Kollectiv NYC

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF THIS URBAN RETREAT

by Maria Aragao

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When I was asked by SUSTAIN to interview Alain Palinsky, the founder of Kollectiv, I was ecstatic. As someone who has never been to a spa before, I was excited to learn a little more about the ins and outs of this “urban retreat center in Manhattan’s East Village”. Palinsky kindly gifted me a full body Kryotherapy massage, a deep myofascial massage and twenty minutes of theraphi energy healing. I walked out of there feeling more relaxed than I have in my entire life. Oh, I also slept like a baby.

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If you’re someone like me who had no idea what she was getting herself into, let me shed some light on what these services are. A full Kryotherapy massage is cold therapy. Your body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for short periods of time, which increases circulation while reducing inflammation and pain of the body. It boosts your immune system and tightens your skin at the same time. Imagine yourself skiing on the coldest day of the year, that’s what it felt like.

My favorite, the deep myofascial massage, was quite amazing. Thomas, my massage therapist, used a vibration massage device to free up restrictions in my body. I had no idea how stiff I was until I experienced this massage. Lastly, twenty minutes of theraphi energy healing. It is an energy healing device inspired by the science of Nikola Tesla. I laid between two chambers filled with plasma and noble gases on each side of my body while a bioactive field formed around me helping my body enter a deep state of relaxation. Twenty minutes felt like two hours of deep relaxation.

If you’ve been looking for a spa to help restore your wellbeing, Kollectiv is that spa. Not only do they offer these therapeutic services, but their upper level hosts the best plant-based café and Herbal dispensary. As soon as you step foot into Kollectiv you are greeted by the lovely employees of the Naturees Café. After ordering one of their delicious teas, I walked around The Alchemist’s Kitchen which offers many different plant-based products. Kollectiv was a step into a different world. Not only was I able to experience this transforming holistic treatment, I was able to sit down with founder Alain Palinsky and discuss the business.

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SUSTAIN: What is Kollectiv to you?

ALAIN: I designed a place where I could enjoy where I work, my lifestyle and how I interact with people. I wanted to create a space where I could use the services that I am providing.

SUSTAIN: Why are you in this type of business?

ALAIN: To put it simply, I wanted to make my hobbies my business.

SUSTAIN: How does Kollectiv incorporate sustainability?

ALAIN: From buying glass products to providing multiple services, I try to reduce carbon footprints one step at a time. I’m doing the best I can while trying to get a business off the ground in NYC. Being that there are hurdles and costs, one thing that I am doing is providing a space where by going to Kollectiv you do not have to go anywhere else. You can come here for the sauna or a massage while being able to get something to eat or drink. That is one less thing, one less taxi and one less carbon footprint that you will utilize to get to where you are going.

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SUSTAIN: Are the companies you associate with sustainable as well?

ALAIN: All the companies that Kollectiv associates with also try their best to be sustainable.

SUSTAIN: What can you tell us about your spa treatments?

ALAIN: They’re very diverse. The services are done by therapists whom are handpicked by myself. So, it is very important that we have quality. Every massage therapist that you work with is unique. I’m trying to build a family. Kollectiv wants to try to make you feel as comfortable as we can. We want it to become a familiar space. We’re a mom and pop but we run by modern standards.

SUSTAIN: What would you suggest for someone who has not been to Kollectiv?

ALAIN: Come in, look at the menu and choose something you would like to eat or drink. See how you feel in the space, then go downstairs. Anyone can go downstairs to the spa without an appointment and look around. Talk to the staff and have them show you around. Finally, pick a service that you have done before or are familiar with. See how you feel and if you're still not sure, we offer intro services.

SUSTAIN: Why do people want to use your products and services?

ALAIN: Nothing makes Kollectiv different. We just know that we take a lot of quality and pride in what we do. Our goal is to make you feel better than when you came in. We want to change your experience in whatever way possible.

SUSTAIN: How is Kollectiv healing to people?

ALAIN: Our environment affects how we feel. The goal was creating an environment that makes you feel good. And that’s how it was designed and laid out. When you go to the beach how do you feel? Amazing. What’s on the beach? Water and sand. Not complicated. So, the whole idea was to replicate a natural environment where you can feel good. Kollectiv tries to make it as easy as possible for people to feel good. One main step of the business was not to worry about what food there was going to be or what services to provide, we were focused on creating an environment that would aid in healing you.

SUSTAIN: How would you best explain Kollectiv’s methods to someone who does not practice holistic healing?

ALAIN: It’s for everybody. They don’t have to call it holistic. A lot of people still aren’t familiar with things such as essential oils, crystals or veganism. They don’t need to be familiar with it. Kollectiv does not promote veganism- we just are vegan. It’s a place that you want to come and enjoy, you know? You don’t have to speak French to go to Paris. You just go for the experience.

SUSTAIN: Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

ALAIN: Enjoy yourselves in whatever it is that you are doing. Make sure that you find time to unwind.


Kollectiv is located at 21 E 1st St. New York, NY

This Interview has been edited.

Photographs by Maria Aragao