Brandy Hill didn’t always know she wanted to be a massage therapist. However, a friend who asked her for a quick shoulder rub discovered quickly that Hill had a talent that could not be ignored.

For 15 years, Hill has been the owner of Vela Massage Retreat in Grass Valley, currently employing 10 massage therapists in addition to two aestheticians (though that number will grow by one as Hill recently received her certification in aesthetics after retiring from massage). However, her massage experience goes back 28 years, with a 19-year-old Hill following sound advice from a friend while living in Yosemite National Park.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at or by calling 530-477-4232.