Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Justin Mendoza, owner of Kaluluwa Massage Therapy & Co., located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

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

Kaluluwa Massage Therapy.

Kaluluwa comes from the Filipino dialect of Tagalog, meaning "Soul." I chose the name Kaluluwa because that is what I believe that infuses the soul/spirit though with your body through rehabilitative, therapeutic treatments. Being a second-generation Canadian - Filipino, I felt disconnected from my culture. Ever since I started this business, I've received amazing feedback from the Winnipeg community with such compliments of a beautiful business name that follows a graceful meaning to it.

My clientele diversifies from different lifestyles. Whether they live move sedentary or more active, some of my clientele have feelings of stress and need to unwind. Some just feel grateful and want to reward themselves with treatment, and some just want to maintain their well-being. There are even clients who have never received treatment but trust my style of approach for their first appointment and want to be educated about what is going on with their bodies. My treatment room is a safe space for everybody.

At Kaluluwa Massage Therapy, Healthcare Providers and Professional Educators receive a discount for going through the unprecedented times of the pandemic as a thank you while continuing to shape the future generation.

Tell us about yourself

Opening my own practice was originally a five-year plan from the date of graduation. I was put in a position that had brought that five-year plan down to a 5-month plan as doors began opening with less than two weeks to solidify. There were a lot of challenges along the way, but I don't regret a thing.

What motivated me at first was having reachable goals and continuously achieving them. The more I accomplished those goals, the greater the challenge got. Now, I seek discomfort by putting myself in uncomfortable situations, which allows me to keep thinking of abstract ways to find a result. An example of my experience firsthand would be opening Kaluluwa in the back of a barbershop with familiar faces in a familiar area where I grew up, then challenging myself by purposely being placed in an unfamiliar area which is now Osborne Village, an area where I never spent a lot of time in, and not knowing the community at all.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is knowing that I am part of a growing community and that the more people I can treat, the better they can live with a better quality of life and well-being.

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

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner would be the challenges that you fail to see, especially when just starting off. Massage therapy is a female-dominated career, and being a male in this field definitely has its obstacles. I've had dozens of phone calls asking if I had a female therapist because they didn't want to be touched by (another) male.

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

  1. Confidence. Go into your business like you know what you're doing because most of the time is, learn as you go; they don't teach that in school.
  2. Have a mentor or many others. Surround yourself with people who make you feel successful and support your decisions. They are also the people who teach you information that you can't get anywhere else.
  3. Take it in with a grain of salt. There will be people who will strongly critique and criticise your business, who don't even own a business. Don't take them too seriously because no one knows your business the way you know your business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Always remember to smile. :) Visit my website for online booking and to learn more about my treatment style.

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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