Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey by launching a wellness business, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Hines, PT, DPT, co-founder, and owner of Wellest Integrative Health, based in Boston MA, USA.
What's your business and who are your customers?
We are an interdisciplinary clinic of physical therapists and nurse practitioners. We specialize in the pelvic floor and treat all genders for urinary, bowel, sexual, and reproductive dysfunctions. This is an underserved population who often go to multiple providers before finding us. We are an out-of-network clinic meaning we don't have insurance dictating our plan of care. This allows us to have 60-minute treatments one-on-one with your PT or NP. We are even more specialized because we have a Family Nurse Practitioner as part of our team. She can conduct pelvic exams for our patients who have never been to a GYN because they fear having too much pain with speculum exams. Overall, we are pelvic floor therapists but we thrive on our holistic/whole-body approach through myofascial release, visceral manipulation, internal pelvic floor therapy, compounding prescriptions, Gyrotonic movement, and functional medicine.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from Simmons University with a doctorate in physical therapy. I knew I wanted to be in a healing profession since high school after dealing with autoimmune conditions for most of my childhood. While in physical therapy school, I found my calling as a pelvic floor therapist during one of my full-time clinical placements. At the time, there were very limited pelvic floor therapists and a tremendous need for building the specialty. I LOVE helping this population because it is not only about physical therapy. After all, it is also about advocacy and helping my patients find their voice and connection to their bodies. The work inspires me every day and I love learning through my patients and being a part of their healing journey. I started my practice when I was 25 years old because after moving back to Boston, I realized there was a lack of personalized and whole-body pelvic floor clinics.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Never thought I would be saying this, but making it through the pandemic as a service-based in-person clinic. Perhaps I should say we are THRIVING as a clinic during the pandemic. We have had to hire another pelvic floor specialist and we have created another business on the education side of the pelvic floor. My NP colleague and I started the Institute for Pelvic Health and we are using this online education platform to educate nurse practitioners and midwives about the pelvic floor to raise awareness of these important issues.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Sometimes it can feel a little bit lonely because, in the end, you are the one making the decisions. When there are hard times with the business, you have to continue to move forward and try your best not to bring stress and anxieties into the workplace. Sometimes I feel like I hold in all the stress for ALL of Wellest. I try very hard to make our workplace one of light, peace, and tranquility for both my employees and patients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Surround yourself with a good support system of like-minded practitioners in your area.
- Don’t think of other businesses as competition, instead, invite them into your network. We all have amazing gifts to share and I make sure to find these gifts in all the other clinicians in the area. I LOVE collaboration and learning from others. Always keep your ego in check!
- You don't need much to start a business! I started my clinic by renting a tiny room by the hour. All I had was my hands, PT table, and a website. If you have the dream and vision--go for it!
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Being a mom has helped me cultivate the balance between life and work. When I am in the office, I am 100% present and when I am home with my 16-month-old, I LOVE mom mode. When I am in mom-mode and out for a walk, I will often leave my cell phone at home to prevent the need to always check work emails. I love spinning on my peloton and doing Qi Gong during my daughter's naps :)
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and why?
I love following Rachel Rodgers and her new book "We Should All Be Millionaires". She is such an inspiration and I love her boldness. She does a great job at inspiring women to own their worth and elevate the role of women in business. I just love it!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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