There's nothing better than a woman going after her dream and running shit like a boss! The first time I visited iSweat Lodge, I was hooked. I knew I had to write a piece about Kat Pytka, its founder, because women supporting women, am I right?! We should always celebrate another's entrepreneurialism and drive.
A few weeks prior to meeting Kat and having my first session, a mutual friend suggested I check out iSweat Lodge, knowing I was working on a travel guide on the best spas & wellness centers in San Diego. I vaguely recalled biking past the Bird Rock location, but knew nothing about what they offered. In fact, I had never heard of an infrared body wrap. I was so bogged down with WriteLessBad clients and blog work that I didn't act on the suggestion.
A week after that, I found myself at a spa for the travel guide on which I was working, experiencing an infrared body wrap coincidentally. And I loved it! I learned a bit about how infrared light activates the body's internal fire to ignite metabolism and fight illness among many other benefits. I love heat and I love sweating profusely, so of course I was a fan of the infrared body wrap.
A couple weeks later, when I finally met Kat at my pool party, I was intrigued. She's approachable, friendly, and passionate. We bonded over our love of our dogs—she has a Boston terrier named Lola. We exchanged information, and I scheduled an appointment for the next day at iSweat Lodge.
I was impressed with what Kat has created as well as her work ethic and mission. It's not just a spa. Her affordable prices allow customers to integrate the services into their weekly routines without breaking the bank.
She is making healthcare accessible.
The organized, modern, colorful storefront is separated into two areas: the front with 5 infrared body wrap tables, and the back with a changing space, lockers, and two whole body vibration machines. (Read about the infrared body wrap and the whole body vibration treatments in the Best Spas & Wellness Centers in San Diego guide!) Though a relatively small storefront, every inch is carefully utilized.
You'd assume a business centered around sweat would be filthy, but it's far from that! Kat's meticulous about keeping iSweat Lodge clean. In fact, you almost forget where you are until you stand up out of the body wrap bag at the end of your session and watch sweat dump onto the floor...which is satisfying and which Kat or one of her team members cleans up immediately.
While living in Los Angeles, Kat first discovered infrared therapy about 6 years ago. She was searching for something to help her then-boyfriend improve his poor circulation due to Type 1 Diabetes. She extensively researched and experimented with various treatments until she found infrared body wraps. The intensity and health benefits are heightened because you're wrapped in what resembles a sleeping bag, set at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore naturally heating your body faster and more intensely than in a traditional infrared sauna. Now add in a personalized TV with Netflix and headphones and you're all set!
The infrared induces a controlled fever, just as your body does whenever ill to fight off bacteria and viruses. For extended periods of time intense heat is not good for your internal organs. But for an hour, it's detoxifying, allowing your body to remains in a calm, relaxed state. And if detoxing isn't reason enough to visit, you'll burn around 700-900 calories in an hour session due to an increased heart rate.
Her interest in infrared therapy went beyond her boyfriend's health. Her mom was very sick, struggling with autoimmune issues; close friends were diagnosed with cancer; her dad has nerve issues. She recognized the benefits for all.
Eventually the rat race in LA became unfulfilling; Kat was burnt out in the real estate world. And so she packed up and moved to San Diego. While strolling Bird Rock with her her dog Lola, she passed a commercial rental property with a For Rent sign and spontaneously decided to take the leap. She had a vision of a wellness center that would offer San Diegans the health benefits of infrared therapy. Enter iSweat Lodge.
She figured, why not open a place that invites every person—no matter age, gender, lifestyle—to experience a treatment that ignites their wellness and creates community.
It's pretty amazing to watch someone passionate about what she's building hustle. She searched for meaning and eventually found a true calling: an endeavor that marries her passion for wellness with business and entrepreneurship.
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iSweat Lodge Bird Rock location: 5709 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
iSweat Lodge Downtown location: 560 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
If you know a woman who deserves to be featured in a Entrepreneur Spotlight, email me at Sabrina@sabrinamust.com!