Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chantel Patricio, owner of Haven Therapeutic Massage, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is a private Registered Massage Therapy practice dedicated to women and LGBTQ2S+ folks living with anxiety to help them feel better in their bodies. I offer massage therapy focused on calming the nervous system and personalizing each individual's treatment experience.

Tell us about yourself

Having loved ones who lived with mood disorders and addictions and dealing with my own mental health issue in the past, I understand the toll it takes on the body. I wanted to use the tools I had within my scope to serve a specific demographic that I believe is underserved - women and LGBTQ+ folks. I also wanted to start a small business that openly supports mental health so we can erase the stigma and set a cascade of change.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been working with a local charity that provides free menstrual products to those who don't have access to them. With the help of my clients, we were able to donate hundreds of products to this charity. I also donated a portion of my earnings last month, to the same charity, for an initiative I ran the first quarter of the year. My practice is centered around supporting women and LGBTQ+ folks, so being able to support this community outside of my practice has been an honour.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Boundaries are the biggest challenge I have in owning a small business. Being able to compartmentalize my work and personal life has been difficult, especially in the early stages before launching - I felt like I needed to work and create content 24/7. I recently took some time off, and I've learned the importance of nurturing the self to nurture the business without resentment.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your research on your demographic to have a clear marketing message. This will help your ideal clients find you.
  2. Don't compare yourself to others. Celebrate their success and find community with other small business owners - it will elevate you both.
  3. Don't take advice from just anyone. Look at the successful people you want to emulate and seek mentorship. Being a solopreneur can be lonely, but you can mitigate this by seeking colleagues to turn to for support and encouragement.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Running a small business is both rewarding and terrifying at times, but it has been one of the greatest decisions I've ever made. I am able to create a space exactly the way I envisioned, to help support people to the best of my ability — there is nothing better than that.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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