Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hilary Granat, owner of C.O.R.E. Physical Therapy, located in Washington, DC, USA.

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

C.O.R.E. Physical Therapy is Washington, DC's premier center for physical therapy and sports medicine rehab. We are an outpatient clinic with an emphasis on manual therapy. We are co-founded and owned by Hilary Granat, Jeff Robinson, and Tony Touma.

Our comprehensive approach identifies the "core" of your problem instead of just treating your injury or symptoms. Our personalized and individualized care results in getting you back on your feet faster and feeling better sooner. Our goal is to help you become pain-free so you can do the things you love. All treatment sessions are one-on-one with a P.T. (no techs or aids) in private treatment rooms. We also have a fully equipped gorgeous gym that includes all of the Pilates apparatus equipment.

Our patients are everyone from weekend warriors, athletes, post-op patients, desk jockeys, and everything in between. Our treatments include manual therapy, dry needling, cupping, Pilates, functional movement training, and corrective exercises.

Tell us about yourself

I have always been super passionate about all things fitness and wellness. I started off in the fitness industry as a personal trainer almost 30 years ago. The more I learned, the more I realized how much more there was to learn, which led me to pursue and continue on to become a P.T. I am also a certified Pilates instructor and a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I love being able to use all of my experience to assess and treat the whole person, not just the symptoms or injury.

Before I even went to P.T. school, I always knew that I wanted to open my own P.T. clinic that integrated wellness and rehab under one roof. I feel very fortunate that I was able to open up my dream P.T. clinic in 2006, at a time when it was not as common to go off on your own. It is a privilege that I get to come to work every day knowing that I am helping people get back to the activities they love, getting off of pain medications, avoiding surgeries, and increasing their function.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

This answer would have been different a couple of years ago. But now, my biggest accomplishment has been keeping the business alive these past two years through the pandemic. There were many times when we did not think we were going to survive. But, I can gratefully say that we made it. Although there were many challenges, and it wasn't easy (financially or emotionally), I am proud that we were able to navigate through it and maintain our entire staff. We are forever grateful for the support of our amazing clients and referrals.

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

Turning off my brain and not thinking about work 24/7 and feeling like I can't be away from the office for more than a week at a time. Because of that, I consciously try to make exercise, mindfulness, healthy eating, sleep, and spending time with family and friends a priority as well. Taking time to recharge is really important and helps to prevent burnout.

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

  1. Make sure you know your why and that you have a very clear vision of what you want. Once you find your passion, go after it! When you are passionate about what you are doing, it will not feel like work, and you will love doing it.
  2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths and then hire people to help you with what you are not good at or that you don't enjoy doing. Surround yourself with an amazing team and only hire people that you want to spend time with since you will be spending a lot of time with them.
  3. Develop relationships with mentors and other small business owners in your field. It's so important to stay connected and learn from others who are doing something similar to you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am also the owner of Core Total Wellness which provides health and nutrition services designed to enhance performance and to accelerate the healing process. I have learned that food is truly medicine - it helps our body heal.

The importance of decreasing inflammation following an injury can not be understated. However, we often overlook how our diet can either help decrease that inflammation or contribute to it. Too much inflammation will slow down the healing process of injuries and tissue healing. I love being able to be that one-stop-shop for rehab, health, and wellness for our clients.

I consider myself very lucky in that I truly love what I do. I wake up every day, happy to go to work as it does not even feel like work to me. I get to help people heal and thrive daily. It doesn't get much 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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