share his skills as spa director for companies such as Vail Resorts and The Ritz-Carlton before becoming the founder and CEO of Splish Naturals in 2018, which is his current role.

Walsh did plenty of research before his career change, shadowing several spa directors and confiding in friends and family. That’s the best advice he has for those who are considering something similar.

“When making such a big change, it’s easy to convince yourself you are doing the right thing, and you don’t often think things through as thoroughly as you should,” Walsh says. “In the end, whatever change you make is your decision and therefore you have to go into it with your eyes wide open—with confidence, a bit of fearlessness, but also be humble in case you need to pivot. Don’t let pride get in your way of making the right decision, no matter what that decision is. Lastly, maintain a healthy level of commitment and never forget to have fun!”

Walsh and his wife got into spa to escape the craziness of Wall Street. Ironically, Walsh found spa to be the more stressful environment. He suddenly had to manage employees and adapt his personality to this new industry. But he adjusted and fell in love with the industry, which is why he never left.

“What I get the most from this industry,” Walsh says, “is building cohesive teams that are as passionate about the industry as I am, with many going on to own their own spas or become spa directors for other spa companies. It’s all about the people. It’s one of the last industries that touch is allowed, accepted, expected and necessary for so many reasons that go beyond that one-to-one relationship between therapist and guest. There’s something very special about human touch and human interactions and as we eventually come out of this pandemic, spa will take on a huge role in healing individuals both physically and spiritually.

“I have a healthy respect for everyone in this business. It’s not easy and maybe because of that, it’s incredibly rewarding.”


"Don’t let pride get in your way of making the right decision, no matter what that decision is. Lastly, maintain a healthy level of commitment and never forget to have fun!"