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Hydrate IV Bar

Category: Small Business Spotlight

July 24, 2019

The time-tested prescription for staying healthy is pretty straightforward: Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated.

Katie Wafer opened Hydrate IV Bar's third location in the upstairs space at Live Love Lash, giving Cherry Creek North clients the option to get lash extensions or any of the lash studio's spa services while they get an IV or vitamin injection.

That last one on the list is difficult, and can affect almost everything else we're supposed to be doing to stay well. Whatever is leaving you feeling high and dry—an exhausting work schedule, frequent travel that forces you to regularly readjust to Colorado’s altitude, or simply forgetting to fill up your water bottle throughout the day—dealing with symptoms of dehydration like fatigue, headaches and dry skin can wear you down.

Fifth-generation Denver native Katie Wafer has made getting all your essential fluids easier at Hydrate IV Bar, which offers vitamin injections and IV therapy hydration infusions. The boutique therapy spa opened its third Denver location in Cherry Creek North in April.

Wafer, a former Denver Broncos cheerleader who’s always kept up with the latest health and wellness trends, was working in Las Vegas as a medical sales rep a few years ago when she started seeing intravenous therapy (IV) services pop up around her city. Primarily targeted toward hard-partiers looking for a hangover cure, Wafer soon realized the therapy had health and wellness benefits far beyond just minimizing the aftereffects of too much alcohol. She dove right in, quickly deciding she wanted to open her own business back in Colorado.

“I started travelling all across the country. I went to as many conferences as I could to learn more and tried IV services everywhere. I was already working with wonderful nurses and doctors while working for a compounding pharmacy, so I already had a lot of pieces of it in place. I just built our vision and our culture around what I would want as a client,” Wafer says.

Hydrate IV Bar offers a relaxed, spa-like environment and an experienced medical team that can customize your IV experience to achieve your health and wellness goals.

With locations already in Bonnie Brae and The Highlands, Wafer decided to put down roots in Cherry Creek North earlier this year after providing her services on a part-time basis at Live Love Lash. The two small businesses now share the space, a partnership that came out of Wafer’s close professional relationship with Live Love Lash owner Amy Dickerson, whom she met through the Cherry Creek Chamber of Commerce. 

“Amy has been a mentor, a friend, and a colleague for over three years now, so the relationship we have is very special,” Wafer explains. “What we found is that we were sharing a lot of the same clientele and our employees loved each other's services.”

And after a year of testing out the partnership, Wafer says the permanent expansion was an easy decision that allowed clients of both businesses to maximize their time and also put Hydrate IV Bar in front of new audiences, including tourists and business travelers.

“Officially opening a new location in Cherry Creek North, it’s been great for us to understand this sense of community and this neighborhood feel. It’s truly very special. First, because we get a ton of foot traffic, especially in the summer; but also, there are so many other businesses. Not just small businesses—there’s also the four hotels have helped drive a lot of traffic for us and all the other wellness-related businesses in this neighborhood. Everyone has been so proactive about collaborating and cross-promoting. Amy and I lean on each other and help each other as much as we can, but we’ve both felt so much support from this community, which I think is very unique and hard to find in other neighborhoods.”

Hydrate IV Bar has 28 registered nurses on staff, and the medical team is overseen by a medical director with over 30 years of experience in vitamin therapy.

To get started, new clients will fill out a form with basic health and medical history questions and have a consultation to determine whether IV therapy is appropriate for their needs.

“We only administer our service to healthy adults. We don’t treat, we don’t diagnose, we don’t cure,” Wafer explains. 

After consultation, a nurse will then take the client’s vitals to determine if they are healthy at the time of visit. Then, the nurse will mix the IV ingredients, which can all be customized for things like athletic performance, anti-aging, jet lag, fatigue or immune boosters for reducing the duration of a cold or flu. 

The infusion takes about 45 minutes, which allows for plenty of time to sit back, enjoy a tea or coffee and watch something soothing (usually “Planet Earth,” Wafer says) on the TV. 

“We have many business professionals that have out their laptops and put on headphones during that 45 minutes. We have others that put on an eye mask and take a nap and just check out.”

Whether you use the time to work or wind down, plan on being there an hour. 

Hydrate IV Bar also offers retail products, including mobile oxygen and essential oils. 

“We created a spa-like atmosphere because we want this to be calm and relaxing and really allow you to check out of our everyday stress. We like to say these infusions bring your gas tank back to full. This is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to self-care. Much of our clientele includes this as part of their regular wellness routine.”

The returning clients and increasing exposure are allowing Wafer to continue to expand, and she’s planning to open a fourth location in Boulder in August.

“This market is just starting to be tapped into,” she explains. “Our biggest challenge is educating people that these services are available in this type of setting and that they don’t have to be hungover or feel under the weather to come in. That’s why I gravitate toward partnerships with other businesses and getting out into the community for events, because the more I can talk, the more I can educate and explain to people why I really believe in this service.”

Hydrate IV Bar’s monthly membership program costs $125 and allows members to come in once per month and get any IV therapy session plus a B12 injection. Members also get 30 percent off any additional visits.

“Even if you’re skeptical or nervous, or have a fear of needles, call us and let us chat with you. We’d love to have you come in to see the space and get comfortable before you try out a therapy.” 

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