Teresa & Sandy met in massage school, started separate businesses in different parts of Vancouver, and reconnected years later to form a business together!
“Sandy and I met briefly in massage school then later when we worked together at a franchise location in Vancouver. We each left that business and started our own practices in different parts of town. In 2012, we met up again and decided to merge our practices together for support and to grow something great together,” says Teresa.
Their joint business, Self Balance Massage opened in 2009. In the summer of 2016, they moved to their current location at 8221 NE Hazel Dell Avenue in Vancouver, Washington.
We asked Teresa what inspired her to start her own business, “Working for a franchise, creativity is a bit stifled and it's all about money. Turning out clients and upselling for the sake of profit isn't why we became Massage Therapists. We wanted to create an environment conducive to wellness and healing, where our clients felt welcome and cared for.”
They also enjoy working for themselves because it gives them the flexibility to design their business in a way that works best for them. “Our business is client-focused and we still the ability to be available for our families.”
Sandy and Teresa say they have several people they have looked up to over the years, but one massage school instructor stands out. “There was one particular instructor in school that not only taught us the skills needed to thrive, but a genuine love of the art of massage and spa work. She really sparked our imagination to create wonderful services,” explains Teresa.
As many small business owners can attest the learning curve and trial and error aspect of owning your own business can be a big challenge. “There is no real blueprint tailored to each type of business and sometimes finding resources is difficult,” says Teresa.
They advise new business owners to learn about the business side of running a business. “Passion for your craft is not enough to be successful. Hire the professionals who have the skills you lack and always pay attention to the numbers. It's not easy, but it's necessary if you want to keep growing.”
Among their successes, they cite hiring employees and nurturing the next generation of massage therapists. “We have created a place where our staff feels valued. We give them time for their own self care between clients and offer continuing education benefits to help them grow and succeed,” explains Teresa.
Teresa and Sandy treat everything from relaxation to auto accident recovery, but their ideal client is the person who sees the value in taking care of the only body they will ever have! “Well care is so much less expensive than sick care in the long run,” says Teresa.
They are excited to a part of the MOB NW and have the support of like-minded women! Teresa says, “Success only comes when you surround yourself with successful, hard-working people and that is the definition of a mom!”
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