Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mary Ann Hayes, Owner of Healing Touch Reiki, located in Ulster Park, NY, USA.

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

I'm Mary Ann Hayes "Shihan Kaku," and my business is Healing Touch Reiki. I'm a certified Reiki Master & Teacher "Shinpiden." Completed under 11:11 Soma Healing Center. I'm the Co-Founder of the Hudson Valley Health Initiative, an O+ Festival Participant in Kingston, NY, and Owner and Operator of Classic Cutters' Unisex Salon.

My clients are average people from age 18 to 106. They come for help with Chakra Cleansing, stress reduction, PTSD, anxiety, help with conceiving, natural self-healing, balance of the energies in the body, balances the organs and glands, immune system issues, help treat symptoms and causes of illness, pain relief, clear toxins, promote creativity, release blocked and suppressed feelings, aids meditation and positive thinking, help to heal holistically and help people to pass on in peace and comfort.

Tell us about yourself

I've had “the gift” since I was just a young girl. Growing up in rural New York, I had an uncanny ability to calm the animals on my family’s farm. Despite living in the quiet countryside, I never once felt alone: I've always sensed the presence of spirit guides and angels all around me. Sometimes I would pray over people in need, but I always wanted to do more.

After a long search for a way to channel my energy and bring comfort to the suffering, I found Reiki. Since opening ​Healing Touch Reiki,​ I've been using the practice to heal people all over Ulster County and beyond. It motivates me to be here to help anyone in need. I love helping people be the best they can be through healing with Reiki, messages from spirit guides, and general health with supplementation and healthy lifestyle advice.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have successfully owned and operated my salon for 35 years, and adding health and healing in the past nine years topped off my goal of being successful as a Reiki Master, Health Advisor, and entrepreneur. Also, providing the highest quality services geared towards my clients' needs by helping motivate them to be the best they can be.

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

Taking time off for myself. I have dedicated myself to my businesses and kind of feel guilty when I'm not available to my clients. In the past, I have rarely taken time off for a vacation but recently have learned that I need to take time for myself to serve my clients fully.

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

  1. Make sure that you LOVE what you're doing; if you love what you're doing, everything else follows.
  2. Network and get to know people and businesses in your community.
  3. Self-care, you must take care of yourself so that you don't burn out.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I really love doing Reiki, teaching Reiki, and sharing Reiki with others. It's what I was meant to do, and as I am getting close to retiring from the salon business, I will continue my Reiki healing until the day I die. I can't see myself without Reiki in my life.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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