Massage therapist Shannen Mezera returns to downtown Waukon with opening of Serene Massage & Bodywork

Serene Massage & Bodywork receives First Dollar Visit ... Serene Massage & Bodywork, newly opened within the Gemini Salon & Spa location at 7 East Main Street in Waukon, recently received a First Dollar Visit from the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. Pictured above at that First Dollar presentation are, left to right, new Waukon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Adrian and Serene Massage & Bodywork owner Shannen Mezera. Photo courtesy of the Waukon Chamber of Commerce.

A familiar face - and even more familiar hands - recently returned to a familiar location in downtown Waukon, but with a new venture of their own.

Massage therapist Shannen Mezera has opened Serene Massage & Bodywork within the Gemini Salon and Spa at 7 East Main Street in Waukon. Familiar to many who have benefited from her services in recent years, Mezera first offered massage therapy locally at Gemini several years ago before taking her skills to Veterans Memorial Hospital Massage Therapy Services in 2016 and now opening her own venture, Serene Massage & Bodywork, as the new year 2022 got underway.

Starting her own new venture has provided many benefits for Mezera, including more time with family and greater flexibility, and she’s excited to be part of a downtown business climate that has been growing in recent months. Her greatest inspiration in venturing out on her own, however, comes from the people she serves.

“I love being able to help people feel as good as they can,” Mezera shared. “It feels like you’re helping family.”

The former Shannen Nargang came to Waukon when she was in second grade, growing up here and graduating from Waukon High School. Moving to La Crosse, WI after high school, she married Nick Mezera of Prairie du Chien, WI in 2009 and they now have two daughters, 11-year-old Denver and nine-year-old Emerson, and one son, five-year-old Rhett, along with two dogs.

Mezera completed a degree in Psychology from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI and earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from Winona State University prior to completing her education in massage therapy at Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI and returning to Waukon in 2013. She would like to combine all of her educational achievements to eventually offer integrative health coaching involving consultation and plans for exercise and nutrition as she considers future expansion of her new venture.

For now, she is enjoying providing her wide array of massage therapy services to the community she has always considered her home. “I grew up here, and it’s exciting to see the new growth downtown,” Mezera noted as to why she chose to open her new business in Waukon. “Seeing downtown come alive again is inspiring.”

In addition to a full line of basic massage services, Serene Massage & Bodywork also offers hot stone and prenatal massages, as well as cupping services. Mezera is also in the process of taking a course in hot bamboo massage. She feels all of these services complement the other health and beauty services offered by other entities within the Gemini Salon & Spa location where her new business calls home.

Mezera says one of the most rewarding aspects of running her own business is watching others being excited to come to her business in anticipation of her services. She also says all the support she has received, and continues to receive, makes her feel like she is part of one big happy family.

One of the greatest challenges she notes in regard to owning her own business is the sole responsibility one has for its success, outside of the services she provides. “The extra paperwork, the laundry, all the little things you have to do because it’s your baby, and no one else’s,” she explained.

Mezera would like to remind those wishing to utilize her services that she is located in the Gemini Salon & Spa building at 7 East Main Street in Waukon, as GPS location services are still trying to become accustomed to her new venture. Serene Massage & Bodywork is currently taking appointments for Monday through Thursday each week. Appointments can be scheduled online at or by telephone at 608-386-1038. Serene Massage & Bodywork can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.