‘Excited for the journey’: Couple opens business in same year they plan to get married

Patricia Coyle and her fiance Lloyd Garden opened Martis Valley Massage in May.
Justin Scacco/

While the outbreak of COVID-19 caused havoc for many businesses and their employees, Patricia Coyle and her fiance Lloyd Garden found opportunity to chase a dream.

Last May, Coyle, a massage therapist for eight years, and Garden, a photographer, made the move to open their own business, launching Martis Valley Massage in Truckee.

“I pictured myself in just one room somewhere, just me and my clients,” said Coyle. “But Lloyd had a much bigger vision.”

Instead of a one-room location, the two decided on a larger place for the new business, settling in at the newly developed Soaring Ranch shopping center, which offered lobby space in the front and three rooms for massage and facials.

“COVID created a weird opportunity where the place she was working closed, and when massage was re-allowed they didn’t reopen,” Garden said. “(Coyle) had a lot of clients reaching out. We just decided to get going. It was a big risk, but it’s worked out.”

A longtime massage therapist, Coyle had never made the leap into running her own business, but with locations in the area closed, she and Garden decided to launch their own massage studio.

“It kind of pushed me out of my comfort zone to go and branch out,” said Coyle. “It changed everything.”

Going from employee to employer has been a transition, said Coyle, who added that since opening in May she’s been focused on fine tuning the business.

“It’s something I’m learning and trying to get better at,” said Coyle on being a leader. “I’m definitely working on that. It really changes the dynamic of the job.”

Since opening, Martis Valley Massage now employees six therapists and a front desk person, a team Coyle said she can rely on as she and Garden navigate operating a business for the first time.

“I can trust them,” she said. “You guys go in there and do your thing, whatever your style is. I like my therapists to know they can do their own style of massages.”

The studio specializes in regular deep tissue and therapeutic massage, which is personalized to the client. The two said they also offer local discounts for memberships.

Moving forward, Coyle and Garden, who plan on marrying later this year, said the plan is to continue refining their approach to the studio while adding to their clientele, which already includes several of the area’s athletes and members from the Northstar and Schaffer’s Mill communities.

“We’re excited for the journey,” said Garden. “We’re opening a business and getting married in the same year.”

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“I’m kind of happy with what we have here and then to fine tune it and make it something special,” said Coyle.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643

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