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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ HELEN KELLER
There is an old Swedish herding call that brings the cows home with a beautiful song. With its roots in the nordic medieval age, Kulning is a high-pitched sound that was used to communicate with animals from a very far distance. To hear this magical, beautiful song, click this video, and watch how the cows respond!

Cows gift us with milk, sweet cream, etc., but here, a story of how one man, acting on pure instinct with no financial reason, bought a failed yogurt factory (so old, many of the workers were the third in their generation to work there). By simply starting with a new coat of paint, he and these workers began generating new ideas of how to rebuild, and ended up creating the largest yogurt facility in the world.

His name: Hamdi Ulukaya, and he is the CEO of Chobani. Below in his talk for TED, he sheds light on the value he saw in the people of this company, when its former CEO, evaluating by spreadsheets alone, only saw failure. Hamdi says, “the treasure I found in that factory — dignity of work, strength of character, human spirit — is what we need to unleash all across the world.” While there are many styles to running a business, Hamdi’s focus on solution-oriented collaboration and community investment is very inspiring.hamdi-ulukaya-anti-ceo-playbook


Bringing the World Home

It’s no small feat, but for Jodie Appel, offering Asheville a curated collection of healing found from her worldly travels is just what she has set out to do. With the Asheville Salt Cave team, they have created a unique oasis — right in the heart of Asheville — that is truly transportive. It’s an experience that meets people where they are, and offers something for all the senses.

{But wait, there’s more! Click here to read this Platinum Press story in its entirety.}



Anthropology: the study of people, past and present, with a focus on understanding the human condition both culturally and biologically.

The saying, “wherever you go, there you are,” rings true when you ask Jodie Appel of the Asheville Salt Cave about how she experiences the world. She will tell you of far away adventures, but not in the typical, simplistic way of, “this happened, then this, ...” What she conveys is an immersive experience where she shares the sights, sounds, motions and scents of a place. You feel like you’ve been there with her.

Travel is her reprieve. When in a far away land, she mines experiences, and then brings home what she feels will be helpful to people’s healing journeys. From her first salt cave experience in Greece, to her latest Hammam (a Turkish steam bath) in Turkey, the details you find at the Asheville Salt Cave are personal.

Comprised of salt from different pockets of the world: Poland, the Dead Sea, and the Himalayas of Pakistan, the salt cave is a place where you can clock out of your day, unplug, and take the weight of the world off your shoulders.

‘That’s why I do what I do. It’s always a magical thing to see someone leave here with the ability to walk more peacefully in the world again,’ says Jodie.


Platinum Press: What makes the salt cave have such a healing quality?

Jodie: “Salt, along with water, is essentially what we are made of, so by reconnecting with that can be a powerful and deeply healing experience. The salt energetically has something, and it holds strong healing qualities to the body internally.”

Jodie holds a simple, but powerful belief: that healing does not need to be complicated. Just sitting in a supportive space like the salt cave, either alone or with community can do the trick. “I think both are essential,” she says about the healing qualities of individual and group work. 


‘There is such a wide variety to healing. The dynamics of group and individual healing are both important. Being able to be comfortable in a space with yourself or with others is a reflective experience for a lot of people. We’re just a tiny nugget of someone’s healing process.’

PP: You just recently moved to your current location? I imagine that was no small feat.

<laughter diffuses the room>

J: “It was a process,” she says. “When we were at the old location downtown, I just got the feeling we could do more, be more. I would walk past this building and think, ‘that would be a cool place to be,’ and it just quickly unfolded. As I was talking with one of my assistants, we looked at each other and said, ‘It’s time. And — she’s coming with us.’ ” <the cave, that is>



PP: How long did it take to move the cave?

<another release of laughter>

J: “What took a week to move, took a year and a half process of creating the building, designing the space, and letting it fluctuate a million ways and navigating what would work best for our guests. Collaborating with builders, a local stone mason, and a lot of heavy lifting later, it’s the perfect location. And, with lots of ample parking!” she adds. 


PP: What was the original plan for the new space? And, were there new things you wanted to incorporate?

J: She explains that they really didn’t know how it was going to unfold. First, they dealt with the demands at hand: a larger cave space, and adding a second cave just for couples: “it was one of our top requests.” There is a new Wellness Studio for herbalism classes, a Reiki certification course, and may be used for spa services, classroom events and it might be rentable.

And, the latest project coming soon, is a Hammam. “This definitely came from my travels in Turkey,” she says. “That has been one of the harder build outs with the uniqueness of the space. It essentially is a steam room with a service that is about exfoliation. With this, there is a lot of letting go, but a lot of letting go physically through the skin. It is a skin ritual. It will have exfoliation, soap supplies, a bit of massage, and maybe some oils. We’re still fine-tuning as we develop the space. Our goal is to have some community sessions, like it is in other places in the world. In America, most of them are held as private group sessions. We’re just trying to push the boundaries and figure out what that looks like for our purposes. Our intention is to assist in deeply letting go of the external weight that we walk around with. The skin is our largest organ. The layers of lotions and perfumes as well as environmental elements that are absorbed by the skin do not allow the skin to express what internally wants to come out. So I think we are trying on a healing level, to put in lots of different mannerisms and things to utilize.” Jodie will also be incorporating a Thai herbal compress service that she learned on a recent trip to Thailand.

5-people-1-copy-455px  MG_3690-455px
{photo credit, Gemma Dalton}


Upon your visit to the Salt Cave, you will be greeted with a calm, inviting atmosphere. There is a quiet nook to place your shoes and belongings, and upon entering the cave, you will be greeted with salt, from floor to ceiling: beautiful salt floor tiling and soft, granulated salt sand, large salt rocks on the walls, and small salt rocks suspended from the ceiling with fisherman’s netting. Choose to sit in a gravity-free chair, or relax on the floor with comfy blankets and pillows. The cave is filled with serene light that both glows through the salt and bounces off the salt walls. And one fun tidbit — when you go, pay close attention: to reflect the Rock Pirate’s name, the stone mason has hidden two tiny skulls within the cave. See if you can spot them!


Spots are filling up fast, but be sure to check out their Valentine’s offerings:

Love Potion: Herbalism Workshop inside the Wellness Studio

Join us for a fun and educational herbalism workshop inside our Wellness Studio (NOT the Salt Cave), with our resident herbalist Luci Orofino, of Nature’s Cure Apothecary. Participants will learn about specific essential oils and herbs and create a handcrafted custom essential oil blend and an herbal tea blend to take home.

February 13th, 6pm, $28 per person   Tickets are nonrefundable once purchased

Valentine’s Day: Restorative Foot Massage inside the Salt Cave

Give the gift of love this Valentine’s day! Take a load off of the most hard working part of your body and let one of our licensed massage therapists work all the tension out of your feet to help you get ready to take on the rest of your week with renewed energy, all while being bathed in the invigorating, negative ions and saturated salt air of our therapeutic salt cave. You will receive a 20 minute foot massage inside the salt cave, and a full 45 minute cave session for only $75 per person. Includes fruit, chocolates, herbal tea, and a small salt gift! Only 8 spots available per each session, at 5pm and 6pm.

February 14th, 5pm and 6pm, $75 per person


PP: How has Platinum Group helped you to Do What You Love?

J: “I am good at what I do, but it is always challenging to fit in the paperwork that goes with running a business. The team at Platinum Group has always been so kind, understanding and helpful to me. I love you guys!”

{We’d love to do a Client Spotlight for you. Want one? Sign up here.}

KEEPING UP WITH ... QUIETUDE   In this month before brooks start babbling (did they ever stop with this warm winter?) and spring ephemerals emerge from the cold ground, we are taking advantage of the final, quiet days to reflect on the past 20 years of our business — to see where we’ve been and what is on the horizon for this new decade. Moving forward, we see opportunities to share what we have learned through a growth mindset and positive company culture. Look for inspiring resources, like the blogs below to be inspired.

KEEPING UP WITH CELEBRATING!  A very Happy Birthday to both Andrea Ward and Michael Murphy! Many cookies were eaten to be sure they were properly celebrated. And — thank you, Michael for our lady’s group session in the Asheville Salt Cave. We felt relaxed, pampered and grateful.



February always catches me by surprise, as we gear into tax season. Gratefully, it is a busy time of year, but not a stressful one, as keeping monthly books for our clients makes everything up-to-date. Take care this month, and let us know if we can be of service.  

Be Well,



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